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Erie County warns of COVID-19 risks at Easter gatherings and spring break travel

With many Western New Yorkers traveling for the holiday weekend and spring break, Erie County health officials remind people of COVID-19 risks.

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. — The Erie County Department of Health is warning residents about the risk of spreading COVID-19 infections at holiday gatherings and over spring break as cases in the county have been rising, which health officials attribute to the spread of variants in Erie County.

Starting with religious gatherings on Good Friday and Easter, health officials still say virtual or live-streamed services are the safest. For in-person services, face masks are encouraged, as well as social distancing and enhanced cleaning procedures at churches and places of worship.

Limiting gathering sizes for family celebrations is also encouraged this weekend. The county urges people to wear masks if children or unvaccinated people are present. If the weather cooperates, the health department recommends eating outside to lower the risk of spread.

As of April 1, New York no longer requires arriving travelers to quarantine or test out of quarantine. That is for domestic travel only, not international.

Any Erie County residents who do fly or travel for spring break are still being encouraged by the health department to stay home for a few days when returning, if possible. You're also reminded to avoid close contact with older adults, people with chronic medical conditions, and unvaccinated people.

While a quarantine is no longer mandatory in New York, Erie County also pointed out the current guidance from the CDC for travelers:

  • If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • Before you travel, get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public.
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you.
  • Get tested 3-5 days after your trip and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.