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Western New Yorker with Coronavirus speaks with 7 Eyewitness News

Posted at 9:22 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 23:24:34-04

ELMA, N.Y. (WKBW) — An Elma woman who tested positive for COVID-19 says her symptoms began with a mild congestion and sore throat.

The 23-year-old, who spoke to 7 Eyewitness News on the condition of anonymity, thought she just had a common cold after traveling from John F. Kennedy airport in New York City to Buffalo on Wednesday, March 11th.

However, as the days progressed, her symptoms got worse.

“I started to have an upset stomach, I had a headache, shortness of breath and everything,” she recalled in a phone interview.

The Elma resident called the Erie County Health Department on Friday night after noticing her temperature was 99.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

“It wasn’t as much on their radar,” she said.

By Saturday, she was given the chance to take a COVID-19 test with Erie County. 24 hours later, she received the news that her test came back positive for the Novel Coronavirus.

The woman was among the confirmed COVID-19 cases Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced on Monday. Officials publicly announced her whereabouts upon returning from New York City, including Aldi on Transit Road in Depew March 12th at 6:30 p.m. and Rite Aid on North Buffalo Road in Orchard Park on March 13th from 7-8 p.m.

However, officials did not publicly acknowledge her Delta Flight 5338 that landed in Buffalo on March 11th at 11:55pm.

“We’re continuing our disease investigation process with all positive cases. This is an ongoing project and we will continue to release information as it is uncovered,“ said Kara Kane, spokeswoman for the Erie County Health Department.

The woman with Coronavirus says she’s been in quarantine and isolated since Saturday. While she’s feeling better, she says this is a serious virus with serious effects.

“There are probably people walking around that if were tested would be positive for this virus,” she said. “We’re just so used to running ourselves ragged everyday that it just falls underneath our personal radars. I think that’s where the self-quarantining comes in and we can do our part,” she said.

She says she will remain in isolation for 10 more days, and will likely be tested again.

Her biggest message to others: don’t put others at risk by exposing yourself. She says listen to your body, and all the warning signs.