According to the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services, two new cases were reported on Saturday afternoon after health officials also reported two new cases on Friday. That’s in addition to three other cases reported earlier last week.
All seven residents who tested positive are now in mandatory quarantine. In addition, 14 other individuals are also in Mandatory Quarantine because they are a household contact of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case. Another 38 individuals are also in Precautionary Quarantine. They are individuals with travel history that could have put them in contact with COVID-19 or they have proximal contact of a confirmed case of the virus. And 22 others are Mandatory Isolation. These are individuals who are symptomatic of COVID-19 and are pending a COVID-19 lab test.
Health officials also said on Sunday that only a total of 87 test results from across the county have come back negative to date.
Due to the low number of testing that has taken place so far, county health commissioner Christine Schuyler has said there is likely a far greater number of people who have the virus than just the confirmed cases.
“I firmly believe that COVID-19 is at the level of community spread, meaning that regardless of our ability to test or even to have a large number of positive tests, the virus is here and without the extensive community mitigation strategies that are being deployed it will spread at a rampant rate,” Schuyler said during a press conference last week.
County officials say the Chautauqua County COVID-19 Response Team also continues to meet daily and urges residents to please stay home and stay safe. Limit your trips to the grocery store to once a week if possible, remember to use social distancing, and avoid gathering in groups.
Schuyler also said that whenever a positive case is confirmed by the health department, it will perform an intensive investigation using guidelines from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to identify close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases. Once a close contact is identified, the department notifies those contacts of their potential exposure and they are placed under mandatory or precautionary quarantine to monitor for symptoms.
“If you do not personally hear from a public health nurse, you are not a close contact of an individual who has been confirmed to have COVID-19. Per NYSDOH, close contact refers to a person who cared for or lived with a person with COVID-19. It does not include activities such as walking by a person or sitting across a waiting room or office for a brief time,” the health department noted in its Sunday update.
The health department is also offering guidelines for families who are adapting to the evolving changes in daily life caused by the COVID-19.
“It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking the necessary actions that reduce the risk of illness,” health officials say.
Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety. This is also a tremendous opportunity for adults to model for children problem-solving, flexibility, and compassion as we all work through adjusting daily schedules, balancing work and other activities, getting creative about how we spend time, processing new information from authorities, and connecting and supporting friends and family members in new ways.
- Stay calm, listen, and offer reassurance.
- Monitor television viewing and social media.
- Take time to talk.
- Be honest and accurate, but keep explanations age-appropriate.
- Stay connected to school.
- Know the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath).
- Model basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices.
- Be aware of your children’s mental health.
Individuals with questions or concerns regarding Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) or travel related questions are encouraged to call the New York State Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline 24/7 at 1-888-364-3065.