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Erie County now in 'Substantial' COVID-19 transmission category

Starting Saturday anyone who enters an Erie County building or facility must wear a face mask.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — As had been expected, Erie County was moved into the "substantial" COVID-19 transmission category on Friday afternoon with a case rate of 54 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days.

There were 99 positive cases confirmed on Thursday. 

In announcing the shift from "moderate" to "substantial" the Erie County Health Department said they would follow CDC guidance. Starting Saturday anyone who enters an Erie County building or facility must wear a face mask. At the same time the county is recommending all owners of private establishments open to the public require mask wearing for all employees, guests, and patrons.

“Even with significantly fewer diagnostic tests being done, we have seen a sharp increase in new daily case totals,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “Regardless of vaccination status, wearing a mask is one way to reduce the risk of disease transmission. We continue to recommend that people stay home when sick and get a diagnostic test if you experience symptoms or are a close contact of case.”

In a news release sent out on Friday afternoon, the county provided the following COVID vaccination resources: 

A schedule of ECDOH COVID-19 vaccine sites is listed at www.erie.gov/vax. ECDOH will also vaccinate Erie County residents at their home; call (716) 858-2929 to schedule. Free diagnostic COVID-19 tests are offered through ECDOH; call (716) 858-2929 to schedule.