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UPDATE: Schuyler Issues Statement On COVID-19 Outbreak

A statement has been issued Sunday by the Chautauqua County Health Department regarding an outbreak of COVID-19 at a north county business.

Christine Schuyler, county public health director, noted in an email the county Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Division works collaboratively with employers when a case(s) of COVID-19 is identified.

“We are working collaboratively with an employer in the north county where an employee(s) tested positive for COVID-19.” Schuyler said. “This employer has been very cooperative and is following all of the required and recommended state protocols for this industry. In partnership with the (state Health Department), we are continuing our public health work on this situation.”

She said with every positive case of COVID-19, disease investigation is conducted and isolation and quarantine orders are issued. Only when close contacts cannot adequately be identified or located, will public health agencies issue a public notification with more specific information to assist in locating contacts and mitigating disease spread.

Schuyler’s comments come after the OBSERVER first reported on Saturday a major north county business as the site of the recent spike in area COVID-19 cases. The OBSERVER also was informed on Saturday that of the 19 active cases announced by the Chautauqua County Health Department on Friday, eight are believed to be tied to one Dunkirk location.

The OBSERVER and the county are not naming the business at this time, but employees and members of their families are aware of the problem and have told this newspaper about their concerns. The business, it should be noted, is not frequented by consumers or open to the public.

Other major outbreaks, not reported by the county and the Health Department, include a boat gathering on the Fourth of July on Chautauqua Lake. Also, before Memorial Day, a birthday party led to nine cases of COVID-19.

One of the employees of the business who reached out to the newspaper and asked not to be named noted the business received two new positive cases Friday after learning of six on Thursday.

Most of the testing for the employees is being done at the WellNow Urgent Care site on Vineyard Drive.

The OBSERVER has also reached out to the business on Saturday through email and has not received a response.

According to the county map, which is no longer updated during the weekend, there are 11 active cases in the north county section at this time.

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