Welcome to another week of increasing COVID-19 cases in Western New York. We currently have the second-highest 7-day average positivity rate in New York State.

According to data released by New York's Governor Kathy Hochul yesterday November 17, 2021, with numbers for November 16, we have an 8.52% 7-day average positivity rate in WNY. We are second only to the Finger Lakes region, which has an 8.73% rate. Our positivity rate is six times that of New York City and more than twice the statewide average of 3.40%.

Capital Region - 5.80%
Central New York - 5.66%
Finger Lakes - 8.73%
Long Island - 3.48%
Mid-Hudson - 2.70%
Mohawk Valley - 6.92%
New York City - 1.41%
North Country - 6.73%
Southern Tier - 4.68%
Western New York - 8.52%
Statewide - 3.40%

These are the 7 zip codes with the highest COVID-19 positivity rates, according to the Erie County Department of Health,

7. 14225 Cheektowaga - 137
6. 14150 Tonawanda - 149
5. 14215 Buffalo (East) - 159
4. 14086 Lancaster - 168
3. 14075 Hamburg - 179
2. 14224 West Seneca - 186
1. 14221 Amherst/Williamsville/Clarence - 208

Between Jan. 2021 and November 11, 2021, according to data from the United States Census Bureau, there have been 543 deaths from COVID-19 in Buffalo and 2,123 for Erie County total. In New York State, 30 people died from COVID-19 on Nov. 15.

Even with the rising COVID-19 cases in WNY, Gov. Hochul is still optimistic,

"More and more New Yorkers are getting vaccinated each day, and with the winter months quickly approaching we can't get complacent now. With the vaccine now available to younger children, we have the opportunity to put an end to this pandemic - but we have to work together. Tell your friends, family and neighbors to get the shot today, so we all can have a safe and happy holiday season."

I have come to believe that WNYers don't really give a care about the deadly virus anymore. I mean, how could they? Our numbers keep increasing every week and nobody seems inclined to change anything, so I guess COVID-19 has officially become an endemic.

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