Erie County Update: April 17, 2020
A record seven new cases have been reported, as reopening and new policies are discussed
There were seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Erie County, bringing the total to 53. There have been 1213 negative tests. This marks the most cases reported in a single day.
In her daily address, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper relayed that of these seven, one is in their 20s, one in their 40s, two in their 50s, two in their 60s, and one in their 70s. Three are connected to a known positive. One is related to travel, and three are currently under investigation.
As last reported, there have been 22 recoveries from Erie's 53 cases, and no deaths due to COVID-19.
Warren County still stands at one case, and Crawford at 16. Chautauqua has had 27 cases and three deaths, while Ashtabula County has 45 cases and three deaths.
Statewide, there were 1,706 additional positive cases (for a more than 37% increase from the day before). There have been a total of 29,441 positive cases, with 117,932 negative cases. So far, there have been 756 deaths, with 49 reported in the last day (11 fewer than the day before).
Following the recent order for life-sustaining employees and customers to wear masks, Dahlkemper stated that each business must have their plan for using masks in writing. They do not need to send this plan in (for example, to the County Health Department), but simply have it on hand if our local Environmental Task Force requests it. For help on writing these guidelines, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (814) 451-6700.
Dahlkemper asserted that the county is "masking up for recovery," as this is one of the first steps for businesses to reopen. Dahlkemper confirmed that she had reached out to Governor Wolf to be one of the early places to "pilot the reopening of our economy."
"I fully believe that the citizens of Erie County can truly set the example for the state and beyond," Dahlkemper said. "And I truly believe that we can prove that we can get back to normal – get back to work by following the proper guidelines."
Starting Monday, April 20, the county will be temperature-checking all of their employees and requiring everyone to wear a mask.
Dahlkemper announced that "unfortunately, we will also be furloughing our non-essential employees beginning on May 1, and they are being notified of that today." She later noted that approximately 100 employees would be furloughed, with the "vast, vast majority of those in our library system." Furloughed employees will not lose their health benefits, and will be able to pay premiums when they return.
President Judge John J. Trucilla of the Erie County Court of Common Pleas joined Dahlkemper in her address today. He discussed his third Judicial Emergency Order, which will be extended through May 31, this will effectively suspend trials in May.
Nick Warren can be reached at Nick@eriereader.com