Second county death reported; two more recover from virus

A male in his 70s is the second person in Chautauqua County to die from the coronavirus.

The county now has a total of 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with one new confirmed case reported today, a male in his 40s. This person lives in the eastern portion of the county, according to the county’s map. There has also been two more residents who have recovered from the illness bringing that number to seven. There has also been 199 negative tests.

In addition, the county offered these numbers:

· 10 active cases – continue to recover under orders of the Local Health Official per statePublic Health Law;

· seven recovered cases;

· 91 cases under quarantine/isolation orders by the Public Health Director and being monitored. Not all of those being monitored are confirmed to have COVID-19 but have either shown symptoms, are awaiting results, or have risk factors.

Chautauqua County Public Health staff said Monday it is conducting investigations to identify close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases.

Following new guidance from the state, contact tracing will now begin 48 hours before the day the person with the positive test started having symptoms. The state 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,” the department said in a news release. “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 (state Health Department), 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.”

In the midst of the most challenging public health crisis of our time, county officials also said it is more important than ever to celebrate National Public Health Week, which is today through Sunday.

“COVID-19 is causing heightened levels of stress,” officials said. “In particular, isolation and quarantine can be highly stressful. As can separation from loved ones. Many in the public health and health care sectors, as well as those working in affected industries, are shouldering a significant mental health burden. Reach out and check on your loved ones and community members.”


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