Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is being lauded for his leadership during the ongoing escalation of the public health threat posed by the coronavirus. Poloncarz and Gail Burnstein, the Erie County Commissioner of Public Health, have been frequently available to local media and have staged a series of press conferences aimed at providing the public information to help individuals avoid infection.
Although only three cases have been confirmed in Erie County, the Department of Public Health has rapidly scaled up its own capacity to test for the coronavirus, even at a time when the federal government has seemed slow to do the same. Poloncarz has been encouraging Erie County residents to stop ‘panic buying’ and to remain at home for the time being.
Sources close to the County Executive say that he will be proposing a slew of new public policy initiatives and changes to municipal building codes that make restaurants and places of business more resistant to pandemic events. He will be proposing the installation of hand sanitizer dispensers outside of restaurant entrances and the elimination of bathroom doors on public restrooms that have multiple stalls, in order to reduce the transmission of germs on door handles.