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Active Cases Of COVID Down In County

From left, County Executive PJ Wendel and Christine Schuyler, county public health director, during the COVID-19 update in Mayville Friday. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

The two clusters of COVID-19 cases are trending in the right direction.

On Friday during the Chautauqua County COVID-19 news conference, Christine Schuyler, county public health director, said of the 82 cases connected to Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk, only four are still active. She said of the 61 employees of the company who tested positive, only four are still active. She added of the 21 close contacts cases connected to the business, all have fully recovered.

“The cluster is under control now,” she said.

Schuyler said county Health and Human Services Department employees and Fieldbrook Foods officials performed diligent work to appropriately monitor and take action to control the spread of the virus. She also said tremendous amount of work has gone into controlling the spread of COVID-19 at the State University of New York at Fredonia. She said there has been a total of 84 cases connected to Fredonia students, of which not all are from Chautauqua County, but still get reported with the county’s other cases. She added that there are 54 active cases and 30 have recovered.

“I’m hoping we’re over the hump on that,” she said about the cluster at Fredonia.

Schuyler said as students returned to the university and off-campus parities were being held, the increase in cases occurred. She is hoping the number of cases will continue to decrease.

“I honestly don’t know if that will be the end of it,” she said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this week the launch of the COVID-19 Report Card, an online dashboard that tracks real-time COVID-19 infections and testing operations of every school and school district in the state. The public can view the report card, which is updated daily, by visiting schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov.

County Executive PJ Wendel said because of this report card, starting Monday county officials will be reporting new cases by zip code only.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have been very cautious about what personal information is given out about individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19 so we are abiding by privacy laws to protect the patient while still keeping our residents informed about cases of the virus in our county,” he said. “Keeping privacy laws in mind paired with the fact that our community populations are much smaller than neighboring Erie County, we have been reluctant in announcing cases by municipalities as we felt it would easily pinpoint individuals in small communities. Considering that our number of cases has grown and that each school is required to provide COVID-19 reporting of the students and staff in its district, we now feel it is possible to announce new cases by zip code, with the person’s age and gender no longer being provided.”

John Griffith, county emergency services director, said the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has shown the true strength of Chautauqua County.

“For the Office of Emergency Services, working as logistic support for Christine Schuyler and the Department of Health there have been many events over the past months where the working relationships in county government and with agencies outside of government have proven that people in this county do work together and are offered assistance when needed,” Griffith said. “It is fitting that on 9/11 that while we remember the brave first responders in New York, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon that we also thank all our first responders who have come together in Chautauqua County during this pandemic to contribute to efforts to contain COVID-19.”

COUNTY COVID-19 UPDATE

County officials announced there were eight new COVID-19 cases Wednesday. There are 98 active cases in the county, which is down 26 compared to Thursday.

There are 470 cases under quarantine/isolation orders. Not all of those being monitored are confirmed to have COVID-19, but have either shown symptoms, are awaiting results or have risk factors. There are 252 people are under domestic traveler quarantine for having arrived to Chautauqua County from a state listed on the state’s travel advisory. There are two people hospitalized, regardless of residency, in the county.

To date, Chautauqua County had 450 recovered cases, 10 deaths, 558 total confirmed cases and 38,013 negative test results.

Of the 534 cases between March 24 and Sept. 9, Schuyler said 381, or 71.3%, had at least one symptom of the infection. The five most frequently reported symptoms included cough at 53.2%, headache at 48.4%, fatigue at 42.7% and fever at 40.8%. Of the 534 cases, 32, or 6%, were hospitalized.

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