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COVID-19 cases in Erie County breaking stereotypes; affecting younger population

Posted at 5:21 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 18:56:34-04

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Monday, Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz drew attention to the stark contrast between the stereotypes of the novel coronavirus targeting the elderly and the fact that every confirmed case in Western New York has been a person who is young.

“The individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 are not of senior age. They’re 20s, 30s, 40s,” he said.

Each of the 7 cases that had been confirmed as of 1 p.m. March 16th were connected to people who had traveled out of the region.

No one has been hospitalized, all are at home, quarantined, and recovering using non-pharmaceutical intervention.

The three cases from Saturday night included:

  • A woman in her 30s from Buffalo who recently traveled out of state, she is in quarantine at a private residence.
  • A man in his 30s from Clarence who recently traveled to Westchester County, he is in quarantine at a private residence.
  • A woman in 20s from Grand Island who recently traveled to Italy, she is in quarantine at private residence.

The four cases that were announced Sunday night included:

  • A man in his 30s that had recently traveled to NYC
  • A woman in her 30s who had recently traveled out of state
  • A woman in her 20s who had recently traveled to NYC
  • A male in his 40s who had recently traveled out of state.

Poloncarz did not list these four people’s exact locations but say they come from: The Town of Amherst, The City of Buffalo, The Town of Elma, and The Village of Orchard Park (in no particular order).

The county executive said investigations show each person with a confirmed case had traveled out of the area, and there there was no evidence any of the cases transmitted the virus to another.

But, he said these people likely have transmitted it to others at this point.

“Thousands of potential contacts out there right now,” he said. “That’s why I’ve been saying we have to go under the assumption that it is everywhere. There are people who are probably feeling wonderful, who may in the next few days not feel so good because they came in contact with those individuals who are infected.”

Dr. Gale Burstein, the Erie County Health Commissioner is asking anyone who was at the following locations at the listed dates or times to stay home and self-monitor and reach out to the health department if they are exhibiting any symptoms.

MARCH 4 – United Airlines Eagle United Austin to DC, Flight 6028, Flight 4810 from DC to Buffalo

MARCH 9 – Amtrak #49 New York City to Buffalo, arriving around midnight

MARCH 10 – Galleria Mall (at any point in the day as of Monday evening)

MARCH 11 – Wegman’s Alberta Dr. from Noon-12:30

MARCH 12 Aldi on Transit Rd. in Depew around 6:30 p.m.

MARCH 13 – Rite Aid, in Orchard Park on North Buffalo Road, from 7-8 p.m.

Dr. Burstein further clarified the actions she hopes people will take saying, “So quarantine means that you’re not ill, you don’t have symptoms and you haven’t been diagnosed — here we’re talking about people who’ve had significant contact to those individuals who we’ve identified with COVID-19.”

She asks anyone who might have come in contact with an infected individual monitor themselves for 14 days after the exposure.