JAMESTOWN – When the first three cases of COVID-19 were reported in Chautauqua County on Monday and Tuesday of last week, county health officials noted the locations where the individuals lived – which were Dunkirk, Silver Creek, and Ashville.
However, during a press conference on Friday afternoon when two new additional cases were reported, Chautauqua County Health Commissioner Christine Schuyler said she was no longer going to list the location of any future cases.
“We’re not giving a demographic location. And I will be very frank and honest when I tell you, it doesn’t matter,” Schuyler said. “We have proof positive that COVID-19 is now spreading throughout our community. There are cases located at all ends of the county, in every neighboring county around us… what that means is we really need to be vigilant. We need to be aware that we have a very serious virus spreading in our nation.”
The commissioner’s unwillingness to list the residences for any cases moving forward did not go unnoticed by Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, who released a statement Saturday afternoon saying that despite the county not reporting any cases coming out of Jamestown, he is aware of potential cases in the city.
“I want to remind residents that the Chautauqua County Health Department, the lead agency for the COVID-19 response, has not publicly confirmed any positive cases in the City of Jamestown. My office is aware of social media posts and other conversations regarding potential cases,” Sundquist said.
And while he didn’t specifically call on the health department to release the locations where any confirmed cases are based out of, Sundquist did call for transparency when addressing the current healthcare crisis.
“As Mayor, I firmly believe total transparency is necessary to fight this disease and any misconceptions surrounding it. But, as I have said all along, a confirmed case in the City is not a matter of if, but when. In the meantime, the City will do what we have done all along: be proactive and take any precautionary measures we feel are necessary to fight this disease,” Sundquist said.
Sundquist is also urging all City residents to continue as they have been; stay home as much as possible, maintain social distance, and take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of you and your family.
“The City will remain committed to updating all residents on any new information we receive. Please stay positive, stay healthy, and do your part to help reduce the spread,” he said.
Meanwhile, The Chautauqua county health department is also continuing to advise everyone to act as if they have, or have come in contact with someone who has, COVID-19.