Erie County has 64 confirmed cases of Covid-19, officials announced Sunday, but residents should act like the coronavirus is "everywhere."
"Anywhere we leave our house, we could potentially come into contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive," Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said. "People have to act accordingly."
Poloncarz thanked the public for their cooperation with the restrictions that have been put in place by the county and state during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We expect Covid-19 to be in every community right now; just because you might not see it on our interactive map," Poloncarz said, referring to the county's online accounting of cases, "doesn't mean it's not right there right now. Covid-19 has been in Western New York for probably weeks now.
"Assume that it is in every community. You should assume that it is everywhere."
After one case was announced by Poloncarz Sunday afternoon, an additional seven cases were announced Sunday evening. The afternoon case was from Amherst, Poloncarz said.
The Town of Amherst now has the most cases in Western New York with 21, passing Buffalo (19). The two municipalities each had 17 prior to the update of the seven evening cases, which included four from Amherst, two from Buffalo and one from the Town of Tonawanda.
Poloncarz tweeted that he did not expect there to be another update in the number of cases for the remainder of Sunday night.
The county has not put together additional information regarding where the 64 individuals have traveled or visited because of the manpower involved in tracking such a high number of cases, but also because they expect the virus to be throughout Western New York's communities.
Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said 11 coronavirus cases have been hospitalized, three of which are in the intensive care unit.
"We are seeing a higher level of acuity as the disease progresses in our community," said Burstein.
Burstein said that 174 people have completed quarantine, while the county is currently following 293 contacts of those who have been infected.
Poloncarz said that more tests, which have been a struggle for Erie County as well as municipalities nationwide to procure, will be arriving from the Centers for Disease Control this week.
"We are hoping for a large batch to come in on Tuesday," he said.
The county also expects to complete the tests on the current pending cases by Tuesday, Burstein said.
Burstein acknowledged the county would certainly like more tests, but she stressed that the community needs to practice social distancing and other measures to keep the spread of the virus down.
Poloncarz stressed that individuals who feel sick should contact their doctor and not go into work. He said he knew of at least one person who was feeling sick, still went into work, ultimately tested positive, and now the person's coworkers are now in quarantine.
The county announced six positive tests Saturday night.
Niagara County had a total of nine positive cases as of Saturday, when it announced five new cases.
For the rest of Western New York, here are the total number of positive cases, per Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office:
- Allegany - 2
- Genesee - 1
- Wyoming - 2
On Sunday, the Wyoming County Wyoming County Community Health System announced that two residents of the county's Skilled Nursing Facility in Warsaw had tested positive for Covid-19.
Cattaraugus, Chatauqua and Orleans counties have yet to record their first confirmed case of Covid-19, according to the governor's office.
7 new positive #COVIDー19 cases have been confirmed by @ECDOH in Erie County, with the vast majority of them in Buffalo and Amherst, bringing the total to 64. This should be the last results for today. View our special #COVIDー19 Interactive Map at: https://t.co/PVJCTrHqLn pic.twitter.com/k0Nb0oJybi
— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) March 22, 2020