Kaleida Health Shoots Down Rumors of Coronavirus in WNY

Health commissioner says county is prepared for any outbreak

WBEN Newsroom
February 17, 2020 - 8:45 pm

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BUFFALO (WBEN) - As of Monday evening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting a total of 15 cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States with 60 additional pending cases.

The virus has become a center of global attention over the past several months, drawing concerns and perhaps some paranoia.

There have even been fake rumors spread on social media regarding the presence of coronavirus in Western New York.

Kaleida Health released the following statement in response to rumors of novel coronavirus in Western New York:

“The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) and the Niagara County Department of Health have all said that there are no reports of any cases of novel coronavirus in Erie County or Niagara County. This includes Kaleida Health facilities Buffalo General Medical Center, DeGraff Memorial Hospital, Oishei Children’s Hospital and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital.”

The ECDOH also advised individuals to "verify all information you may receive online,especially via social media."

If a case of coronavirus were ever to actually pop up in the region, Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein recently held a press conference to assure the public that health officials know how to handle it.

"Responding to this novel coronavirus globally is something that we have prepared for," said Burstein. "We've done it in the past; this is just like any other type of infectious disease outbreak.

"We (would) isolate all cases - all symptomatic people who test positive for coronvirus will be isolated. We will interview them and get information about their close contacts within the last 14 days and then go out and find those contacts, investigate there and see if they're ill and warrant testing with guidance from the New York State Health Department and the CDC...We are in constant communication with our healthcare facilities, sharing information; we're in constant communication with the New York State Health Department that is always in communication with the CDC, so we are prepared. We have done this before; we're doing it now, and we can do it again."

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