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County virus deaths near 100

The number of people who have died due to complications with the coronavirus is about to surpass the 100 mark in Chautauqua County. And according to state Health Department information, more than 37% of those recorded fatalities involve residents of local nursing homes.

The county Health Department on Wednesday reported nine new virus-related deaths, which combined with 11 on Tuesday and 23 late last week, brings the total to 97. According to county data, four of the total deaths involve people between the ages of 40 and 49; three between 50 and 59; eight between 60 and 69; 23 between 70 and 79; 39 between 80 and 89; and 20 over the age of 90.

It’s not known exactly where the spike in new COVID-related deaths are originating or — like during last week’s numbers — if they are from nursing facilities that don’t always notify county health officials right away, resulting in a lag for them being reported.

What is known, though, is that 36 residents, as of Wednesday, have died with the virus inside several county nursing homes. According to information collected from the facilities, five of the deaths involve residents of Absolut Care of Westfield; 21 at Chautauqua Nursing and Rehab in Dunkirk; seven at Heritage Green in Greenhurst; and three at Heritage Village in Gerry.

By comparison, Cattaraugus County has reported three such deaths to date inside nursing homes, all from Absolut Care in Allegany.

The local rate could be higher than indicated. In New York state, COVID deaths are only recorded if a resident dies within the facility. Those who are transported to the hospital then pass away do not count toward the nursing home totals.

Meanwhile, a day after new COVID cases in the county were the lowest reported in a month, officials noted 108 new ones Wednesday.

There have been 6,398 confirmed cases, of which 396 were considered active, along with 38 people in the hospital and 1,810 people in quarantine. Of the new cases, 16 were of people living in the Dunkirk zip code, 17 in Fredonia, 26 in Jamestown, nine in Lakewood, five in Sherman and seven in Westfield.

In Cattaraugus County, 43 new COVID cases were reported Tuesday evening. There have been 3,642 confirmed cases, of which 414 were currently considered active. There also have been 3,156 total recoveries to date as well as 48 people with COVID in the hospital, 71 deaths and a seven-day positivity rate of 6%.

And in Warren County, there were 11 new cases of COVID-19 and three more COVID-related deaths. The Pennsylvania Department of Health published a new total of 85 COVID-related deaths and 1,970 cases.

More than 5% of the Warren County population has now had COVID-19. The department reported a rate of 5,026.7 per 100,000.

The news at Warren General Hospital continues to be good. For Tuesday and Wednesday, the number of COVID-positive patients at the hospital was seven — down from 27 on Monday. There had been at least 17 patients in every report from Dec. 21 with a maximum of 33 reported on Jan. 8.

Brian Ferry contributed to this report.

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