BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — UPDATE: During a press conference this evening, Governor Cuomo announced there have been 11 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, bringing the total to 44.
Eight new cases are in Westchester County and three new cases are in Nassau County.
“We have expected the number of positive cases to go up as we test,” Cuomo said on Twitter.
ORIGINAL: The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) says 116 people are quarantined in the county, based on their potential exposure to coronavirus.
In addition to the people quarantined in Erie County, The Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton says at this time the county has four voluntarily quarantined individuals.
In a statement released to News 4 this afternoon, Stapleton says, “Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of well people, who may have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. These public health actions are precautionary in nature and follow all CDC guidance. We will continue to provide information as the situation warrants.”
One of the quarantine cases in Erie County was determined “mandatory,” Cuomo said, noting 11 new cases in the state on Friday afternoon.
The ECDOH has decided to start making the number of people under quarantine public, but will not display personal information like age, residence or school district.
The department did say, though, that the individuals represent every legislative district, and are at varying points in the quarantine process.
“Protecting the privacy of these individuals while also keeping the public informed is of paramount importance and we are doing everything we can to maintain that. By releasing this aggregate data, we will be able to keep the public up-to-date on the quarantine process while protecting that privacy,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “This number will change constantly from day to day, so releasing it weekly is most practical means to get this information out. Currently we do not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Erie County, but if that changes the public will also be made aware of that.”
Four members of Buffalo Public Schools are quarantined — two students and two staff members.
Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash says the schools are keeping track of sick students, and what types of symptoms they’re showing. The school district has taken the current situation as an opportunity to refresh students and staff about good hygiene.
In response to the virus, Buffalo Public Schools have stepped up their cleaning protocol, ordering industrial supplies that will last through the end of the school year.
Since the end of January, the Erie County Department of Health has managed 147 total quarantine cases. 31 people have finished their quarantine period.
“Our epidemiology office is in contact with these individuals daily throughout the course of their quarantine period,” Dr. Burstein said. “The quarantine process is a safeguard and a proven preventive measure to protect public health.”