Positive COVID-19 cases in Erie County are on the rise.

For November 3, Erie County had 3,320 positive COVID-19 cases — which is a positivity rate of 5%, the highest percentage the county has seen since the spring. 

The county also has the highest death rate in months.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein explained that because some people are lax on social distancing, Western New York — specifically Erie County — has some of the highest COVID-19 cases in the state.

According the health commissioner, there’s been an “explosion” of cases in schools. 

October has 215 cases found in local schools. 

Dr. Burstein says it’s not because of just students but staff and teachers.

With the holidays coming up, county officials say to not travel outside of the state, or gather with people outside of immediate family that you live with.

Poloncarz also touched on Tuesday’s election. He noted how some people have said that COVID-19 would “disappear” when the election came around. 

Obviously that is not the case.

"There’s no two sides to this. It’s just COVID. This is not an argument. The science trumps opinion. The science makes the facts,” Poloncarz (D) said.

Overall, Poloncarz reiterated that people need to take this virus seriously.

When asked if we could see another shut down like March, the county executive said that is a possibility, especially if hospitalizations rapidly grow.