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Adjustment in COVID-19 transmission rate will not result in additional mandates for town, schools

Fri, Apr 22nd 2022 07:00 am

Although Erie County’s coronavirus community transmission level was adjusted from “low” to “medium” last week, there will be no change in town or school district rules, say both Town Supervisor John Whitney and Grand Island Central School District School Superintendent Dr. Brian Graham.

According to Kara Kane, public information officer for the Erie County Department of Health, “Lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases are increasing. Today (April 13), our weekly total pushed our case rate (cases per 100,000 residents over seven days) to ‘medium’ for COVID-19 community levels per CDC indicators.”

Whitney said the town does not have the authority to change policies concerning COVID-19. “Those decisions are typically made at the state or county level. We don’t make that decision. If someone mandates it at a higher governmental level than the Town of Grand Island, then we will comply.”

Graham said, “Although Erie County is at the moderate level for transmission risk for COVID-19, what I’m not seeing is that the hospitals are overrun or overwhelmed with patients who need to occupy so many hospital beds as a result of this disease. Grand Island schools will continue to operate with masks being optional. Any family member or child of our school system who is in need of more N95 masks or more rapid antigen tests” can obtain these supplies. “We have so many available to families that all they need to do is to contact their building principal and request additional supplies, both masks or rapid antigen tests, so that everybody can feel safe, even though the level has increased a bit.”

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