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County Adds 122 New Cases Of COVID-19

Active COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County increased to 731 on Friday as the department of health announced 122 new cases.

Hospitalizations once again remained at 42 and quarantined contacts decreased to 2,258 from 2,308 the previous day.

Jamestown dipped below 200 active cases for the first time since last week as the county reported 20 new cases in the city’s zip code. Twenty new cases were also reported in Dunkirk, 14 were reported in Bemus Point and nine new cases were reported in Fredonia.

Jamestown now has 190 active cases while Dunkirk has 159. Fredonia also has 68 active cases of the coronavirus.

“The positivity rate will change when communities decide it will change,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a release. “It’s still purely a function of how a community acts and there’s still personal responsibility. We talked about what would happen with COVID spread through the holiday season, and much of the diagnosis came true. We said that you were going to see the holiday season increase social activity, and I reminded New Yorkers every day to celebrate smart.”

He added, “People said that it was the holiday season and they wanted to celebrate, but if you don’t celebrate smart, we’ll see an increase in the COVID transmission rate. And we saw an increase in the COVID transmission rate. Over Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, we shot up like a rocket. After New Year’s Day, it started to flatten because the increase in social activity started to flatten. And now, we’re starting to see a drop post-New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. And that is good news. We’d rather not have seen the increase, but I believe the increase would have been worse if we weren’t smart and disciplined during the holidays.”

The number of coronavirus vaccine doses administered to Chautauqua County residents did not appear to increase from Wednesday to Thursday as the state grapples with how best to properly vaccinate the nearly 7 million people in populations 1a and 1b as well those 65-and-older. As of Friday, the number of first doses distributed held at 3,622 while the number of second doses also remained at 340.

State officials said 55,000 appointments available at the state’s newly opened vaccination center on Long Island’s Jones Beach were fully booked within two days.

“What you can’t get past, mathematically, is 7 million people chasing 300,000 doses. That is the mathematical problem you can’t solve,” Cuomo said.

New York is close to reaching a vital early goal of its coronavirus vaccine campaign: getting a first dose to every nursing home resident, Cuomo said on Friday. But the effort to protect those residents has unfolded more slowly than some administrators and relatives hoped.

Some 96% of the state’s nursing home residents have received at least an initial dose, and vaccination teams are due to reach the rest by Sunday, said Cuomo, a Democrat.

The federally run program to vaccinate nursing home residents and staff launched Dec. 21. As recently as Jan. 4, only 288 of the 611 facilities that signed up for the federal program had seen residents get their first visit from vaccination teams sent by private pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreens.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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