MAYVILLE, N.Y.: – Chautauqua County and local officials are urging all Chautauqua County residents to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“With the recent outbreaks of COVID-19 at Fieldbrook Foods Inc. in Dunkirk and now at the State University of New York at Fredonia, we are calling on all residents for their support by following the recommended safety precautions,” said PJ Wendel, Chautauqua County Executive. “Our public health staff has been working tirelessly to isolate those testing positive and identify and quarantine the close contacts of all positive cases so we can help contain the virus, but we need all county residents to do their part by being responsible citizens and following preventive measures 24/7. Not only are we working together, we are in this together and we need everyone’s help especially with the upcoming Labor Day Weekend.”
From Aug. 16 to Sept. 1, there have been 56 cases of COVID-19 in Fieldbrook Foods Inc. employees.
As of Sept. 2, there have been 22 SUNY Fredonia students who have tested positive for COVID-19. These 22 cases are the total university population, regardless of County of residence.
SUNY Fredonia and the Chautauqua County Health Department issued a joint statement to the college’s students and faculty on Sept. 1 about the recent uptick of cases at the campus and several scenarios they believe have contributed to the spread of the virus on campus. In the statement, they call for individuals to:
- Limit assembling to less than 10 minutes in common areas, even outside, when face coverings are not continuously worn;
- Have no visitors in the residence halls; and
- Not attend large off-campus gatherings that are in violation of the State’s Executive Orders.
“The Chautauqua County Health Department continues to work collaboratively with SUNY Fredonia and Fieldbrook Foods to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at these facilities, but we need the public to do its part too,” said Christine Schuyler, Chautauqua County Public Health Director. “Just because you are no longer at work or in class, it doesn’t mean that you can let your guard down, attend large gatherings, or be in close contact with others without wearing a face covering. We all need to remain diligent.”
The public is reminded to:
- Stay home if you feel ill;
- Wear a mask or covering over your nose and mouth when you cannot maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from others;
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol;
- Avoid large gatherings;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects;
- Avoid international travel or travel to states listed in the New York State Travel Advisory; if travel is unavoidable, quarantine for 14 days upon returning to Chautauqua County.
“I urge city residents to take precautionary measures to not only protect themselves, but to protect others in our community who are more vulnerable to having complications if they contract this disease,” said Willie Rosas, Mayor of the City of Dunkirk. “If you have any of the symptoms of COVID, such as a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, do not go to work--stay home and contact your primary care provider. Also, please remember that if you are tested for COVID-19, you must quarantine and isolate yourself from others until you receive your test results.”
“Our residents and students need to ensure they are not having unnecessary gatherings that could lead to additional cases of COVID-19 in our community,” said Doug Essek, Mayor of the Village of Fredonia. “We also all need to do our part and be courteous to others by wearing a face covering when we are in close proximity to others.”
For more information about COVID-19 in Chautauqua County, visit https://chqgov.com. For general information about COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.