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COVID-19 claims first Chautauqua County resident

MAYVILLE — The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services was notified today of the death of a County resident due to complications of COVID-19. The deceased was an elderly gentleman in his 80’s who underwent COVID-19 testing and treatment at a hospital in Erie, PA.

As of today, Chautauqua County has a total of eight (8) confirmed cases of COVID-19; including one death. The other seven individuals are recovering at home. Today’s numbers:

21 individuals in Mandatory Quarantine (individuals confirmed positive of COVID-19 or a household contact of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case);

32 individuals in Precautionary Quarantine (individuals with travel history to CDC level 3 country or proximal contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19);

18 individuals in Mandatory Isolation (individuals who are symptomatic of COVID-19 and are pending COVID-19 lab test);

98 negative test results to date; and

1 Death.

Chautauqua County Public Health staff performs an intensive investigation to identify close contacts of all confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. Following guidance from NYSDOH, contact tracing begins on the day the person with the positive test started having symptoms. NYSDOH deems this the beginning of the infectious period. Once identified, our department notifies the close contacts of their potential exposure to COVID-19 and they are placed under mandatory or precautionary quarantine to monitor for symptoms. If you do not personally hear from a public health nurse, you are not a close contact of an individual who has been confirmed to have COVID-19. Per NYSDOH, close contact refers to a person who cared for or lived with a person with COVID-19. It does not include activities such as walking by a person or sitting across a waiting room or office for a brief time.

There continues to be a national shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gowns, collection swabs, and viral transport media supplies. As such, it is critical that laboratory testing be prioritized for hospitalized patients and ill health care workers and nursing homes residents. PPE must be appropriately utilized by the appropriate people. It is critical that we protect our healthcare workforce.

Any resident experiencing a fever, with cough or shortness of breath should call your health care provider first for guidance. (DO NOT show up at their office, Urgent Care, or ER before calling). If symptoms are severe and/or you require an ambulance for transport, call 911 and notify the operator of your severe respiratory symptoms.

If you are overwhelmed right now, the NYS COVID-19 Emotional Support Line is staffed by specially trained volunteers who can help. Reach Out 1-844-863-9314.

The outbreak of COVID-19 around the world has led to the spread of fear and panic for individuals and communities. In addition to following physical precautions guidelines, individuals should be taking care of their psychological well-being. The guide at this link includes tips for the general population, individuals receiving mental health services, parents, caregivers of older adults, and mental health providers: https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/guidance/covid-19-managing-stress-anxiety.pdf

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