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COMPTROLLER DEMANDS ANSWERS REGARDING REPORTED COVID-19 NURSING HOME OUTBREAK


Modified: November 7, 2020 8:20am
Created: November 7, 2020 7:44am

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November 7, 2020

Dr. Gale Burstein, MD
Commissioner
Erie County Department of Health
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, NY 14202

Dear Dr. Burstein,

It is our understanding the Erie County Legislature passed a resolution officially changing policy that orders you and your office to release information pertaining to COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes located within Erie County.  This resolution ordering you to release information in a timely manner was passed unanimously and in a bi-partisan vote on Thursday November 5th, 2020:

               RESOLVED, that this honorable body herby directs the Erie County Health Department to release information that identifies when a nursing home suffers a COVID-19 outbreak, the number of individuals at the nursing home that     are inected, the number of total nursing home residents, and the suspected source of the outbreak; and, be it further

"This is an important piece of information that we need to have.”

Source: Erie County Legislator Lisa Chimera, www.buffalonews.com, “County legislators, advocates again demand transparency on Covid-19 outbreaks,” 11/5/20

“Hopefully, this is one of those cases where the county executive will actually listen and do what we've directed.”

Source: Erie County Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo, www.wbfo.org, “Erie County Legislature demands county DOH disclose COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes,” 11/6/20

The Office of Erie County Comptroller’s Whistleblower Hotline received information stating that a COVID-19 outbreak has taken place at a nursing home located within the 14075 Zip Code.  It was claimed that around 40 patients and almost ten staff have tested positive for COVID-19, with some of those patients being transferred to nursing homes located in other areas of Erie County. 

Can you please notify the Office of Erie County Comptroller and Erie County Legislature if in fact this is true, and if it is, when the Erie County Health Department plans on disclosing this critically important information to the public, as you have been ordered to do by the Erie County Legislature.  Thank you.

 

                                                                          Sincerely,

                                                                         

                                                                          Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr.
                                                                          Erie County Comptroller

 

CC: Erie County Legislature

 

For pdf of letter, click HERE