Positive COVID-19 cases now 87 in Erie County

Erie County

March 23, 11:29 A.M.

Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed 87 positive coronavirus cases in Erie County.

March 22, 3:00 P.M.

Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein says 11 confirmed positive cases are hospitalized, three of which are in the ICU.

174 individuals have completed quarantine and 293 contacts are in quarantine, officials say.

The positive cases make up a wide range of ages, according to Dr. Burstein.

“We haven’t put up additional trace locations because COVID-19 is so prevalent,” she added.

Officials also tell us to safely assume any time we leave our house, we can come in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive.

During the press conference, the Erie County Health Commissioner said not to get a false sense of security by looking at the county map.

Dr. Burstein says, “We know the numbers are much, much greater.”

The county says they have mental health resources online to help. Dr. Burstein says she knows being cooped up can be stressful.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz did address the search for workers in the healthcare field that are willing to help if needed. Anyone interested can call 716-858-2300.

For those wondering how recovery is determined, the Erie County Executive says being fever free for three days, symptoms subsiding, and at least seven days since onset of symptoms are a few things to look for.

Poloncarz says the county is hoping for a large batch of test kits to come in on Tuesday.

“As everyone knows, test kits are in very, very short supply across the country,” he said during the press conference.

Healthcare professionals and hospitalized patients are getting priority for testing. This is to reduce exposure in hospitals and to be able to keep as many doctors, nurses, physicians, clinicians, and others working, according to officials.

March 22, 2:11 P.M.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says there are now 57 positive COVID-19 cases in the county after the latest batch of tests.

This case is in Amherst.

565 residents have been swabbed for tests by the Erie County Department of Health. 318 are negative and 190 are still pending.

Poloncarz says Quest is testing residents as well.

March 22, 12:30 P.M.

Two individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 in Erie County were identified as residents of Buffalo, but on Twitter, Erie County Executive says one actually lives in the City of Lackawanna and the other in the Town of Tonawanda.

March 21, 7:25 P.M.

UPDATE: Erie County now has 56 confirmed cases (up from 50 earlier today) of Covid-19, according to its latest batch of tests added to the county’s mapping system. The additional cases are in Buffalo and Amherst

March 21, 1:25 P.M.

Erie County now has 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the county’s online tracking map. Two of the new cases are in Buffalo, while one of them is in Clarence.

On Saturday afternoon, County Executive Mark Poloncarz answered questions about the virus on Facebook Live.

(Video above is the Erie County Executive’s Facebook Live question-and-answer session from March 21)

March 20, 9:43 P.M.

Erie County now has 47 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says.

New to the list is a case from West Seneca.

A person was earlier noted to be in Tonawanda, but the County Executive says the person ill is currently in Amherst.

March 20, 3 p.m.

There are now 36 lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Erie County, Executive Mark Poloncarz said.

Erie County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says six individuals with positive cases of COVID-19 are hospitalized.

220 of the tests came back negative, 299 are pending, and 256 tests were completed, according to the Erie County Department of Health.

The 36 individuals are in isolation and the county says 163 individuals completed quarantine. There are 252 contacts in quarantine as well.

Officials say the flight listed on March 9 as a public exposure location was actually Frontier Airlines Flight F9N2500.

Poloncarz is also urging essential employees to only go straight from home to work and back.

Officials ask the public to self-monitor symptoms and contact their health providers if they feel sick. Do not call the county hotline before speaking with your doctor.

“Our epidemiologists are working hard to identify the details of all locations the infected individuals may have been. However, everyone should go under the assumption they have come into contact with the coronavirus,” Poloncarz said.

He says even if your town has not been identified you are still at risk. The Erie County Executive is encouraging residents to use the county parks but do not congregate and bring sanitizer and wipes.

Starting Saturday, the COVID-19 Information Line will operate under its new hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. This is a line for the public and health care providers.

The county will now also have an interactive map to display positive cases by area with regular updates.

Dr. Gale Burstein is also reminding the public that just because you’re wearing a mask does not mean you are fully protected, it’s protected if you’ve gone through the official fitting process.

The Erie County Executive says, “there is a national shortage of tests and reagent. But we are fortunate to have our own public health lab here in Erie County.”

According to Poloncarz, the county cannot test every person in the community who would like one. That’s why they ask everyone to stay home as much as possible and not risk transmitting this infection.

UPDATE: 11:43 a.m., March 20: Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in his Friday morning press conference that the number of positive cases in Erie County is now 31.

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)–The Erie County Department of Health says there are now 29 positive COVID-19 cases in the county.

According to the Public Health Lab, specimens were collected from 523 residents.

179 came back negative while there’s 315 still pending from received specimen collection from Erie and outside counties.

Officials released a new list of locations where there was public exposure and ask anyone who may have visited these locations to monitor their health:

“Assume you may have been in contact with someone and practice safe social distancing,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “We rely on the people of our community to practice safe social distancing and act responsibly so as not to continue the spread.”

Tests are limited and Poloncarz says they are working round the clock to obtain more from the state and elsewhere.

“That is why we must operate under the assumption coronavirus is among us and work to flatten the curve,” he said.

The Department of Health says it will continue to update locations, dates, and times for potential COVID-19 exposures.

For specific questions or circumstances, officials ask you to call their hotline at 716-858-2929. The county says there is a high volume of calls so expect waits and asks the public not to ask hypothetical questions.

“Even if asymptomatic, assume there is someone in every town, village, and city in Erie County carrying #COVID19 and act accordingly,” said the Erie County Executive in another tweet.

Anyone in need of childcare, call the Childcare Resource Network at 716-877-6666 or email parentservices@wnychildren.org.

Jessica Pirro of Crisis Services says it’s important to be getting outside, checking on family members during this time.

“We have to be socially distant, but we don’t need to be emotionally distant,” she said.

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