MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Health commissioner Christine Schuyler said as of Thursday afternoon, there remains no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Chautauqua County.
Schuyler added that 35 people are now in precautionary quarantine. That’s 32 more than who were in precautionary quarantine at the start of this week. She also said that the limited number of testing that has been done has come back negative, although the county is still awaiting the results of 35 other tests.
“I don’t think there’s been more than 40. We’ve had a big increase this week and testing has been opened up a little more,” Schuyler said when asked by a member of the media, but she said she didn’t know the specific number off the top of her head. Earlier in the week the health department also told WRFA that private medical providers were no longer required to clear testing with the county health department so the exact number of total tests given to date throughout the county is difficult to track.
But due to the relatively small number of tests that have been performed so far, and the coronavirus’ ability to spread easily, Schuyler advised that the public act on the assumption that the illness is already present in the county. She also continued to emphasize the importance of social distancing and personal sacrifices needed to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Now is not the time to be selfish and go to work or go out in public. Or go on Spring break and hang with your friends on the beach or visit friends that are ill, especially those at high risk for severe disease. Because you could pass the virus on to others,” Schuyler noted.
According to Schuyler, About 80 percent of those who contract COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms and will recover without medical intervention. The general symptoms include a fever, dry cough, and/or shortness of breath.
Schuyler also said the hospital systems across the country currently don’t have the capacity to treat and save the remaining 20 percent of patients who may need medical care if they were all to get sick at once. She said that’s why social distancing is so important.
In Chautauqua County, WRFA has learned there are a total of 170 hospital beds in the county, 17 of which are ICU beds. The ICU bed count is important to note because those are the beds that can provide respirators and other important medical equipment for those who will be most adversely impacted by the virus.
On Thursday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo said state projections saw a peak in about five or six weeks of roughly 110,000 hospitalizations state-wide with most in the New York City Area, and 25,000 to 37,000 people in need of ICU beds.
According to the New York State Health Department, Thursday saw an increase of 1769 confirmed cases of COVID 19 across New York, bringing the new total to 4152.
As of Friday morning, John Hopkins University is reporting 38 deaths in the state caused by the virus, while the national total is at 205.
Worldwide, the death toll from COVID-19 passed 10,000 and infections exceeded 244,000.