Modified: March 4, 2020 5:45pm
Earlier today Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said it was illegal for New York State and the Governor to release the number of coronavirus tests being performed for residents of Erie County, as well as the location of the individuals. While it may not have been illegal to release aggregate data, it was probably inappropriate to release identifying information such as the Town or location of residence, considering that one of the families does not live in Buffalo but in one of the other 27 communities that make up Erie County. The County Executive strongly apologizes for any inference he made that was incorrect.
The Erie County Department of Health continues to follow CDC and NYSDOH guidelines for quarantine and testing in regard to the spread of the coronavirus and the associated COVID19 disease. ECDOH also continues to respect and implement HIPAA protections for any and all individuals who may have come in contact with the coronavirus, or any other potentially transmissible illness, and will not be releasing the number of people under quarantine in Erie County in order to offer these individuals the highest level of privacy protection we can.
While there are relatively low numbers of individuals currently under quarantine, these numbers are constantly fluctuating as individuals enter and end their quarantine period. ECDOH priority is to follow the guidelines set by the CDC in NYS to ensure that public health is protected through this proven public health strategy for limiting potential exposure to communicable disease. Should a confirmed case of COVID19 appear in Erie County the public will be notified.
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