In addition, the number of infected residents hospitalized in intensive care units rose to 10 on Saturday, the highest number since late July.
“Based on the conversations I’ve had with the Health Department, they think it’s basically individuals who were in nursing homes, who were Covid-19 positive, who could stay in the nursing home, but the nursing home’s – as it’s been called – ‘dumping’ the patient in the hospital so they can get them out of the nursing home,” Poloncarz said.
He said nursing homes may be motivated to send the nursing home patients to the hospital so they don’t have to take the extra precautions required to care for nursing home patients. Because of nursing home rule changes, nursing home patients are also staying in the hospital longer than they would have in the past, he said.
Poloncarz said he’d be more concerned if people across more age groups were being hospitalized, but that doesn’t seem to be the pattern. He also said state officials are checking to see whether these patients truly belong in the hospital.
He also said he did not know if more hospitalized patients might be coming from any one particular nursing home.
The Saturday uptick in hospitalizations stand in contrast to otherwise good news that Erie County’s positive test rate had fallen to .9%, as of Saturday. The county had been seeing the percentage of Covid-19 tests coming back positive above 1%, which has been a concern to both state and local officials.