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SANDUSKY, Ohio (WJW) – Close to two dozen Erie County Health Department workers filled a conference room Tuesday, all spaced 6 feet a part and wearing masks.

They spent several hours connected to their laptops and cell phones trying to contact those who have recently tested positive with COVID-19.

“I think in here right now there is like 20 people in and out. We got eight others in the department and a group of volunteers that are on boarding with us,” said Erie County Health Commissioner Pete Schade. “We have been swamped with cases. To give you an idea, from one little event now we got over 200 people that were quarantined. “

Schade said the uptick in COVID-19 cases is putting a strain on health departments all over the state, and they are pleading with everyone to wear masks and follow guidelines from health officials.

“Please wear the mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing. We got to get this under control,” Schade said. “This virus is beating us right now and it’s going to get worse if we don’t work together to control it.”

Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda agreed and asked everyone to avoid large gathering during the holidays.

“This is our last chance to change our behaviors or we are going to be in for a very large surge after Thanksgiving as well as Christmas,” Skoda said.  “And that could mean January and February could be very dark months for us.”

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