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Overwhelmed: Erie County health department says it cannot keep up with contact tracing

The Erie County Health Department is asking anyone who tests positive to take it upon themselves to self-quarantine and notify any close contacts.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Erie County Health Department is estimating that there between 1,900 and 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the county on Saturday and the county's current positivity rate is 21 percent.

In a press release Sunday, the health department also said the sheer volume of cases has left it unable to keep up with contact tracing for every positive case.

So now, health officials are asking anyone who tests positive to take it upon themselves to self-quarantine and notify any close contacts.

Meanwhile, amid the high case numbers, students are due to head back to school from their holiday break on Monday.

In an effort to keep as many kids in class as possible, the state has been distributing millions of home testing kits to schools, many of which, were handed out to parents on Sunday.

Erie 1 BOCES got a big shipment of at-home COVID tests on Saturday. They received approximately 65,000 testing kits according to an Erie 1 BOCES spokesperson.

The Erie County Health Department continues to ask people to wear masks properly, and to be vigilant when out in public.

"N95, KF94, and KN95 masks are designed to fit snugly around a person’s face and have typically been used in medical and other high-risk settings. These masks are reusable, per manufacturer’s instructions, until they become damaged or wet," the county said in a separate press release Sunday.

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