Slight COVID-19 Increase in Erie County / WNY
According to a WGRZ News report, a slight increase in COVID-19 cases in Erie County is being blamed on a community spread among specific clusters such as families, nursing homes, and businesses, according to Erie Count Executive Marc Polencarz. The report also states that statistics show that the spread is prevalent among 20 and 30-year-old people.
There is some discrepancy however regarding the County being more transparent and specific about which nursing homes and businesses, particularly, have contributed to the spread, however, according to the WGRZ report, Deputy County Executive Maria Whyte said the County is not allowed to disclose specific information as to which businesses and nursing homes are in question based on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), saying this, according to WGRZ News:
"No, because we can't provide information that would identify individuals," adding "I'm sorry, we believe the law is on our side, and we're protecting individuals."
That information is being challenged and disputed by local Attorney Barry Covert who said this:
"That's why we know that universities have an outbreak, schools have an outbreak, that different business have outbreaks such as Tyson Foods. And no one is claiming that they can't disclose that that business or a particular school or a particular university can't be disclosed if they have COVID because it's protected by HIPAA."
Polencarz also weighed in on gyms who are not following proper guidelines, according to the WGRZ report, saying that there is no desire to shut them down, but that out of the 600 gym facilities here, 200 of them have not even had their facilities properly inspected per State requirements and they will be shut down if they don't comply.