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Counties update: Expanded testing in Erie, 4 additional deaths in Niagara


Fri, Apr 17th 2020 12:00 pm

The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is announcing the expansion of its testing categories for people with COVID-19 symptoms who can be tested through the Erie County Public Health Lab.

A COVID-19 test will now be available to people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and who are currently working in industries deemed “essential” by New York state and the Empire Development Corp. Those include, but are not limited to utilities, grocery stores, pharmacies, transportation, restaurants, food processing, building cleaning and maintenance, child care services, auto repair, convenience stores, gas stations and hardware stores.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever (100.4 degrees or higher), cough or shortness of breath.

A press release said, “For ECDOH, the testing request does not need to come from a health care provider. However, we are urging anyone who has a fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms to contact their physician for medical advice and information on how to manage their symptoms. For those who do not have a primary care provider, ECDOH can provide referrals to provider offices that are accepting new patients.”

Individuals who are scheduled for testing through ECDOH will be provided with isolation information when their sample is collected. Results will be provided to tested individuals by phone. Call 716-858-2929, option 2, to initiate the testing process.

Erie County and Kaleida Health are coordinating efforts to increase the availability of testing in Western New York. As noted in a press release Friday morning, Kaleida Health has also expanded its laboratory testing capacity, and is now also including essential workers with COVID-19 symptoms.

It is important to note that, for testing through Kaleida Health, a prescription or referral from a physician is required. Individuals with testing questions can call the Kaleida Health coronavirus hotline at 716-859-3222 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m., every day) or visit www.kaleidahealth.org.


•ECDOH, COVID-19 Information Line: 716-858-2929, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

•Erie County Department of Health, COVID-19: http://www.erie.gov/covid19

•Erie County online map of confirmed cases: www.erie.gov/covidmap

•New York State Department of Health hotline: 888-364-3065

Courtesy of Erie County "heat map" (source)

Niagara County

The Niagara County Department of Health issued the following update on positive COVID-19 cases in Niagara County.

“We are regrettably report the death of four Niagara County residents. We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased,” a press release stated. Those who died included a:

  • 73-year-old male with underlying health conditions
  • 88-year-old male with underlying health conditions
  • 74-year-old female with underlying health conditions
  • 67-year-old male with underlying health conditions

The rest of the update is a follows:

  • 15 new positive cases, for a total of 253 to date
  • 118 in isolation (94 isolating at home, 24 in hospital isolation)
  • 122 recovered
  • 13 deaths
  • 1,112 people tested (source: https://covid19tracker.health.ny.gov/)
  • 138 people in quarantine
  • 283 completed quarantine

Courtesy of Niagara County “heat map”

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