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ERIE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ADJUSTS CASE INVESTIGATION PRACTICES IN RESPONSE TO HIGH VOLUME OF COVID-19 REPORTS

ERIE COUNTY, NY – The substantial volume of COVID-19 case reports in recent days has exceeded the ECDOH and NYS contact tracing capacity to individually contact every Erie County resident with a positive COVID-19 test result.

ECDOH is asking people with a positive COVID-19 test result, either from a lab, pharmacy, medical office or at-home test, to self-isolate and notify their household and close contacts. Anyone who has been exposed to someone who has tested positive is asked to self-quarantine, especially if not fully vaccinated, monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, and seek a COVID-19 test five to seven days after exposure, or sooner if symptoms develop.

The ECDOH Office of Epidemiology will continue to notify Erie County residents of test results administered at ECDOH test sites. ECDOH is expanding COVID-19 test capacity this week. Rapid ID Now tests will available to any symptomatic Erie County resident, and the lab-based PCR tests will be offered to Erie County residents, regardless of symptoms. The most common COVID-19 symptoms include runny nose/congestion, sore throat, cough, fever or loss of taste or smell. However, COVID-19 can cause any viral /flu-like symptoms. Appointments are required and can be scheduled through the ECDOH COVID-19 Information Line at (716) 858-2929.

ECDOH is following New York State Department of Health isolation and quarantine guidance. Certain essential worker categories may return to work after day 5 of isolation if certain criteria are met and maintained. See http://www.erie.gov/iq.

Employers or schools that require a county-issued isolation or quarantine order can print and complete an attestation form, located at http://www.erie.gov/iq.

Erie County residents can report a positive COVID-19 at-home test result at http://www.erie.gov/hometestreport. Resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain how to isolation and quarantine. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

An updated COVID-19 case report for data from January 1, 2022 will be available tomorrow. The ECDOH Office of Epidemiology has a preliminary estimate of about 1,900-2,000 cases for January 1, a holiday, with a positivity rate of about 21%.