MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Health officials say a third person in the county has tested positive for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.
In a media release sent out late Tuesday afternoon, County Health Commissioner Christine Schuyler said the individual who tested positive is a resident of the Ashville area and had recent traveled to New York City.
The third case is in addition to two others announced on Monday from Silver Creek and Dunkirk. Those were identified as two unrelated cases, but both those individuals had recently traveled to Buffalo.
“It is very likely that our County we will have more confirmed cases. Our goal is to identify new cases quickly and prevent or limit secondary exposures to ensure public health and safety,” Schuyler said via the media release.
The health department also said 14 people are in Mandatory Quarantine because they are either one of the three confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, or are a household contact of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case. In addition, nine people are in Precautionary Quarantine because they had recently traveled to a level 3 country or were in close contact of a confirmed case. And 40 others are in mandatory isolation because they are symptomatic of COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of testing.
The health department is also continuing its intensive epidemiological investigations to identify the close contacts of those with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Schuyler also noted that they’ve heard from some full-time County residents who are concerned about seasonal residents returning from areas outside of the County during the pandemic. She reminds the public that as of today, there is no travel ban in place.
“At this point, it’s not about the actual travel by car or where people are coming from. What really matters is what people do when they arrive and how we interact,” said Schuyler. “The guidance for social distancing and hygiene are the same for Chautauqua County residents whether they live here year-round or seasonally. When everyone adheres to these commonsense pandemic rules, we slow and limit community spread of illness.”
She added that the County’s COVID-19 Response Team is working collaboratively with seasonal communities such as the Chautauqua Institution, Lily Dale, and campgrounds to ensure precautionary messages are shared with residents.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Stay home when you are sick;
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash can. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
- Put distance between yourself and others: abide by social distancing measures and maintain 6 feet of separation from those you must be in close contact with;
- Get a flu shot for yourself and your family members at a local pharmacy. This will not prevent COVID-19 but it will prevent you from getting flu, keeping you healthy and out of the hospital.
Downstate Continues to See Brunt of Confirmed Cases
The rate of coronavirus cases in New York is increasing dramatically more than anticipated, and the height of the infections could strike the state in two or three weeks, when as many as 140,000 hospital beds may be needed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.
New York had 25,665 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Tuesday morning, an increase of more than 4,700 cases from Monday and more than 10 times the national rate of infections. There have been 210 deaths in New York due to COVID-19.
Cuomo’s warning that other states can expect to experience the same spike in confirmed coronavirus cases came a few hours before President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, in an interview on the White House lawn with Fox News, said they are anticipating restarting the economy and having people return to work around April 12 — Easter Sunday.
The governor said that Trump is right that the economy cannot sustain a continued shutdown, but he said that public health still comes first.
According to Johns Hopkins University, in the USA there’s over 55,000 confirmed cases with 800 deaths being reported. Worldwide, the number of cases also continues to grow with 425,000 reported along with 19,000 deaths.