The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services reported Wednesday afternoon there are now 20 people who’ve been placed in precautionary quarantine, but so far there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The health department reported on Facebook early Wednesday evening that they are only aware of 22 people having been tested for the virus in Chautauqua County. However, providers are no longer require the county’s clearance to order tests, so the number could be higher. Health officials say they are working on some mechanisms to track that better.
County Health Commissioner Christine Schuyler said late last week that any specimen collected is taken to the Erie County Public Health Lab in Buffalo by the Local Health Department staff.
The low test total in our County is indicative of a national trend that the supply of test kits is still not meeting the demand.
Officials in Erie County on Wednesday said so far just 178 county residents there have been tested with another 378 tests pending. Erie County’s health commissioner said there is a shortage of certain laboratory supplies, so as of Thursday, they are not going to be able to test any additional individuals over and above what individuals are already scheduled for testing.
Erie County officials also say that if you have not been scheduled for testing, you will not be able to get tested.
As for the total confirmed cases to our north, Erie County Officials announced Wednesday night there are seven new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to 27. Overall across New York State, the total confirmed cases by the State Health Department was an estimated 2400 by Wednesday afternoon with 20 deaths being reported in the state by Johns Hopkins University. Wednesday’s state-wide case number is the result of 1000 new confirmed above what was reported on Tuesday.
The total confirmed cases for the entire country is approaching 9500, with 150 deaths so far reported. It is believed that the peak number of actives cases in the U.S. would not hit until April 30.
Meanwhile, UPMC Chautauqua in Jamestown announced Wednesday that all visitation is suspended, except when medically necessary or if there is an imminent end-of-life situation for an immediate family member. The hospital also said that any visitor the required exceptions must still be screened for symptoms – cough, shortness of breath, or fever – or potential exposure to someone with COVID-19. The hospital also said the duration and number of visits should be minimized.
The Chautauqua County Health department also reported the blood supply at our local hospitals has been threatened by the pandemic. If you are healthy and eligible, it is safe to donate blood.
The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild. But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk, along with those with auto immune deficiencies.
The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.
Those who are showing symptoms are asked to shelter in place. Meanwhile, if you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.
Have a Question? Call the Novel Coronavirus Hotline 24/7 at 1-888-364-3065 or visit the State Health Department’s COVID-19 web page.