MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel extended the county’s State of Emergency for up to 30 additional days as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14, due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The threat of this virus is still very severe for Chautauqua County,” said Wendel. “It is necessary that Chautauqua County remain proactive and fully prepared to deal with its effects, and I ask all County citizens and visitors to venture out only for essential business. I also ask that we all “DO THE FIVE” to help stop the spread of the coronavirus: (1) HANDS – wash them often; (2) ELBOW – cough into it; (3) FACE – don’t touch it; (4) FEET – stay more than six feet apart; and (5) FEEL SICK? – stay home.”
“The County’s COVID-19 Response Team, which consists of public health and emergency services officials and staff, continues to meet and issue updates to the public daily,” said Wendel. “In addition, effective Thursday morning, April 16, 2020, I have issued a directive that members of the public visiting County facilities will be screened as to whether they have the symptoms of COVID-19, and all County employees who have direct contact with visitors to County facilities will wear a cloth face covering or face shield.”
The protocols are in compliance with Governor Cuomo’s executive order issued on Sunday that requires employees of all entities who transact business with the public in person to wear a face covering, said officials.
Screeners will ask any visitor entering a County building or workspace if they have any of the symptoms below, and individuals will not be allowed to enter to conduct business if they have any one of the symptoms:
- Fever – Either of the following:
- >100 °F at etry site or reported at home
- Subjective fever/chills
- Difficulty Breathing
- Body Aches
- Sore throat
- Runny Nose
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
COVID-19 is an infection associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, and if spread in the population, could have significant public health consequences.
“We must remain vigilant in all of our efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chautauqua County Commissioner of Health and Human Services Christine Schuyler. “As stated by Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House task force, we have to keep our foot on the accelerator when it comes to mitigation and keeping the physical separation. If we fail to do so, all of our hard won progress will be lost.”
Schuyler continued, “As employers work to supply their essential nonhealthcare personnel interacting with the public in person to wear face coverings, we ask that cloth/homemade face masks or face shields be used so that surgical masks can be preserved for healthcare workers.”
“I want to begin by reminding everyone to please be kind to one another,” said Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone. “Only buy what you need, there are currently no disruptions in the grocery store supply chain. Also, do not call 911 for general Coronavirus concerns or information, to ensure the emergency lines are open and available for emergencies. The State Health Department COVID-19 hotline is 1-888-364-3065. We are also taking precautions in the jail to ensure our staff and inmates are protected, including ceasing face-to-face visitations while allowing additional phone time.”
Chautauqua County Director of Emergency Services John Griffith concluded by stating, “I would like to thank the First Responders in Chautauqua County for all they do. Volunteer and Career Fire and EMS providers will continue to respond in this time of concern. The Office of Emergency Services is working with NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to ensure that resources are moved into Chautauqua County as needed.”
So is the county exec saying we are back to business as usual? It sounds as though visitors are allowed to come back into the building but they will be asked questions first? And with DPW going back to work is the rest of the workforce also coming back?