Erie County officials believe coronavirus “will eventually come here”

Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Erie County officials affirmed Thursday that there are no cases of coronavirus in the county. They admit, however, that could change.

“There’s no reason to think that we can keep it out forever,” said Dr. Gale Burstein, the Erie County Health Commissioner. “We really believe that it will eventually come here.”

The announcement comes as the first case of suspected “community spread” in the United States was announced in California this week. This is an instance in which the spread of an illness is identified for which the source of infection is unknown, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There is no vaccine for the coronavirus disease. So, Burstein took the chance to urge people to practice “non-pharmaceutical interventions”, which include things like thoroughly washing hands, covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing, and making sure you carefully wipe down surfaces.

Erie County Mark Poloncarz said he spoke to the CEOs of each of the area’s major hospitals on Thursday to ensure county and health care officials are on the same page.

Both Poloncarz and Burstein also criticized those spreading false information on social media.

“This is a time where there is a big gap, a big void in information that we have,” Burstein said. “There are a lot of opportunities in those instances when people are worried and they don’t have all the information for people to jump up and spread these false rumors that will stress people out, and maybe even cause them to do the wrong thing.”

Click here for more information on coronavirus from the Erie County Department of Health.

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