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COVID-19 numbers continue to rise while mandates subside

Head shot of Dr. Nancy Nielsen
Dr. Nancy Nielsen is Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

When it comes to following the local trends of COVID-19 infections, it's important to pay attention to the right numbers.

"Erie County reported about 2800 cases over the past week, that comes out to a little over 300 cases, per 100,000 people," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The case numbers put Erie County in the "medium" level for COVID transmission. Individual risk is increasing and Nielsen advises residents to act accordingly.

"So, we need to take into account our personal risk status, whether that's your age, or obesity or illness, etc. and decide whether you should mask up when you go indoors, to a gathering, or whether you should avoid large large crowds," Nielsen suggested.

"Or, whether it's wise to travel."

Following a federal judge ruling, passengers on most airlines are no longer required to wear masks.

"It really pertains to anyone who's immunocompromised, flying just got more dangerous for them. And they should definitely put on a mask." Nielsen advises wearing an N95 mask while flying.

The daily death rate from COVID-19 in the United States is now around 400, which is considerably lower than at the height of the pandemic. Nielsen, however, reminds that 988,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.

"Worldwide, over 6 million people have died. That means this pandemic is on the list of the 10 worst ever."

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Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.