The Erie County Executive and Department of Health notify residents there were mistakes made while testing for what has become Erie County’s first COVID-19 case.
Health and county officials adding that the affected person may have been exposed to the public before being quarantined. Residents that we spoke to say they are starting to get nervous knowing that health officials aren’t taking the right precautions early on with handling of the first COVID-19 case.
“I don’t think they should have been letting them walk around, period. They should have quarantined them right then. They say this is a contagious virus and it can spread easily. They should have contained them.” said Ken Mullens, Erie Resident.
Melissa Lyon, Director of the Erie County Department of Health, notified residents that multiple mistakes were made gathering specimen for the first COVID-19 case in Erie County. Proper procedures were not taken at the affected person’s physician office. Also, the 35-year old resident of Erie County was not told to quarantine until test results were known about five days later.
“Unfortunately, we are aware this might be occurring in other circumstances. Had the EHD been notified of the sample submission, our staff would have proactively responded in partnership with health systems and providers to prevent the spread.” Lyon said.
The affected person was not told to quarantine until approximately five days after being tested. No additional cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Erie County. As of Thursday, officials are still gathering information of people that may have been in close contact with the affected person.
Other residents that we spoke to say that the Department of Health needs to take better precautions of those who may be affected by the virus.
“The community has to know sometime and disclosure has to come about. Who knows when they’ll disclose that information, but it’s up to us to press on.” said James Ruth.
County and health officials adding that Erie County residents need to continue doing their part, taking precautions and most importantly, social distancing.
Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper adding that the county is continuing to take precautionary measures and if cases continue to grow, closing of state borders and sheltering in place could occur.