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Reed says county clinic site ‘highly likely’

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed said on Wednesday morning it is “highly likely” a mass vaccination clinic for COVID-19 will be coming to Chautauqua County in the near future.

His comments came after a news report earlier this week that a planned location by the federal government here was rejected by New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“I’m glad we called him out,” Reed said of Cuomo’s actions. “We stood up to the bully.”

Throughout the early moments of the call with area media, Reed expressed being “upset” over the governor denying the plan for the site, which had the support of the Center of Disease Control due to the county’s demographics. Pressure has now swayed to Albany, he said, to bring a clinic to fruition.

Reed did not, however, know specifics for how soon it would happen. “My ideal goal would be a mass vaccination site and a facility that can do 1,000 shots a day,” said the Corning Republican.

News of the potential nixed site came to light on Monday afternoon. Reed was one of the first to speak out about the decision that was made in Albany. “We were able … to make sure the people of Western New York, the people of the Southern Tier get that vaccine in their arm as soon as possible so that their lives are protected,” the Congressman said. “That is what this is always about.”

Will Burns, first deputy press secretary for Cuomo, said Tuesday the state was unaware of any such plan for a site, first reported Monday morning by NBC News.

“FEMA and the CDC set forth criteria for which counties and communities were eligible based on social vulnerability index and vaccination rates, as well as, other factors put forward by the federal government, and dozens of locations across the state met those criteria,” he said in a statement. “We wish we had the supply to do a site in each of those locations. It is false that any plans for a mass vaccination site in Chautauqua County were canceled, and the state is unaware of any such plans for such a site. None existed.”

Reed emphasized the Chautauqua County site will be in addition to those already being served around New York state. “This has always been about providing that additional site that is under-represented, under-served historically,” he said.

NEW COVID CASES REACHES SINGLE DIGITS

Eight new COVID-19 cases and one new virus-related death were reported Wednesday morning by the Chautauqua County Department of Health. To date there have been 7,462 total confirmed cases, 7,214 recoveries and 137 fatalities.

The single-digit new cases represents an ongoing downward trend in recent weeks.

There are currently 111 active cases within the county along with, 11 people with the virus in the hospital and a seven-day positivity rate of 1.2%.

The new cases, reported from information collected Tuesday, include: four in Jamestown and one each in Dunkirk, Brocton, Ripley and Westfield.

In Cattaraugus County, 25 new COVID cases were reported Tuesday evening. To date there have been 4,275 confirmed cases, 3,990 recoveries and 86 virus-related deaths.

Currently, there are 200 active cases, 17 people with the virus in the hospital and a seven-day positivity rate of 3.2%.

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