Coronavirus test results come back negative for Buffalo-area residents


(Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and the Erie County Department of Health will speak on the negative test results at Noon. Watch on News 4 or in the video player below.)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Test results for the Buffalo-area residents suspected of having coronavirus came back negative.

After arriving here from Italy, two Buffalo-area families were placed under quarantine to await test results, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who gave updates this week on coronavirus in New York. The two families include a total of 12 people, half of whom were exhibiting symptoms.

The Erie County Department of Health says the people who returned from Italy recently spent time in a high-risk region in the northern part of the country.

“You cannot contain this spread,” Cuomo said. “You can slow it. You can limit it. But you can’t contain it.”

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz advises anyone who plans on going to Italy soon to cancel their trip. If someone travels to a high-risk area, they’ll be quarantined for 14 days when they return, whether they’re healthy or not.

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says the CDC has approved Erie County to conduct and analyze coronavirus. That means testing for locals would not have to take place in Albany.

Three people in New York previously tested positive for the illness — a health care worker and a student in New York City, and a 50-year-old Westchester County resident.

Cuomo announced on Wednesday that the number has grown. According to the Governor, the Westchester County patient’s wife, two of his children and a neighbor who drove him to the hospital tested positive.

Gov. Cuomo is recalling all SUNY and CUNY students who are studying abroad in China, Japan, Italy and South Korea. This includes around 300 students.

Students returning from regions experiencing outbreaks will be quarantined in designated SUNY campus dormitories.

On Wednesday morning, following Cuomo’s latest update, the University at Buffalo advised the nine students studying in Italy and South Korea to return to the United States.

“The health and safety of our students is of paramount importance to the university, whether they’re pursuing their education at our home campus or anywhere in the world,” said UB Provost A. Scott Weber. “The university will take all steps necessary to ensure our students have the opportunity to complete their studies in accordance with the CDC’s guidelines.”

SUNY is in the process of arranging chartered flights to New York.

Anyone who traveled internationally to areas of concern within the last two weeks, and feel sick with a fever, coughing or trouble breathing, should immediately seek medical care, calling a doctor ahead of a visit.

In addition to that, people experiencing these symptoms should stay home, other than to seek medical care, and avoid any more travel until the illness resolves.

More information on the coronavirus can be found here.

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