MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County health officials are warning the public about the consequences of not following social distancing guidelines for COVID-19 as the county saw a 20% increase in confirmed coronavirus cases over a three-day period.
On Friday, the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services reported two new cases of COVID-19, following by four new cases on Saturday and another three cases on Sunday. The nine new cases involve two young adult males and seven females between 18 and 80. One of the cases is from the south county with the majority of other cases coming out of the north county.
The new cases brings the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 53 since the pandemic first began. Of those 53 cases, 14 are listed as active, 35 are considered recovered, and there’s also been four deaths. In addition, there are now a total of 214 people under quarantine/isolation orders. That is a 50% increase over just three days. Not all of those being monitored are confirmed to have COVID-19 but have either shown symptoms, are awaiting results, or have risk factors.
County health officials also said as of Sunday there were a total of 1754 negative test results reported since the start of the pandemic.
Health officials said on Sunday that the increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and in the number of ordered quarantine/isolation cases due to people not abiding by social distancing guidelines and gathering together.
“New York was put on PAUSE to decrease the spread of COVID-19 so that our healthcare systems were not overrun by too many seriously ill patients at one time,” said Christine Schuyler, County Public Health Director. “So far, it has worked here, but we are not out of the woods. We need to remain vigilant and smart about our actions.”
The county health department says new cases develop when people are in the same location at the same time and in close contact (defined as closer than 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes) with someone who is infected with the coronavirus. Large gatherings and parties cause an increase in the number of people being monitored.
Those who are identified as having been in close contact with a confirmed positive case are ordered, by the Public Health Director, to quarantine for 14 days.
County health officials also tell the public whether you support the “New York State on PAUSE” executive order or not, Chautauqua County remains on PAUSE until lifted by the Governor.
“When you choose to not attend a gathering, to abide by social distancing recommendations, to wear a covering over your mouth and nose, to frequently wash your hands and surfaces, you decrease your chance of contracting a virus that has the ability to cause severe illness and even death,” the health department said, adding that the coronavirus is a virus that you can bring home to your loved ones – some of whom might not be able to fight it off and it will also force you into quarantine for 14 days.
“Our residents must be diligent and continue to abide by the state’s rules so that this area can begin to reopen when appropriate,” the health department stated in its public message on Sunday. “Make the right choice. Stay home.”