New restrictions for parts of Erie County due to increase in COVID cases

Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A rise in COVID-19 cases in Erie County has prompted the state to add new restrictions in its tracking of microclusters.

In Erie County’s “yellow zones,” certain restrictions are in place:

  • Only four people are allowed at a table for dining.
  • Bars and restaurants must close at Midnight.
  • A maximum of 25 people can gather in one place.
  • Houses of worship can host half of their maximum capacity.

In schools, there must be mandatory weekly testing of 20 percent of the in-person students and school personnel.

These restrictions are in place in the following communities:

  • Grand Island
  • Tonawanda
  • Amherst
  • Clarence
  • Buffalo
  • Cheektowaga
  • Lancaster
  • Lackawanna
  • West Seneca
  • Elma
  • Hamburg
  • Orchard Park
  • Aurora
  • East Aurora
  • Williamsville
  • Depew
  • Kenmore
  • Sloan
  • Blasdell

About 700,000 people live in these areas.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says inspectors will be sent to large stores to make sure they’re following COVID guidelines.

During the same conference Monday afternoon, the County Executive said numerous gatherings, where people aren’t wearing masks, have been taking place. There were reports of several people testing positive for the virus after attending adult Halloween parties.

Poloncarz said he’s received many reports of people going to work, even though they’re sick. He added that an Erie County Department of Health employee came to work sick, and later tested positive for COVID-19.

Poloncarz says that person is being “severely penalized.”

Erie County’s “yellow zone” designations will be reviewed weekly. For a list of restrictions in red and orange zones, click/tap here.

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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