Chautauqua County Officials Provide Update on COVID-19

Submitted by gallagha on Fri, 05/08/2020 - 16:00


County Officials Provide Update on COVID-19

Pictured above: front row-- PJ Wendel, Chautauqua County Executive, and Christine Schuyler, Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services Director; and back row-- Dr. Robert Berke, County Physician, address the public during a press conference on May 8, 2020.


MAYVILLE, N.Y.: -- On May 8, Chautauqua County Officials provided an update on the novel Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) in Chautauqua County.

COVID-19 is an infection associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness. If spread in the population, COVID-19 could have significant public health consequences. 

As of May 8, Chautauqua County has 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which includes 32 individuals who have fully recovered, 6 active positive cases (including two new positive tests reported today), and 4 individuals who have passed away. The new positive cases include a female in her 50s and a female in her 60s.

In addition, there are 81 individuals under quarantine/isolation orders by the Public Health Director and being monitored. Not all of those being monitored are confirmed to have COVID-19 but they either have shown symptoms, are awaiting results, or have risk factors.

The County also has 1,266 negative test results to date.

On May 7, 2020, U.S. Congressman Tom Reed announced that he has worked with Quest Diagnostics to bring 3,000 additional COVID-19 tests per day to Western New York, the Finger Lakes region, and the Southern Tier starting May 18, 2020.

“With these additional tests, it will help our region meet Governor Cuomo’s testing guideline of performing 30 tests for every 1,000 residents per month,” said Wendel. “I thank Congressman Reed and Quest Diagnostics for this collaboration, which moves our region one step closer to being able to safely reopen and start rebuilding our economy, while closely monitoring public health and the spread of the virus.”

COVID-19 infection testing is available with an order from your physician at UPMC Chautauqua’s Jones Hill campus and at The Chautauqua Center’s Jamestown and Dunkirk locations.  COVID-19 infection and antibody testing is available at the WellNow Urgent Care Centers in Jamestown, Lakewood, and Dunkirk. 

“All persons with symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider and get tested for COVID-19,” said Christine Schuyler, County Director of Health and Human Services.  “All essential workers with or without symptoms can also request to be tested per updated CDC and state guidelines.”

Be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever:
    • >100.0° F here or at home
    • Subjective fever/chills
  • Cough
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Body Aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Runny Nose
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Loss of sensation of taste and/or smell

To help prevent the spread of disease, the public is reminded to:


  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and wash them more frequently throughout the day;


  • Avoid touching your face;


  • Cover your coughs or sneezes;


  • Avoid close contact with others by keeping a distance of six feet, especially around people who are sick;


  • Wear a cloth covering over your mouth and nose when in public and when six feet of distance cannot be maintained;


  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;


  • Work from home if you can;


  • If you are 60 years of age or older, have serious medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, or have a chronic medical condition (no matter what age), you are at high risk. Individuals who meet any of the above criteria should -consult with their health care provider and take extra precautions to protect their health.


  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others. Talk to your health care provider about your symptoms and diagnostic and treatment options, including those related to COVID-19. Talk to your health care provider before you visit a clinic or hospital emergency department.


  • Only if your symptoms are severe or you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 and the 911 dispatcher will screen your call per established protocol.



County Officials also reminded residents to maintain their health during this pandemic.

“Although we are seeing a dramatic drop in all types of visits to the ER, including visits for serious issues such as stroke and heart attack, the national statistics for all cause mortality aside from COVID-19 related deaths are up,” said Dr. Robert Berke, County Physician. “This suggests that people may be afraid to go to the ER because of the perceived risk that they will be exposed to COVID-19. As a result, people with serious illnesses are staying home and in many cases are dying from preventable causes. I urge residents to please maintain contact with their doctors and if they are experiencing a serious illness to not hesitate to seek medical assistance.”

In honor of National Provider Appreciation Day on May 8, 2020, Wendel also took a moment to recognize childcare providers and teachers across Chautauqua County.

National Provider Appreciation Day was first celebrated in 1996. It is observed on the Friday before Mother’s Day as a way to recognize the contributions of childcare providers and teachers, who are dedicated to caring for and educating young children.

 “As we celebrate National Provider Appreciation Day today, I thank our child care providers and early educators for their dedication and commitment to serving children and families across Chautauqua County,” said Wendel. “Not only do they continue to help children excel and reach their full potential, but they provide vital support services to working parents, who would not be able to work if they didn’t have someone to care for their children. Our frontline childcare providers have been especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic as they continue to provide child care services to essential workers and I thank them for the amazing work they do every day.”

Residents are also encouraged to continue to check for daily updates on COVID-19 in our county by visiting the COVID-19 page of the Chautauqua County website at chqgov.com, Chautauqua County Health Department Facebook page at www.facebook.com/myhealthycounty/ , or Chautauqua County Government Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chautauquacountygovernment . Daily COVID-19 updates also are emailed directly to the “Monday Memo” distribution list. Individuals can sign-up to receive these alerts by going to chqgov.com and under the County Executive’s page signing up under the Monday Memo Newsletter tab.

Individuals can also hear the daily update of COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County by calling the Chautauqua County Public Health COVID-19 Hotline at 866-604-6789 and selecting option 6.



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