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Additional Erie County case of Covid-19 puts total at 28; 308 samples await testing

An individual from Amherst has tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease, officials said Thursday morning, which put the total of Erie County COVID-19 cases at 28.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that Erie County had an additional positive case during a press briefing Thursday morning, and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted that the individual was from Amherst.

Poloncarz, who said Wednesday evening that Erie County would soon run out of testing supplies, also said that there are 308 test samples that have yet to be tested by the Erie County Department of Health lab.

Poloncarz tweeted that the Department of Health has completed tests on 206 Erie County residents, of which 28 have tested positive and 178 negative. That translates to 13.6% of tests completed thus far coming back with positive results.

The Erie County Public Health Lab is the only area health lab for Western New York that has been able to test for COVID-19. Erie County started with enough test kits to conduct 450 tests. Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein estimated Wednesday night that the county would be able to complete testing on 550 to 600 specimens; then it will be out.

Erie County is holding a news conference at 3 p.m. Thursday.

[Related: Erie County's COVID-19 cases, by town, gender, age, date]

On Wednesday evening, the county announced seven people had tested positive, which brought the total to 27.

Health department officials said that, as with other cases, epidemiologists have notified the individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus and have placed them in mandatory isolation.

[Related: Where those with COVID-19 visited, traveled in recent weeks]

County health department epidemiologists are identifying close contacts of each of the individuals and placing those contacts in mandatory quarantine to monitor them for COVID-19 symptoms.

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