County eyes declining numbers of COVID cases

Chautauqua County is hoping it is beyond the “peak of cases” regarding COVID-19. Numbers released Monday — in addition to the last week — indicate that may be the case.

The county Health Department recorded 51 new cases from Friday through Sunday, an average of 17 a day. In the past seven days prior, there had been an average of about 25 new cases reported, significantly fewer than the days where between 40 and 110 new cases were being released beginning around the first of December.

Of the new cases noted Monday, 22 came from the Jamestown zip code, five in Bemus Point, four in Frewsburg, four in Silver Creek, three in Mayville and two each in Dunkirk, Gerry, Kennedy, Lakewood and Sinclairville.

There are currently 141 active cases, 13 people with the virus in the hospital, 415 people in quarantine and a seven-day positivity rate of 1.4%. That rate, calculated by taking the number of positive cases compared to the total number of tests administered, has dropped consistently the last two weeks.

“With vaccinations on the rise and winter holidays in the books, we are hopeful that our county is now beyond our peak of cases,” said Breeanne Agett, epidemiologist with the county Health Department. “Our highest reported number of daily cases was 265 on Jan. 9.”

County Executive PJ Wendel attributed the ongoing downward trend in new cases, active cases and hospitalization rate to residents complying with facial covering mandates and social distancing; the passing of the year-end holidays and its gatherings that caused a spike in new cases; and the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to a significant portion of the eligible population.

“It’s the residents,” Wendel said in an interview last week. “The residents are doing what they’ve been asked to do and what they were doing early on (during the pandemic). Hats off to them.”

In December, 2,008 cases of COVID were reported in the county with January having 2,882 — the highest month total of the pandemic. Through Sunday, there have been 887 cases.

Residents should continue to take standard COVID-19 precautions and follow state and CDC COVID-19 guidelines, the county Health Department noted in a news release. New variants around the globe continue to threaten progress made toward overcoming the pandemic.

As of Feb. 13, 11,457 Chautauqua County residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 506 have received their second dose. Full immunity is not achieved until 14 days after the second dose, Agett said.

In Cattaraugus County, nine new COVID cases were reported Sunday, marking 4,232 to date. There were currently 223 active cases, 18 people with the virus in the hospital and a seven-day positivity rate of 3.2%.

There have been 85 COVID-related fatalities in Cattaraugus County in addition to 3,917 total recoveries.

And in Warren County, 13 new cases of the virus were noted between Saturday and Monday. There have been a total of 2,135 cases in Warren County, with 1,741 confirmed and 393 probables.

Across Pennsylvania, there have been 788,714 confirmed cases and 126,304 probables.


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