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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Dahlkemper wants crowds limited to reduce COVID

Posted by M. C. on November 19, 2020

Erie County PA County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper

“I get concerned if I hear of any business or group that wants to have a holiday party,” Dahlkemper said Wednesday at her news conference. “That should not be happening this year. I would love to see some (additional) restrictions on gatherings.”

“And stop gathering with people you don’t live with…

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https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=04109c5c4

Executive also announced library branches to close

David Bruce

Erie Times-News USA TODAY NETWORK

Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper was pleased to see Pennsylvania announce stricter travel and face maskwearing requirements on Tuesday, but said additional measures are needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Specifically, Dahlkemper would like to see lower limits on the number of people permitted to gather.

In early October, Gov. Tom Wolf expanded Pennsylvania’s maximum limits on gatherings from 25 people indoors and 250 people outdoors to a percentage of a facility’s maximum capacity. Dahlkemper wants to see those numbers reduced.

“I get concerned if I hear of any business or group that wants to have a holiday party,” Dahlkemper said Wednesday at her news conference. “That should not be happening this year. I would love to see some (additional) restrictions on gatherings.”

Limiting crowd sizes, especially indoors, is important because the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Erie County, and across the nation, is due primarily to the virus’ spread among people getting together without wearing masks, Dahlkemper said.

The county executive implored county residents to follow a few basic rules to reduce the surge and prevent local hospitals from filling with COVID-19 patients.

“Keep 6 feet away from anyone who does not live in your home,” Dahlkemper said.

Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said she would like to see reduced limits on the size of gatherings as a way to halt the rapid spread of COVID-19. [GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMESNEWS]

“And wear your mask. And wash your hands frequently. And stay home if you are sick.

“And stop gathering with people you don’t live with, particularly in large groups,” Dahlkemper added.

Dahlkemper reported 134 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday in Erie County. It is the seventh straight day that at least 100 daily cases have been reported.

Erie County has 3,764 total cases of COVID19 since the pandemic started. Of those cases, 2,493 people have recovered and 65 have died, including two new deaths reported Wednesday.

There were 1,206 active cases in the county on Wednesday, the highest number reported since the pandemic started.

A total of 55 county residents with COVID19 were hospitalized Wednesday morning, including 10 in intensive care units and five who needed ventilators, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported.

Saint Vincent Hospital reported 32 patients with COVID-19 on Wednesday, while UPMC Hamot reported 24, and LECOM Health’s Millcreek Community and Corry Memorial hospitals reported seven patients and one patient, respectively.

The hospital-reported numbers often differ from the state health department’s total because they include out-of-county patients, and don’t include county residents who are being treated outside the county.

Dahlkemper also announced that all branches of the Erie County Public Library will close their doors to the public starting Saturday. People can still borrow books and other materials virtually or use the libraries’ curbside service.

“We don’t believe we have any cases spread through our libraries but, again, we are trying to do our part,” Dahlkemper said. “The library is not essential at this point.”

A total of 38,861 negative COVID-19 tests have been reported in the county.

Statewide, 6,339 new cases were reported Thursday, once again the state’s highest singleday total.

The new cases increased Pennsylvania’s total number of cases to 281,852.

There were 110 new deaths across the state, the highest number reported since May.

Contact David Bruce at dbruce@timesnews. com. Follow him on Twitter @ETNBruce.

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