As noted here before, finding meaningful data on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania and in Erie County specifically, has been extremely difficult, but this table of deaths in nursing homes and long term care facilities in PA is eye opening. Look at the number of deaths in Erie County in those facilities, 30! How many COVID deaths are there in Erie County as a whole? According to the PA website, those 30 may be all of them. Erie County says we’ve had 35, but after seeing the chart above, even if 35 is the correct number, all of them are still likely from those same long term care facilities. This also means that if you are an Erie County resident not in a nursing home, your chances of dying from COVID-19 are essentially zero.
If all or almost all of the deaths from COVID-19 are in nursing homes, then why are we wringing our hands about schools opening up? Why are restaurants under limited capacity restrictions? Why are hair salons suffering under such stringent guidelines? Why is the news media endlessly repeating how many cases there are without noting anything else? Why is County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper refusing to bring this to everyone’s attention?
The chart above and the numbers it contains come directly from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the same department acting as though we’re still in the grips of a terrible crisis. It’s obvious, there is a highly vulnerable population in long term care facilities and we should be doing everything we can to eliminate as much of the threat in those facilities as possible, but to keep schools closed or half open is ridiculous.
Open the schools now and get everyone else back to work, to do otherwise is pure politics.