3 Erie County residents test positive for coronavirus
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Three Erie County residents have tested positive for coronavirus, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday night.
In a statement, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said those tests were performed by the county's Public Health Lab and completed late Saturday afternoon.
Poloncarz said Erie County Department of Health epidemiologists "are already at work to identify the close contacts of these individuals and to place those close contacts in mandatory quarantine to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms."
He added that the county will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Sunday to provide more details.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown issued a statement on Saturday night:
We have been planning and preparing for this eventuality. Government has been working together at every level to ensure that we deal with this public health emergency with calm, cooperation and a spirit of community. I ask that everyone follow the Department of Health recommendations to help contain the spread of Coronavirus, and we will do our best to provide everyone with any assistance or information that they need as this situation continues to unfold.
Cuomo briefed the media during a conference call.
The news comes on a day where New York State reported a second death from coronavirus.
More than 500 New Yorkers have been diagnosed so far with COVID-19, the new illness that has sickened people around the globe.
The governor said of the 524 cases confirmed as of Saturday, 117 people are currently hospitalized. That number increased by 100 patients since Friday.
Tioga County and Tompkins County both have their first confirmed cases. And Monroe County currently has two confirmed cases.
Governor Cuomo said the state did 700 tests.
The virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness.
"The number of positive cases is more a function of the number of tests we're taking," Cuomo said Saturday. "The more tests we take, the more that number will go up. Nobody believes there's only 500 cases of coronavirus in New York today.
"We believe there are thousands of people who have coronavirus, maybe tens of thousands. We believe there are thousands of people, maybe tens of thousands who have had coronavirus and have resolved that never knew they had it. So the 524 cases doesn't mean there are 524 positive people. It means the testing capacity is going up."