COVID cases are decreasing but lagging vaccinations is causing concern in Chautauqua County.
The County Health Department reported 13 deaths and 689 new cases of COVID-19 in Chautauqua County for December 12 through 18.
While hospitalizations remain at 41 people, Public Health Director Christine Schuyler said in a statement, “Forty percent of the eligible population in the County is not vaccinated but the unvaccinated account for nearly 70% of those hospitalized with COVID-19.”
She added, “I’m very concerned that as people gather for the holidays, especially indoors, we’re going to see an even bigger surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths than we’re seeing after the Thanksgiving holiday.”
The total number of people who have died in Chautauqua County from COVID-19 is now 257.
The county’s 7-day average positivity rate is 10.4%. The CDC level of community transmission remains “high.”
There are 602 active cases with 190 of the new cases located in the city of Jamestown. Since August 1, 68% of new cases were in people who were unvaccinated.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 17,884 confirmed cases in the county, with 17,025 being listed as recovered.
According to the CDC Vaccination Tracker, 62.3% of the county’s total population have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 55.7% of the total population is fully vaccinated.
Schuyler said the Health Department adamantly says people should take a layered disease prevention strategy of getting vaccinated – including boosters, wearing masks, frequently washing hands, and staying home when ill.