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More COVID-19 Cases Reported At County Jail

After facilitywide testing on Wednesday, additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified. Sheriff James Quattrone said 38 inmates and eight staff have tested positive following an outbreak at the jail. P-J file photo

MAYVILLE — Widespread testing at the Chautauqua County Jail following an outbreak of COVID-19 this week has netted additional cases.

Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone told The Post-Journal that all 194 inmates were tested between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday. Of those tested, 38 were confirmed to have COVID-19. The sheriff said 62 employees had been tested as of Thursday morning, with eight confirmed to have the virus.

The county first reported the outbreak at the jail Tuesday. At the time, 26 inmates and one employee were found to have come down with the virus after four inmates first presented symptoms.

Quattrone said it’s unlikely a new inmate brought the virus into the 15 E. Chautauqua St. jail in Mayville. That’s because all new inmates are put into quarantine for 14 days before they are placed into general population.

“It’s likely this was transmitted through staff or providers like mental health,” Quattrone said this week.

Quattrone said jail employees are screened each shift at one point of entry to ensure no one is showing any signs of the virus. The staff is also expected to self-report symptoms and stay home if they feel ill.

The number of active cases countywide continues to climb likely the result of the outbreak at the jail. According to statistics released Thursday on the county’s COVID dashboard, there were 199 active cases, an increase of 10 from Wednesday’s numbers.

Altogether, 32 new cases were reported, bringing the county’s total to date to 1,793. In addition, there remained 14 people with the virus in the hospital, 1,574 recoveries and 20 deaths.

The seven-day positivity rate, those who test positive for the virus compared to the total number of tests administered, was at 4.2%, up from the 4% announced Wednesday and the 3.7% on Tuesday.

Total cases seem to follow the population density across the county. The dashboard indicates 25.2% of cases to date (452) involve residents living in the Jamestown zip code; 20.4% of cases (366) have come from Dunkirk; 18.2% (326) from Fredonia; 4.7% (84) in Silver Creek; and 3.2% (58) in Bemus Point.

The Cattaraugus County Department of Health reported the 31st COVID-related death and 62 new cases to bring the total in Cattaraugus to 1,280.

And in Warren County, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has announced 37 new cases of COVID-19, which tied the county’s largest single daily increase. Thursday’s data marks the fifth day since Nov. 19 when more than 20 additional cases were reported in Warren County.

Josh Cotton in Warren contributed to this report.

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