5/16/20 COVID-19 Updates

Four New Cases of COVID-19 in Chautauqua County Today 

Chautauqua County statistics:

  • 50 confirmed cases, including four females ranging in age from 19 to 55;
  • 12 active cases - continue to recover under orders of the Local Health Official per NYS Public Health Law;
  • 34 recovered cases;
  • 4 deaths;
  • 153 cases 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 have either shown symptoms, are awaiting results, or have risk factors; and
  • 1,690 negative test results to date.


COVID-19 is a new disease, so stopping transmission is the best way we have to lessen the impact.  There are no vaccines or treatments available yet, so reducing the spread is our best option.  

When someone is infected, they usually develop signs and symptoms anywhere from 2 – 14 days from the date they were infected, but typically around day 5.  This is called the incubation period.  Some people may be infectious before they have symptoms, and some people can be infected and never even develop symptoms.  It has been found that infected people are able to infect others 2 days before, and up to 10 days after, symptoms start.  This is called the infectious period.  

Transmission of COVID-19 occurs in two ways:

1.  Infected people have the virus in their mouths, noses, and throats.  Droplets come out when we are talking, laughing, coughing and sneezing, and can travel up to 6 feet.  Those droplets can enter another person’s mouth, nose, or eyes.  This is why mask use can reduce transmission.

     a. Transmission is more likely with close contact:  physical contact – living together and sharing beds, bathrooms, living space; contact within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more; congregate living where many people are living in close quarters – jails, group homes, nursing homes, shelters, etc.

2.  Surfaces may have viruses from an infected person’s respiratory droplets.  The virus can survive on surfaces and then contaminate the hands of others.  Hands can transfer the virus to your mouth, nose, or eyes.  This is why hand washing and disinfecting surfaces are important.

To stop transmission, it is important to limit the number of people, that infected people, have contact with.  This is why we are all asked to change our behavior and take action to halt transmission.  By limiting our contact in public, we are lessening the opportunity for the virus to spread. 

The SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is believed to infect people quickly, and the disease can spread quickly.  In fact, one infected person can infect 2-3 close contacts.  Refer to the diagram below.  If each infected person infects just two people, the size of the outbreak doubles quickly.  But, if we prevent just one infection, so that each person infects just one person instead of two, it leads to a big reduction of cases over time.  In the diagram, if one person infects only one person, and that person infects only one person, and that person infects only one person, we end up with only 4 cases instead of the 15 that would have occurred had we not reduced the transmission.

Just because we can’t stop all transmission, doesn’t mean we can’t have a big impact on slowing down the coronavirus outbreak.  

Link to Chautauqua County COVID-19 Map