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Modified: October 8, 2020 8:28am
Created: October 7, 2020 1:55pm

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October 8, 2020

Gale Burstein, MD


Erie County Department of Health

95 Franklin Street

Buffalo, NY 14202


Dear Dr. Burstein, 

Since yesterday, when my office sent you correspondence detailing that a county employee working at
460 Main Street in Buffalo had tested positive for COVID-19, our Whistleblower Hotline received additional confidential tips suggesting that additional county workers have contracted COVID-19. The Office of Erie County Comptroller was notified that two contact tracers, both Erie County employees, have tested positive for COVID-19 on September 25th, 2020 and September 30th, 2020.  These whistleblowers stated COVID-19 tests were not administered to those who may have been in close contact with these two county employees. These serious concerns raise more questions:

  • What is your plan to test those that came in contact with these two positive cases?
  • Is there a plan to increase health screenings in light of these case(s)?
  • Why isn’t the County of Erie taking temperature checks for any person entering a county building?

It is my hope that the CARES Act funding is being used to protect county workers and provide testing, rapid or otherwise.

From the President to an elementary school, reports of positive COVID tests are shared with the public. Erie County should be sharing information about cases in county buildings. We operate public buildings and serve taxpayers. Just as the local colleges, every school district, businesses, sports teams and others have been doing, Erie County must be open, honest and transparent about positive COVID cases. The discrepancy from case to case, especially on what information is provided, is concerning. 

Thank you very much for your prompt attention to this very serious matter.  Taxpayers and the Office of Erie County Comptroller look forward to hearing your responses.



                                                                                                                Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr.
                                                                                                                Erie County Comptroller

CC: Erie County Legislature

For pdf of letter, click HERE