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County Daily COVID-19 Updates

3/27/2020 COVID-19 Updates

MAYVILLE, N.Y.: -- On March 27, Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel and Department of Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler 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 March 27, Chautauqua County has five confirmed cases of COVID-19, with two new positive tests reported today. These new cases include:

  • A man in his 60s, with recent travel to the New York City area; and
  • A woman in her 30s, with no recent travel.

Based on the initial review of each case by Health Department epidemiology staff, these individuals appear to have had separate exposures to the novel coronavirus. One of the individuals had been previously hospitalized.

Both of these individuals will continue to recover at home under mandatory isolation as ordered by the Local Health Official per NYS Public Health Law.

“Chautauqua County Public Health staff has begun an intensive investigation to identify close contacts of these two residents, who have now tested positive for COVID-19,” said Schuyler. “Once identified, our department will notify the close contacts of their potential exposure to COVID-19 and they will be placed under mandatory or precautionary quarantine to monitor for symptoms.”

In addition, there are several individuals who have received isolation and quarantine orders by the Public Health Director. This includes:

  • 16 individuals in Mandatory Quarantine (individuals confirmed positive of COVID-19 or a household contact of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case);
  • 38 individuals in Precautionary Quarantine (individuals with travel history to CDC level 3 country or proximal contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19);
  • 49 individuals in Mandatory Isolation (individuals who are symptomatic of COVID-19 and are pending COVID-19 lab test); and
  • 66 negative test results to date.

“We urge residents to please stay home and stay safe,” said Wendel. “Please limit your trips to the grocery store to only once a week if possible, remember to use social distancing, and avoid gatherings. Not being able to see our loved ones can be hard on all of us, but there are still ways we can safely stay connected. We can still keep in touch with our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, church members and others in our community through phone calls, texting, emails, video conferencing, and social media. I ask that all residents please be responsible citizens by doing their part to prevent the spread of this disease in our community, especially among the elderly and those who are at high risk for having complications with COVID-19.”

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;
  • 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 avoid groups of people including small family gatherings and stay in their homes as much as possible.
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others. Talk to your health care provider if you want to be tested for 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.

Wendel also reported that the County’s COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet daily during this pandemic.

“As we work to ensure the health and safety of all of our residents, we have begun to look at the economic impact that COVID-19 will have on our local economy,” said Wendel. “As a result, we have engaged the Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth and will focus on an economic recovery resiliency as well as move forward with our health and safety.”

Wendel also mentioned that Chautauqua County has extended the time period delinquent property owners will have to pay property taxes to avoid the County’s current real property tax foreclosure. The deadline has been moved from April 15, 2020 to June 18, 2020, which is consistent with New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s March 20 executive order.

“Although these are taxes that have been owed for over two years, full and fair treatment of our citizens requires we recognize the current issues of economic uncertainty and the directive that we should be avoiding unnecessary in-person contact,” said Wendel.

Effective March 30, 2020, the Real Property Tax Department will also be closed for walk-in payments. For more information or to find out the amount owing, the public is encouraged to call the office at (716) 753-4221.

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/ , and Chautauqua County Government Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chautauquacountygovernment. Daily COVID-19 updates are also emailed directly to the “Monday Morning Memo” distribution list. Individuals can sign-up to receive these alerts by email, by going to chqgov.com and under the County Executive’s page signing up under the Monday Morning Memo Newsletter tab.

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3/26/2020 COVID-19 Updates

HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS. PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS.

The Chautauqua County COVID-19 Response team, made up of local Public Health and Emergency Response professionals, continues to meet daily to discuss and respond to the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic.

Christine Schuyler, Public Health Director, reports that as of this time on March 26, Chautauqua County has three (3) confirmed cases of COVID-19. There were no new positive tests reported today. Although we cannot be aware of the exact number of tests awaiting results because tests are being performed at a variety of sites, we are able to report that, to date, we have received 53 negative lab reports. The large number of negative results is a positive sign that community mitigation strategies are working. Your efforts are paying off! Keep practicing social distancing and everyday precautions to decrease the spread of illness.

Our goal is to identify new cases quickly and prevent or limit secondary exposures to ensure public health and safety. Public health nurses conduct epidemiologic investigations per public health standards and in conjunction with NYSDOH epidemiologists to determine who may have been exposed to an individual confirmed by lab testing to have COVID-19. In all three of the confirmed cases in Chautauqua County to date, the individual and all household contacts were identified and ordered in mandatory quarantine and all proximal contacts were identified and ordered into precautionary quarantine. If a broader potential exposure would have been identified, it would have been publicized.

Isolation and Quarantine Orders by the Public Health Director are as follows:

  • Mandatory Quarantine*: 11
    *confirmed positive COVID-19 case or a household contact of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case
  • Precautionary Quarantine*: 25
    *travel history to CDC level 3 country or proximal contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • Mandatory Isolation*: 46
    *symptomatic of COVID-19 and pending COVID-19 lab test

Nursing homes, long-term care facilities, local hospitals, the federally qualified health center, and local physician practices in Chautauqua County are active partners and have been taking steps to assess and improve their preparedness for responding to COVID-19. Their comprehensive response plans include plans for:

  • Rapid identification and management of ill residents and patients
  • Considerations for visitors and staff
  • Supplies and resources
  • Education and training
  • Surge capacity for staffing and equipment and supplies
  • Sick leave policies

These critically important providers of healthcare services need your help. It is imperative that everyone abide by their visitation restrictions. Avoid visiting those most at risk; call instead. The ONLY way we can protect our community and healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed with illness as a result of the novel coronavirus is to avoid being exposed to the virus. People at high-risk for severe illness include people aged 65 years and older; in a nursing home or long-term care facility; with high risk conditions – diabetes, chronic heart /lung / renal disease; who are immunocompromised; who are pregnant.

Please understand that your actions will help stop the spread of the virus. Keep those most vulnerable safe.

  • Cancel all group activities
  • Have supplies and medications on hand to minimize going out
  • Take everyday precautions
    • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer that contains as least 605 Alcohol if soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Put distance between yourself and others – at least 6 feet.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue. Throw the used tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Call your healthcare provider if your symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, cough) worsen

Individuals with questions or concerns regarding Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) or travel related questions are encouraged to call the New York State Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline 24/7 at 1-888-364-3065. For locally-specific information, County residents may also contact the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services at 1-866-604-6789 during normal business hours.

To follow the most current information on COVID-19, please visit the County, CDC or NYSDOH webpages at:

https://www.chqgov.com;

https://www.facebook.com/myhealthycounty

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

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