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Erie County warns of false sense of security with coronavirus numbers

Officials added that the county is making a priority of monitoring health care workers, the elderly and those with chronic conditions.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Erie County officials have gone days without providing a list of locations where people who have tested positive for coronavirus have visited.

They said there's a reason for that.

"It's really a gross underestimate in our community," said Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein, who later added that it's best to assume it's everywhere.

"Whatever those numbers are, even if we could do more tests, it wouldn’t give us any more information," she said. "We know that the virus is very prevalent here. We know that there are many many people infected. We know that it is in all of Erie County."

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz added that making public notifications "significantly underestimates risk."

They added that the county is making a priority of monitoring health care workers, the elderly and those with chronic conditions.

Poloncarz said Erie County is expecting another batch of test kits on Tuesday from Albany. Drive-through testing will be an option in the county when more test kits are available.

"We are getting more test kits, we are hoping for a large batch on Tuesday," said Poloncarz.  

Poloncarz said Erie County will get some more ventilators and masks, though he did not provide a specific number.

Burstein and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz held a news conference on Sunday afternoon, updating COVID-19 numbers throughout the county, which now has 57 confirmed cases:

  • 190 results for Erie County residents are pending
  • 318 Erie County residents have tested negative
  • 565 tests have been performed at the Public Health Lab
  • 11 people are currently in the hospital, with three now in intensive care

As for people who are being isolated, Poloncarz and Burstein said 57 are now in isolation. 

Earlier Sunday, Poloncarz had posted on Twitter that the latest positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Amherst.

The 64 confirmed cases, according to the county's coronavirus map, found in different communities include:

  • 21 in Amherst/Williamsville
  • 19 in Buffalo
  • 4 in Clarence
  • 4 in Hamburg/Blasdell
  • 2 in Orchard Park
  • 2 in Elma
  • 2 in Tonawanda/Kenmore
  • 2 in Lancaster
  • 1 in Cheektowaga/Sloan/Depew
  • 1 in West Seneca
  • 1 in Grand Island
  • 1 in Lackawanna
  • 1 in Aurora/East Aurora
  • 1 in Evans/Angola
  • 1 in Holland
  • 1 in North Collins

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