Although Chautauqua County now sees “high” transmission of COVID-19 in the community of other parameters, just as important, such as hospitalizations and the use of intensive care unit beds for critically ill people remain low.
This is the view of County Executive PJ Wendel after the level of community transmission from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention increased over the weekend of “substantial” To “high.”
The CDC strongly recommends, whether or not someone is vaccinated, that you wear face masks indoors in areas with “substantial” and “high” transmission of COVID-19. As of Monday, all but two counties in New York state see “substantial” Where “high” virus transmission.
Area with at least 50 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population over seven days is considered “substantial” disseminate; an area hosting at least 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days is considered “high” broadcast.
“One of the things we have to look at, if we are at a high rate, is that coupled with other factors,” Wendel spoke about the level of community transmission of CDC, as well as the hospitalization rate and number of intensive care beds used. “We’re in high transmission, but we don’t see these other metrics going in any other direction.”
The county health department reported 91 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday from information collected Friday through Sunday. The department also reported one new death linked to the virus.
As of August 1, 365 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the county. According to the Department of Health, 62% of new cases this month are from unvaccinated people; 4% were partially vaccinated; 16% fully vaccinated; and 17% whose vaccination status is not known.
Most of the cases recorded over the weekend were from the Jamestown postcode, with 36. Nine were each reported in Dunkirk and Forestville, four in Fredonia and seven in Lakewood. Several municipalities have also reported a handful of new cases.
There are currently 156 active cases of the virus in the county, seven people infected with the virus in hospital, 323 in quarantine and a seven-day positivity rate of 5.2%.
To date, there have been a total of 9,790 confirmed cases, 9,393 recoveries and 160 virus-related deaths.
Of the deaths, four involved people aged 40 to 49; eight between 50 and 59 years old; 16 between 60 and 69; 35 between 70 and 79; 59 between 80 and 89; and 38 years over 90 years old.
COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in mid-June after 70% of adults in New York state received their first vaccine. Specific guidelines – including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing, medical screening, and contact details for tracing – have become optional for retail, food service, offices, gyms and fitness centers, family entertainment and entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and personal care services.
The easing of restrictions did not mean the virus was no longer a threat, Wendel said on Monday. “We never said we were going to stop or eradicate COVID”, he said.
Regarding face masks, which the county executive said he has been questioned about often in recent times, he said it should be left to each individual to make a decision.
“We never told anyone to stop wearing a mask after the warrant was lifted,” Wendel said, adding later, “If you want to wear a mask in public because you don’t feel safe, you are free to do so. “
However, the county executive said now was not the time to demand that people wear face masks in public again. He said the whole process, especially the vaccine rollout, has been highly politicized by the federal government.