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Erie County announces 4 more confirmed COVID-19 cases

That brings the total of confirmed cases in Erie County to 11.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Erie County health officials have announced four additional confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

That brings the total of confirmed cases in Erie County to 11.

Poloncarz and Erie County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein will provided more details at an afternoon press conference.

Monday, the County Health Lab tested a batch of 21 samples, and all results came back inconclusive. So, the county was able to add 20 additional samples as they ran the test again, testing 41 total:

  • 29 samples were from Erie County, of which 25 were negative and four were positive. 
  • 12 samples were for other counties, and those counties will release results.

The local positive cases included:

  • Female, in her 50s, isolated in a negative pressure room at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital
  • Female, in her 50s, no recent travel, isolated in a private residence believed to be the first case of community spread
  • Male, in his 40's, recent out-of-state travel, isolated in private residence
  • Male, in his 30s, recent travel out-of-state, isolated in private residence

Two cases were from from the City of Buffalo, two new cases from the Town of Amherst (including one in the Village of Williamsville).

There are currently 11 total positive cases in Erie County.

Locations where the positive cases were while symptomatic and able to transmit disease:

  • March 10; 10-11:30 a.m. Barnes and Noble (Boulevard Consumer Square, 1565 Niagara Falls Blvd Suite 300, Amherst, NY 14228)
  • March 10; 7-8 p.m. Harlem Rd Community Center (4255 Harlem Road, Buffalo, NY 14226)
  • March 11; 10:30-11:30 a.m. Williamsville Library (5571 Main St, Williamsville, NY 14221)
  • March 11; 7-8 p.m. Lexington Co-Op Market (782 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222) and 7-11 Elmwood Village 
  • March 13, Southwest Flight 2442 Ft. Lauderdale to Buffalo

Lexington Co-Op sent an email to customers on Tuesday afternoon asking customers who were in their store at that time to self-quarantine and get tested if they start showing symptoms. The store added that at this time, no co-op employees have tested positive. 

The county tested a total of 86 local samples, where 11 were positive, and 75 were negative, and by the end of today they expect to have 225 samples to be tested. Test results take between 24-72 hours.

To be tested based on symptoms, people must present a fever AND either a cough or shortness of breath.

All positive cases are currently in mandatory quarantine, and 53 additional contacts are in mandatory quarantine.

Tested a total of 86, 11 positive, 75 negative, by end of the day, will have 225 specimens to be tested. test results are available between 24-72 hours

Currently, there are 1,374 confirmed coronavirus cases in NYS. Of the 1,374 confirmed cases, 264 people are hospitalized, bringing the hospitalization rate to 19%. Twelve people have died. 

The effort now is to "flatten the curve" to reduce the strain on hospitals. The state has started that effort by closing businesses that have large gatherings of 50 or more people. The governor says if those efforts do not help reduce the spread, the state could institute more closures.

RELATED: Buffalo Public Schools will offer meals to students during closure

RELATED: Relative of Sabres employee tests positive for coronavirus

Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, hot your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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