BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A man who was detained at the Peace Bridge because of an outstanding warrant then taken to the Erie County Holding Center in Buffalo is now under medical observation because of his recent visit to China.

This is due to the novel coronavirus and the worldwide concern it has caused.

Kevin Qiu is a Brooklyn resident who is assessed as a “medium risk” individual for the virus, according to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, which emphasizes that Qiu is not symptomatic. The sheriff’s office states that precautions are in place until either his release or a decision on extradition is made.

Qiu, 42, tried to enter the United States on Wednesday, and at that time, a health screening was performed on him after he told customs officers about his visit to China, which is the epicenter of the virus outbreak.

Qiu was then taken to the holding center in downtown Buffalo because of a fugitive warrant out of Chester County, to the west of Philadelphia.

Authorities in Pennsylvania then dropped the warrant pending against Qiu, meaning he’ll be released from sheriff’s custody, as News 4 learned in court on Friday. Qiu will then be under the watch of the State Health Department for medical monitoring.

The Sheriff’s Office notified the New York State Department of Health and the Erie County Department of Health, and all parties are working to establish protocols, precautions, and protections for jail staff and other inmates.

Jail management has taken appropriate measures to ensure the health and welfare of other inmates and staff.  In the meantime, medical professionals will be monitoring Qiu’s temperature and other vitals on a set schedule. 

The Sheriff’s Office has notified the New York State Commission of Correction. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has communicated with Chester County, Pennsylvania and authorizes express that they will not take custody of Mr Qiu. He will be released when the paper work is complete and the proper health departments are notified.

Statement from Erie County Sheriff’s office