First COVID Cases Reported By Schools

The first positive cases of COVID-19 involving local school districts have been reported. The cases, two in Jamestown, come as schools recently welcomed back students — either in person, through distance learning or a combination of both.

The Jamestown Public Schools District, in a statement Wednesday, said it was notified by the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services, that two members of the Jamestown community tested positive for the coronavirus. The cases reportedly involve siblings who attend school through distance learning only and have not been physically present at Jamestown High School.

The district said it continues to work closely with the county Health Department on contact tracing of any confirmed cases. Any individuals who may have been in close contact with a confirmed case will be contacted directly by health officials with pertinent information and next steps.

“We appreciate our community’s efforts to work together to keep our students and staff safe by wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing and continuing frequent hand washing while on any school property,” Superintendent Dr. Kevin Whitaker said Wednesday. “The health and safety of our school community remains our number one priority.”

Students or staff that exhibit possible COVID-19 symptoms are asked to contact their health provider and stay home from school. Possible symptoms include fever over 100 F, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, vomiting or diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell.

Meanwhile, Dunkirk School Superintendent Michael Mansfield said two positive COVID-19 cases initially reported at School 7 to the state’s COVID-19 school report card were in error. He said the report was inaccurate due to human error in creating the report card submission on Tuesday.

“The district apologizes for any unnecessary concern this report may have caused and is taking steps to ensure the accuracy of this report in the future,” Mansfield said.


The county Health Department on Wednesday announced six new confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which one resides in Mayville and five in Fredonia. There remains 50 active cases, including three among employees with Fieldbrook Foods Inc. in Dunkirk and another one community contact with the ice cream manufacturing plant.

The department said 313 county residents were under quarantine/isolation orders by the public health director. 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 remains four people hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Monday, as well as 30 people under the domestic traveler quarantine, 521 recoveries, 10 deaths, 592 total confirmed cases and 39,534 negative test results.


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