Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is pleading with young people to behave themselves, because too many of them are getting COVID-19.
The latest statistics show 496 new cases in the county last week and 323 of them are people under the age of 30. In the key college student ages of 18-22, there were 207 cases. Poloncarz said those cases are heavily in college student neighborhoods like University Heights, near the University at Buffalo South Campus.
Poloncarz said this is bad for the overall population.
"We are really concerned about the continuing growth with regards to the college age. I'm happy to see that, in general, the numbers are staying lower for most of the population. But, yeah, this is really concerning because this is an age that not only going to school, but they're going to restaurants. They're going shopping. They're going to bars. They're going to grocery stores and they may not always take it seriously."
Poloncarz said the situation in The Heights has reached the stage where deputy sheriffs have been part of teams walking the streets looking for the kind of loud parties usually blamed for student-age COVID cases. He said Albany also has shipped in 4,000 instant tests.
"We are not going to just use those for the general public. We are going to save them for specific outbreaks, including those that we believe may be attributable to colleges, but also workplace environments or what we think is going to happen in the next couple weeks with schools being returned. We are going to have a child or two who tests positive. Then, we know every parent is going to want their child tested positive if they were in class together."