Mark Poloncarz

Facebook/County Executive Mark Poloncarz

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein provided their latest update on COVID-19 cases in the county Monday afternoon. While the trends hinted that Erie County might be nearing the flattening of its case curve, officials are renewing their calls for honoring social distancing.

Cabin fever is pushing people not only out for a walk but also into walking in groups, as well as encouraging some businesses which are not essential into operating. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says fines loom for businesses and individuals who are not following the rules.



During Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz's daily COVID-19 briefing, he noted that county parks were experiencing issues with too many people congregating in just a limited number of the 10,000 acres available throughout the system. His latest warning came hours before having to confirm two more coronavirus-related deaths in Erie County.


Hospitals across Erie County on Monday received new shipments of the safety masks that are essential to keeping doctors, nurses and other health care personnel safe.

Facebook/County Executive Mark Poloncarz

A member of Erie County government, identified only as anindividual who has worked in the county's coronavirus first response efforts, has tested positive for COVID-19. County Executive Mark Poloncarz confirmed the case, as part of his daily briefing on the pandemic and its local numbers. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How many Erie County residents have been tested for the COVID-19 virus? Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz would like to know the answer to that question, but it is not clear.

The worldwide supply chain behind health care is starting to ramp up and produce more of the panoply of chemicals and supplies needed for the war against COVID-19. This comes as the number of coronavirus cases hits 96 in Erie County.

Erie County

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said citizens with a lot of time on their hands and a desire to commune with nature are concentrating too much on Chestnut Ridge Park and causing crowds that are not praciticing social distancing.

Facebook/County Executive Mark Poloncarz

More positive test results were confirmed Friday afternoon in Erie County, as health officials and the county executive again expressed frustration over a lack of available testing kits. Meanwhile, after stating he had heard reports of groups congregating in city parks in violation of coronavirus prevention guidelines, Mayor Byron Brown announced a shutdown of certain facilities on Buffalo park grounds.

Erie County Department of Health

A lack of coronavirus testing kits is troubling Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz as new positive cases of the virus spring up in the county. Two cases were confirmed Thursday, one in Amherst and the other from an undetermined location.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Erie County has its first evidence of community spread of COVID-19, meaning the new coronavirus is officially being transmitted between county residents and officials can longer be certain how residents were exposed.



Chris Caya / WBFO News

Seven individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in Erie County and officials are asking anyone who visited certain locations over the past two weeks to self-monitor for symptoms.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The total number of COVID-19 tests is starting to rise in Erie County, but none have been positive for the virus. County officials say there may well be an active case in the county now, but it hasn't shown up in a test.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Staying isolated in your bedroom. Using a bathroom that’s only used by you. Texting your temperature to health officials.


That’s life for the approximately 116 Erie County residents under 14-day voluntary quarantine due to the new coronavirus. Those quarantined don’t necessarily have the virus — no one in Erie County has tested positive thus far — but they are being monitored due to recent travel history or because they’ve been in contact with someone who does have the virus, as per U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.


Erie County

Erie County announced last month it will finally begin fining nursing homes for not complying with Ruthie's Law after months of scrutiny over a lack of enforcement. That caused local nursing homes to file a lawsuit, arguing Ruthie’s Law conflicts with state law and is therefore illegal. WBFO explored what happens when a local law potentially conflicts with state law.


Thomas O'Neill-White / WFO News

Erie County has changed its policy regarding the coronavirus, in an effort to preserve the privacy of individuals affected while keeping the public informed and safe.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

While the two Erie County families who recently traveled to Italy have tested negative for the new coronavirus, county officials warn the local fight against the outbreak, and the testing of more county residents, is far from over.


Thomas O'Neil-White

Despite no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in Western New York, Erie County officials are preparing for the worst.

WBFO file photo

The Buffalo Bills are committed to playing their home games at New Era Field through 2023. But Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, wanting to get a head start on preparations for future lease talks, is already putting out a call to law firms who may be interested in providing counsel when negotiations begin.

Google Street View

The Erie County administration announced last week it will finally begin fining nursing homes for not complying with Ruthie’s Law. Now nursing homes are fighting back.

Erie County

A parcel along Delaware Avenue is the preferred site for a new convention center, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced Thursday.

WBFO file photo

Roughly half of Erie County nursing homes are still not complying with Ruthie’s Law.


The county’s Department of Senior Services released the newest compliance data Tuesday, showing that only 18 of the county’s 35 nursing homes compiled with the law during the most recent reporting period.




WBFO file photo

The Buffalo Bills have informed Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz that the pro football franchise will not exercise an opt-out which could have ended its lease at New Era Field this summer.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

It’s been more than two years since Erie County passed Ruthie’s Law, yet none of the nursing homes that have failed to comply during that time have been penalized.


On Thursday, the Erie County Legislature finally got to directly ask the county’s Department of Senior Services why that is.


Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hinted he would try to limit local Medicaid spending during his State of the State Address earlier this month, saying county governments were all too eager to spend more because the state was paying for any increases. On Tuesday, Cuomo revealed how he intends to deter overspending: a 3% Medicaid spending cap.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Erie County is looking at another hefty bill for renovations and repairs at Erie County Community College North.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

Mark Poloncarz identified poverty, health and wellness, and the economy as the top priorities for his third term as Erie County Executive during his inauguration ceremony Tuesday.

File Photo / WBFO News

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for the former Bethlehem Steel site. The public heard plans Tuesday evening at St. Anthony's Church in Lackawanna.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Erie County officials received the influenza vaccine Wednesday in an effort to encourage residents to do the same.


Kyle S. Mackie / WBFO News

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz was threatened during a local radio program.