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Erie County apologizes for delays in notification of positive COVID-19 test results

Posted at 1:55 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 17:16:38-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein is apologizing for "unacceptable delays" in notifying residents that they tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the county, approximately 10 out of 7,819 people who were infected with the virus since November 1 were not notified in a timely manner about their diagnosis.

"We are aware of unacceptable delays in our process to contact individuals who sought testing at county-run drive-thru clinics," Burstein said in a statement. "The breakdown has caused unnecessary confusion and uncertainty at a time when the public needs to have complete confidence in our public health response."

In response, Burstein says the Erie County Department of Health has taken steps to expand its contact tracing program and improve how it communicates with residents who need to isolate.

Anyone who was tested at a county-run drive-thru clinic before November 19 and has not yet received their results should call 858-2929 and ask to be transferred to Epidemiology.

The Office of Epidemiology will contact all patients with a positive COVID-19 test result from a county-run drive-thru clinic within 24 hours of when the results are received, Burstein said.

All patients with a negative result from a county-run drive-thru clinic will also be contacted within 24 hours after their results have been received, said the health commissioner.

For more information on county-run testing sites, call 858-2929 or click here.