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COVID in youth, teens on rise

According to the Chautauqua County daily COVID-19 tracker, the community’s youth are being greatly impacted by the virus. From Thursday to Monday, the Health Department reported, there have been 303 new cases. Of that number, nearly one-third of the cases — 99 — are under the age of 19.

That spike appears to be related to a return to school. Since in-person education opened in all county districts, on Sept. 8, there were a total of 1,709 cases impacting the under age 19 group. By Monday, that same segment had seen cases jump 16.5% to 1,992.

While this surge is being documented locally on the county’s dashboard, New York state has discontinued — for the time being — its daily update of virus cases at schools. A visit to the former web site notes, “The New York State School COVID Report Card website is currently being updated; as such, survey data will not be displayed to the public temporarily. Please check back for updates.”

A number of local districts, including Westfield Academy & Central Schools, are updating parents on virus cases through their Facebook page. Other districts are not making mention of cases, which total more than 100 in the last week countywide.

On Monday, the Health Department also indicated another 118 new cases and three additional deaths tied to COVID-19 were reported by the Chautauqua County Health Department. From Thursday to Monday, there have been seven deaths recorded.

Currently, there are 483 active cases with 34 hospitalizations and 1,190 in quarantine with a seven-day positivity rate of 8.5%. Of the new cases, 45 are in Jamestown; 15 each in Dunkirk and Fredonia; seven in Silver Creek, six in Forestville and five in Westfield.

In all, there have been a total of 11,380 cases with 10,721 recoveries and 176 total deaths.

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