COVID-19 INFORMATION & FAQ
The Erie County DOH, with support from NYSDOH, is establishing sites for point-of-care testing to identify COVID cases in school settings. At this time, the Erie County DOH will offer scheduled appointments for this testing to:
- Symptomatic students who attend any in-person classes in a school
- Symptomatic school employees (must bring a school ID)
The Erie County DOH will have three sites set up each weekday at a Northtowns, Central and Southtowns location starting Sept. 28, 2020. These appointments can be scheduled by calling 716-858-2929, the Erie County COVID-19 Information Line. The Erie County DOH will plan to open scheduling two days in advance; anyone who cannot be accommodated will be offered an appointment through their regular drive-through sites.
COVID-19 Health Overview
**NOTE: The following health information on the coronavirus is from the NYS Department of Health and NYS Education Department. Additional updates provided by the Tonawanda City School District.
A new coronavirus called 2019 Novel (new) Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first found in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This virus had not been found in humans before. This coronavirus can lead to fever, cough and trouble breathing or shortness of breath. There are currently thousands of newly diagnosed cases every day across the globe, including in the United States.
WHAT DO WE KNOW?
Since this virus is very new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working hard to learn as much as possible about this new virus, so that we can better understand how it spreads and causes illness. The CDC considers this virus to be a serious public health concern. Updated travel information related to COVID-19 can be found on the CDC's website.
HOW DOES 2019 NOVEL (NEW) CORONAVIRUS SPREAD?
Health experts believe the virus probably spreads from animals to humans and from person to person. It’s not clear yet how easily the virus spreads from person-to-person.
There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this virus. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:
- Wear a cloth face covering over your mouth and nose in public.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
- Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- CDC recommends that travelers avoid all non-essential travel.
Information to date suggests that COVID-19 causes mild-to-moderate illness and symptoms like the flu, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Can I Travel Outside of New York State?
Travel guidelines require all New Yorkers, as well as those visiting from out-of-state or another country, to take personal responsibility for compliance in the best interest of public health and safety.
Asymptomatic travelers entering New York from another country, U.S. state, or territory are no longer required to test or quarantine as of April 10, 2021. Quarantine, consistent with the CDC recommendations, is still recommended for all travelers who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19 during the previous 3 months. Symptomatic travelers must immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare providers to determine if they should seek COVID-19 testing.
The New York State Department of Health has issued interim guidance on this travel advisory, which was updated as of April 10, 2021.
More information on this travel advisory can be found on the NYSDOH website.
IMPORTANT HEALTH INFO FOR THOSE WHO RECENTLY TRAVELED AND EXPERIENCE SYMPTOMS
If you recently traveled and feel sick with fever, cough or trouble breathing; OR you develop symptoms within 14 days of traveling, you should:
- Seek medical care right away. Call ahead and tell them about your travel and symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Stay home, except for seeking medical care.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Contact your local health department.
This is an emerging, rapidly changing situation. For questions please contact the Erie County Department of Health COVID-19 Information Line at 716-858-2929 or the New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.