Erie County reports 148 new cases of COVID-19; 12 deaths


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 17, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT:
Walter Ang
Communications Specialist, Erie County Department of Health
wang@eriecountypa.gov

Erie County reports 148 new cases of COVID-19; 12 deaths

Erie, PA — County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper and Erie County Department of Health announce 148 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths reported in Erie County on Dec. 16, bringing the total case count to 39,103 and the total deaths to 648.

Information on cases and deaths in Erie County and other data such as reports on vaccination demographics can be found at the Erie County Government website https://eriecountypa.gov/covid-19/positive-cases-in-erie-county/. Latest recommendations and related data is also available at the websites of

Benefit of vaccination

The benefit of vaccination is that it helps the body prevent severe illness and lessens the likelihood of needing hospitalization. If having concerns or questions about vaccines, approach healthcare professionals or contact the Erie County Department of Health at 814-451-6700 for facts and answers.

Free vaccines are available for residents of Erie County ages 5 years and older. To find vaccines in nearby locations:

  • text ZIP Code to 438829
  • visit vaccines.gov
  • call 1-800-232-0233

For schedule of local vaccination sites, visit eriecountypa.gov/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine. Not all locations can offer COVD-19 vaccines to children 5 to 11 years old. Call ahead to check availability.

Importance of testing

Testing for COVID-19 is recommended if exposed to anyone who has COVID-19 or if exhibiting its symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, fever or chills, muscle or body aches, vomiting or diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell. Testing results can help determine appropriate care and treatment if needed.

Rapid testing results are available in 15 minutes at free mobile testing clinics organized by the Erie County Department of Health. No insurance is needed. To follow up results, email zheeter@lecom.edu.

  • Monday, Dec. 20, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Saint John the Evangelist Parish Banquet & Conference Center, 1001 Main St. East, Girard
  • Thursday, Dec. 22, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Erie County Department of Public Safety, 2880 Flower Rd, Erie

For list of local testing sites, visit eriecountypa.gov/covid-19/covid-19-testing-information.

Stay home, inform close contacts

Community members who test positive should inform their close contacts. Even if they do not have symptoms, those who have COVID-19 and those identified as their close contacts should cooperate with all public health recommendations, including staying home, to prevent the spread of infection to others. For guidance on quarantine and isolation, call the Erie County Department of Health at 814-451-6700.

Masking order

Wearing a mask that covers the mouth and nose has been proven to reduce the spread of infectious respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. Studies on the effects of wearing masks have proved that there is no change in oxygen or carbon dioxide levels when people wear cloth and surgical masks while resting and exercising.

A universal indoor masking order for all public and private pre-schools, primary and secondary schools in Erie County is in effect until further notice. A copy of the order can be found at eriecountypa.gov/covid-19.

Erie County currently has a high rate of transmission, according to the CDC. CDC guidelines recommend all people, including those who are fully vaccinated, should wear masks indoors in areas with substantial to high transmission rates of COVID-19.

For guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19 at events and business establishments, contact Erie County Department of Health at covidresponse@eriecountypa.gov. All other questions about COVID-19 can be directed to 814-451-6700 or ecdhinfo@eriecountypa.gov.

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