A local parent group is calling for Health Commissioner Gale Burstein’s resignation saying the health department’s policies regarding covid in the schools and quarantining ultimately keep kids out of the classroom.

That elicited this response from Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz

“No. Dr. Gale R. Burstein has saved countless lives in this community. And the individuals who are out there critiquing her, have their right to their opinion, but they don’t have the right to the facts. You are not being fired.

The parent group responded by saying...

If you’re a medical professional, if you’re job is to understand the pandemic, if your job is to create an effective response to the pandemic, i think the county, at this point, has shown that they’re not capable of doing that,” said Jonathan Rich parent advocate with WNY Students First parent.

The group goes on to say children are being impacted academically, mentally, and emotionally.

“What families are going through are true suffering. I hear from someone on a weekly basis, can you put me in tough with the crisis hotline, I need counseling services for my child,” said Tarja Parssinen parent advocate with WNY Students First.

Erie County maintains its policies are based on science and on New York State Health Department standards. A recent surge in covid cases is being seen in school-aged students with Poloncarz saying there are now 642 new cases in local schools.

“Not every case, but almost all cases are students, not faculty and staff like we saw earlier. They’re students,” Poloncarz said.

 

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