As precautions continue over the coronavirus Border Crossings in the Western New York area are keeping a close eye on those entering the country.

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On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 11 people downstate have tested positive for the disease, and he expects that number to increase.

No cases of coronavirus have been reported in Western New York, but health officials are concerned the disease could  make its way here.

“Toronto has 19 cases of coronavirus,” explained Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. “I know everyone is talking about the downstate cases, but we’re 90 miles away, as the crow flies, from 19 cases.”

Because of this, U.S. Customs & Border Patrol are following federal guidelines on who they allow into the country.

“All CBP ports of entry are following the same operational guidance as issued by the Presidential Proclamations and the Department of Homeland Security.  With exceptions specified in the Proclamations, foreign nationals (other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and flight crew) who have been physically present in China or Iran within 14 days of their arrival at a U.S. port of entry will be denied entry into the United States. Additionally, any traveler exempted from the Proclamations who has been in anywhere in mainland China or Iran within 14 days of their return will be referred to CDC for additional health screening. Individuals arriving at a land port of entry who are denied entry under the proclamations may be allowed to withdraw their application for admission, at the discretion of the CBP officer.”


Nationally, physicians are continuing to work on a vaccination for the coronavirus, but it may take another year to 16 months before that is available to the public.

In Erie County, health officials no longer have to ship coronavirus samples to Albany. Instead, they now have approval from the CDC to conduct and analyze their own testing.


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