Erie County

Erie County

The Erie County Legislature has approved a plan to close a nearly $138 million deficit in the current year's county budget.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Erie County is continuing to see the gradual slide downwards in COVID-19 cases and deaths, and may have emerged unscathed from people over Memorial Day weekend who shed social distancing rules for sun and heat. County Executive Mark Poloncarz said this means the county is continuing on a path to a Phase Three re-opening, which would allow indoor operations in bars and restaurants, potentially as early as Tuesday.

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As Erie County struggles with the fiscal fallout from the coronavirus crisis, a major change in the way the county operates is high on the list of proposals to balance the budget.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says concern and fear of the novel coronavirus is keeping people from getting health care they need and keeping parents from taking their kids in for routine care and routine vaccinations.

Erie County

Erie County remains on the pathway to moving into the next phase of re-opening New York, even with problems involving hospitalizations. That is the word from Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, even after the Memorial Day holiday.

An apparent fatal drug overdose is suspected after three bodies were discovered in an Oliver Street apartment in North Tonawanda.

Erie County Department of Social Services

The New York State Child Care Availability Task Force was established 18 months ago to dive into what officials call the child care "crisis" afflicting the state. After just a couple of months of pandemic, however, words like "devastation" and "decimation" are being used. Here are their interim findings and recommendations.

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Both the Erie County Health Commissioner and Lieutenant Governor were delivering messages to enjoy the Memorial Day holiday weekend but with the same careful practices that, they both insist, will help the region continue to curb the COVID spread and advance into further gradual reopening of businesses and institutions.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Erie County's troubled finances go in front of the legislature again Thursday, with little resolution in sight other than massive cuts in spending and staff. That may happen, unless there is some agreement in Washington on a state and local government bailout along the lines of what has been given to American business.

University at Buffalo

Erie County is starting to move aggressively into antibody testing of residents.


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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, during his Friday afternoon COVID-19 briefing, admitted a feeling of disappointment that the Western New York economic region remains short of the necessary goals needed to get New York State's approval to begin reopening the economy. He's also unhappy that a neighboring region is entering phase one, stating their numbers are going in the wrong direction.

Office of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz

After showing a two-week downward trend in COVID hospitalizations, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced a disappointing uptick Wednesday. The reversal rules out the possibility of Erie County and its four fellow counties within the state's Western New York Economic Region from entering phase one of reopening when New York's PAUSE order is lifted Friday.

Erie County Board of Elections

The traditional march to the polls might wind up being a march to the post office in this COVID-19 year.

Erie and Chautauqua counties

Western New York is inching closer to starting the reopening process under the state's seven criteria for starting up. The statewide lockdown order, also called PAUSE, is set to expire May 15.

Office of the Erie County Executive

Erie County's COVID-19 hospitalization rate is trending downward, raising hope that the county may not be too far away from phase one of reopening the economy. But during his Wednesday afternoon COVID-19 briefing, County Executive Mark Poloncarz said one benchmark that is not being met is a level of testing required by the state. The problem? Not enough people are coming forward to be tested.

Office of the Erie County Executive

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz stated Monday afternoon that the county won't be ready to begin the process of reopening May 15, the last scheduled day of the state's NY PAUSE restrictions. However, he suggested there was a chance the county might be ready by the end of the month — if the public continues to honor physical distancing and other disease prevention rules.

Erie County

Erie County's fiscal situation is bad enough that county legislators Thursday talked about whether a hard control board is needed.

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Erie County's fiscal picture continues to darken, with Washington seemingly unwilling to provide a stimulus package for state and local governments.

Office of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz

An angry Erie County Executive Poloncarz said Wednesday a segment of the public still doesn't comprehend that the COVID-19 virus is widely circulating and infecting people. He said there are people who seemingly don't believe it's a real issue and live as if there is no risk of being infected. 


Erie County

The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry has announced plans to open the county's two golf courses this Friday, weather permitting.

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Erie County is running out of money and County Executive Mark Poloncarz said there may have to be worker layoffs because he doesn't have the money to keep paying them.


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As the summer growing season develops here in Western New York, Erie County hopes shoppers will look for a new logo, ERIE GROWN, on fresh produce, whether in stores or at neighborhood farmers markets.

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Across New York State, hospitals are hurting badly financially, squeezed between the costs of caring for COVID-19 patients and seeing income slashed because the state has banned elective surgeries. Some counties have been allowed to let their hospitals resume those procedures, with Niagara County reopening Tuesday. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he has been talking to Albany about adding Erie County to the list of counties allowing elective operations.


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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Wednesday the county health department has received 1,000 test results from Quest Diagnostics going back to last week, with 150 of them showing a positive result. Those resultss pushed the county's total number of positive cases past 2,500.

With the cost of the coronavirus crisis hitting local governments, they are pleading with Washington to put some cash into the various stimulus bills to help them continue to operate.

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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the continually rising totals of county residents being admitted to hospitals and those dying from the coronavirus mean the crisis locally is far from over.

Photo courtesy of Governor's Communications Office

The daily increase in coronavirus deaths in New York state has dropped under 550 for the first time in over two weeks as hospitalizations continue to decline.

Erie County Board of Elections

The Erie County Board of Elections says it has received more than 1,000 absentee ballot requests since Monday for the June primary.

Buffalo Niagara Partnership

As Erie County fights the COVI19 crisis, it is also looking forward to getting the economy cranked up again and people back to work.


Erie County

While data released by New York state Monday indicated nearly half of Erie County’s COVID-19 deaths were nursing home residents, County Executive Mark Poloncarz says nursing homes residents likely account for closer to one third of the county’s total deaths.

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