Erie County Executive addresses cluster of COVID-19 cases inside Orchard Park nursing home

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(WIVB)–Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the county is keeping a close eye on Father Baker Manor in Orchard Park after 39 residents tested positive for COVID- 19.

There are about 130 people who live at the facility.

Poloncarz says the county and state’s Department of Health, along with Catholic Health is working to contain the virus and stop this situation from getting worse.

“We’re certainly thinking of them. Because we know, I saw a list of patients earlier. Quite a number have contracted it that are in their 80s and some in their 90s, others in their 70s.”

COVID- 19 cases continue to rise throughout Western New York, but government leaders say the area has yet to reach its peak of patients. Poloncarz says he’s concerned about how much equipment hospitals have, including ventilators and PPE equipment.

Earlier this week Governor Cuomo said hospitals in Western New York need to send that equipment downstate, which would later be returned.

“Anything anyone needs in Buffalo, to fight this virus when it hits Buffalo will be there. If it comes from Montauk Point and I have to get in the truck and drive it to Buffalo it will be there.”

But Poloncarz says no equipment will be leaving the county.

“I don’t anticipate seeing any confiscation of ventilators or any PPEs by the National Guard, I just don’t. I think the state realized that that is not a smart thing to do.”

And then in an effort to make sure people are following all of the governor’s pause orders, Poloncarz says the county will fine anyone they see not remaining six feet apart with a $2,000 dollar fine.

“If there are people ignoring social distances at parks and you have 20 people using a shelter, you all should get a ticket because you’re all at risk.”

During a news conference Sunday, Poloncarz said that the county will now be releasing how many COVID-19 cases are in zip codes throughout the county. The ones with the most cases are 14215 and 14221.

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