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County updates COVID death totals, number near 75

Before Thursday, Chautauqua County’s Health Department has been under-reporting the number of deaths tied to COVID-19.

In its daily update, released this afternoon, the county is now noting 75 have died due to the virus. “Sadly, deaths from COVID-19 reported today are 23,” the department reported. “These county residents have died over the last few weeks in long term care facilities. COVID-19 cases in long term care facilities are monitored and managed by the New York State Department of Health. Deaths in long term care facilities and hospitals must be reported to the state, not to the County Health Department. Statistics and information is as updated and accurate as possible, based on the information available to us and provided to us.”

Both the OBSERVER and The Post-Journal have noted increasing deaths in nursing home facilities in recent weeks, specifically the Chautauqua Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Dunkirk.

According to state Health Department information, 20 residents at Chautauqua Nursing & Rehab have died due to COVID-related complications in addition to four residents of Absolut Care of Westfield, three at Heritage Green in Greenhurst and one at Heritage Village in Gerry.

Overall, the county reported 80 new cases, bringing the total number to 6,018. There are 475 active cases and 5,468 have recovered. Highest new cases include: 27 in Jamestown, 18 in Dunkirk, eight in Fredonia and six in Lakewood.

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