Four new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Erie County, health officials announced Sunday night, bringing the total county-wide to seven.
The four new individuals had all recently traveled — two from New York City and two from out of state.
The Erie County Health Department is now working to identify the close contacts of these indivisuals and to place them in mandatory self-quarantine and to monitor for COVID-19 symtpoms.
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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz declared a state of emergency earlier Sunday and all schools will close on March 16.
Further closings will be determined by the districts.
Poloncarz said Erie County will request the legislature to immediately approve request for $5 million from the surplus budget to help address the pandemic as necessary.
Poloncarz said the county’s budget is “healthy.”
“We are entering into uncharted waters,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz at a press conference Sunday. “The coronavirus does not discriminate based on age, sex, race, net worth for that matter, political affiliation. Folks, we are all in this together.”
The county executive said there is no need for “panic buying” items from the grocery store because it does not help with the situation.
As of Sunday morning, 59 people are in quarantine, 58 of which are in voluntary quarantine, and one is in mandatory quarantine.
151 people have completed quarantine. Poloncarz said these numbers will change.
Throughout the conference, Poloncarz urged residents to take the threat seriously. He talked about working together, in solidarity to protect families, neighbors and the country.
“We don’t want to be like Italy. We don’t want to have to shut down everything," he said.
If residents have questions or concerns, they can call the health department at 719-858-2929. County officials said people who are sick should call their doctor.