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Four new COVID-19 cases reported in Erie County

Total cases in county rises to 11
Posted at 12:45 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 22:33:11-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Four more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Erie County. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz made that announcement on Twitter ahead of a 1:30 p.m. news conference.

There are now eleven (11) positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Erie County. Four of the cases are newly added as of Tuesday March 17. The Erie County Health Department Public Lab has another 225 specimens scheduled for testing.

County officials said they now have the first case of "community spread" in Erie County.

Among the four new cases:
-A woman in her 50's is currently hospitalized in a "negative pressure room."
-A woman in her 50's isolated in a private residence. This is the first believed case of community spread.
-Man in his 40's isolated in a private residence . . . recently traveled out of state.
-Man in his 30's isolated in a private residence . . . recently traveled out of state.

Two of the new cases are in Buffalo and two are in Amherst (1 in the Village of Williamsville).

The latest cases bring the number of confirmed cases in the county to 11.

Each of the seven cases that had been confirmed as of 1 p.m. Monday were connected to people who had traveled out of the region.

All individuals are in their 20s, 30s or 40s. No one has been hospitalized and all are at quarantined home.

The three cases confirmed Saturday night included:

  • A woman in her 30s from Buffalo who recently traveled out of state.
  • A man in his 30s from Clarence who recently traveled to Westchester County.
  • A woman in 20s from Grand Island who recently traveled to Italy.

The four cases that were announced Sunday night included:

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

Poloncarz 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.”

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein 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.

LOCATIONS:
MARCH 4: United Airlines Flight 6028 (Austin to DC), Flight 4810 (DC to Buffalo)

MARCH 9: Amtrak #49 New York City to Buffalo - Arrived at Midnight

MARCH 10: Walden Galleria (No time)

MARCH 10: (Between 10-11:30am) Barnes & Noble, Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst

MARCH 10: (7-8pm) Harlem Road Community Center

MARCH 11: Wegmans Alberta Drive in Amherst - Noon to 12:30 p.m.

MARCH 11: (10:30-11:30AM) Williamsville Branch Library

MARCH 11: (7-8pm) Lexington Market and the 7-11 in the Elmwood Village

MARCH 12: Aldi on Transit Road in Depew - 6:30 p.m.

MARCH 13: Rite Aid on North Buffalo Road in Orchard Park - 7 to 8 p.m.

MARCH 13: Southwest Flight 2442 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Buffalo.

Health officials are now asking community-members to self-monitor, especially if you visited one of the locations listed above.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

  • Stay home, pay attention to potential symptoms
  • Check temperature
  • Limit all non-essential travel
  • Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are indications of a lower respiratory infection

Anyone with questions or concerns can contact the Erie County coronavirus hotline at 716-858-2929.

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

A state of emergency for the county was declared on Sunday. All schools in Erie County will be closed until at least April 20th.

This is a developing story.

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Anyone with questions or concerns can contact the Erie County coronavirus hotline at 716-858-2929.