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Health official: Erie County is ready if coronavirus surfaces

Dr. Gale Burstein says there are no cases locally, but she cannot talk about any suspected cases unless they are confirmed by laboratory testing.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says her office and medical providers are ready if a suspected case of the so-called novel coronavirus pops up here.

But unless a suspected case is confirmed by laboratory testing, Burstein says she cannot share information about coronavirus investigations because of health privacy laws.

“I can’t discuss individual cases. I can tell you the good news is that we do not have any coronavirus infections here in Erie County right now,” said Burstein.

Burstein declined to address social media chatter of a suspected coronavirus case in Amherst. She explained that if cases arise, samples would have to be sent to the CDC labs in Georgia for confirmation.

The nearest confirmed case of coronavirus is in Illinois, one of only five cases in the United States.

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