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5 New Virus Deaths Recorded Last Week In County

Chautauqua County recorded five new virus-related deaths last week in information released by the health department Wednesday.

The new deaths raised the total locally to 295.

From Jan. 16 to Jan. 22, the county also reported 1,653 new cases of COVID-19. To date there have been 24,531 confirmed cases and 24,044 recoveries.

As of Saturday, there were 33 people who tested positive for the virus in the hospital, up from the 31 reported the week ending Jan. 15.

New confirmed cases have remained steady this month. There were 1,653 reported the week ending Jan. 22; 1,743 reported the week ending Jan. 15; and 1,855 reported the week ending Jan. 8. Prior to that, the county had not seen more than 850 new cases in a given week since at least October.

On Wednesday, the county Health Department said it would no longer report active cases and close contacts on its COVID-19 dashboard.

“Because of the changes to isolation and quarantine protocols, cases are closed more quickly than they were in the past,” the department said on its dashboard. “With the changes to contact tracing, fewer contacts are being reported to the department. These figures no longer accurately reflect cases or contacts in the community. Additionally, because more cases are being detected with at-home rapid tests, and we are not always aware of the results, it should be noted that the total case counts reported here reflect the minimum and not the total amount of cases experienced in the community.”

Regarding vaccination status, 68.2% of the county’s population over the age of 5 (those eligible to receive the vaccine) have received at least one dose while 60.7% have been fully vaccinated.

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