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Erie County updates its coronavirus protocol, will provide weekly numbers

Thomas O'Neill-White
WFO News
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz (l) and Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein provide a coronavirus update in February.

Erie County has changed its policy regarding the coronavirus, in an effort to preserve the privacy of individuals affected while keeping the public informed and safe.

Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said starting Friday, the county will make the number of people in quarantine public on a weekly basis, but it will not reveal personal information like residence, age, occupation or school district in thisregular report.

Burstein expects numbers to change daily.

"So releasing it weekly is most practical means to get this information out," she said.

Earlier this week, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said it was illegal for the governor and New York State to release the number and location of people being tested for the virus, due to HIPAA laws. He later recanted.

Credit Erie County Executive's Office

There are more than 900,000 residents of Erie County. Burstein said 116 individuals are currently in quarantine as part of the coronavirus protocol.

"These people are in every legislative district and are at varying points in the quarantine process, which can vary based on travel history and updates to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Burstein said.

Since the end of January, she said the Department of Health has managed 114 quarantine cases and 31 individuals have completed their quarantine period. There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in Erie County.