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Erie County Department of Health COVID-19 update for Friday, March 20

Press Release

Fri, Mar 20th 2020 06:00 pm

The Erie County Department of Health is releasing results of reports from COVID-19 testing on individuals in Erie County. There are currently 36 lab confirmed cases in Erie County residents as of noon today. Additional tests are being run by our Public Health Lab and commercial labs and results will be released when available.

The Erie County Public Health Lab has completed 256 tests for Erie County residents, with 220 negative results and 299 tests pending. 

As of Friday morning, 36 people are in isolation with daily check-ins from our quarantine and isolation team. There are 252 contacts in quarantine and 163 individuals have completed quarantine.

The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning has developed an online mapping tool to display data about positive COVID-19 cases. The information displayed on this website will be updated regularly. Access the website at www.erie.gov/covidmap.

ECDOH has prioritized monitoring for the family and close contacts of individuals with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis; individuals who are elderly or who have chronic medical conditions; and health care providers and medical facilities. Our guidance for the people of Erie County is that we should assume that COVID-19 is prevalent in the community.

We are further advising all Erie County residents to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, which involves daily checks for:

•Fever (100.4 degrees or higher)

•Cough

•Shortness of breath

If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself at home and from others in your household, and call your physician. Before seeking health care, call ahead to the facility and tell them your situation. The facility will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness.

ECDOH also has guidance for essential employers and returning to work.

Employees who have been contacts to confirmed or suspected cases who are asymptomatic should work. Employees with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 who have maintained isolation for at least seven days after illness onset and have been at least 72 hours fever-free with other symptoms improving may work.

Employees who are asymptomatic contacts of confirmed or suspected cases should self-monitor twice a day (temperature, symptoms), and undergo temperature monitoring and symptom checks at the beginning of each shift and at least every 12 hours.

If employees who are asymptomatic contacts working under these conditions develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they should immediately stop work and isolate at home. All employees with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should be dealt with as if they have this infection regardless of the availability of test results.

Starting Saturday, March 21, the Erie County COVID-19 information line will be staffed with live call takers from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Visit our website to see if your question has been answered first: www.erie.gov/covid19. This is a line for the public and for health care providers. We are asking callers to not call with hypothetical questions. Questions about medical conditions have to be answered by an individual’s health care provider.

As an update from yesterday’s release of potential public exposures to COVID-19, a location from March 9 that was initially for Spirit Airlines has been corrected to Frontier Airlines F9N2500, Tampa to Buffalo. Following questions from Thursday’s press conference, our epidemiology team asked additional questions of one of the individuals a positive result, and received this clarification.

The ECDOH COVID-19 website has a list of all locations of potential public exposure that will be updated regularly. http://www2.erie.gov/health/index.php?q=public-advisories.

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