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County Reports 47th COVID Death; 105 New Cases

Chautauqua County reported its 47th COVID-related death on Thursday along with 105 new cases.

According to previously released data, the fatality appears to be an individual in their 60s.

Active cases increased in one day from 695 to 721, according to the data. Hospitalizations once again remained steady at 42. Of the new cases, 30 involve people living in the Dunkirk zip code, nine in Fredonia, five in Silver Creek, 33 in Jamestown and five in Westfield.

There are now 208 active cases in Jamestown, 160 active in Dunkirk and 74 in Fredonia. There are also 29 active cases in Lakewood, 28 active cases in Silver Creek, 24 in Westfield, 21 in Falconer and another 20 in Frewsburg.

In Cattaraugus County, 58 new cases were reported Wednesday for 3,181 to date. There were currently 513 active cases as well as 45 people in the hospital and 64 deaths.

“New York is pushing forward to conduct more tests, add to hospital beds and make it easier to get the COVID-19 vaccine across the state, but we need New Yorkers to stay vigilant and take safe precautions as the virus is still spreading,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a release Thursday. “Washing hands, wearing masks and social distancing are vital tools New Yorkers can use to stay safe, and local governments are bound to enforce state public health law. We’re moving through a difficult period in our history, and I know COVID fatigue has set in and New Yorkers crave normalcy, but we will get through this together and come out on the other side.”

Meanwhile, restaurants in some COVID-19 hot spots in New York can once again offer limited indoor dining in the wake of the latest lawsuit against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s virus restrictions.

Up to four people per table can now dine indoors in seven so-called “orange zones” located in counties with some of the state’s highest rates of COVID-19 cases or hospitalizations: including Monroe County in the Finger Lakes and New York City’s Staten Island.

The decision comes a day after some Erie County restaurants won a preliminary injunction for themselves against the state’s enforcement of the indoor dining ban in yellow zones.

Cuomo’s counsel Kumiki Gibson said his office disagrees with the decision and is reviewing it.

“While that process is ongoing, to ensure uniformity and fairness, all restaurants operating in orange zones can now operate under rules governing yellow zones,” she said. “We disagree with the court’s decision and its impact on public health as Federal CDC data clearly demonstrates indoor dining increases COVID-19 spread. From the start of this pandemic, the state has acted based on facts and the advice of public health experts, and we will continue that approach.”

State Supreme Court Justice Henry Nowak said he could not “find evidence that the state had a rational basis to designate portions of Erie County as an orange zone” and that the restaurants would suffer “irreparable harm” without the injunction.

It’s the latest lawsuit that has questioned Cuomo’s micro-cluster approach that he launched in October.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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