Chautauqua County Executive Pushes Businesses To Plan For Life After COVID-19

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MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel is urging county businesses to look to the future and develop plans on how they will reopen after COVID-19.

“Thanks to the great efforts of the Chautauqua County Health Department and the tremendous cooperation of our residents, the infection rate of COVID-19 in Chautauqua County continues to remain low,” said Wendel. “We should remain optimistic when we really look at our current situation.”

“As we continue to reduce the infection rate in our County and abide by social distancing measures, I believe we need a plan for the future and to urge New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow us to gradually reopen our County’s communities and economy,” said Wendel. “In a concerted effort with Senator Borrello and Assemblyman Goodell’s regional plan for reopening this is an effort to be proactive. I will be sending a letter to our businesses throughout our County asking them to look at their operations and preemptively develop plans on how they would operate once the Governor decides we can reopen. These plans would include the implementation of necessary protocols to still protect businesses’ employees and customers from the spread of COVID-19.”

Wendel says that the county will be committed to:

  • Assessing its community readiness based on local data and indicators;
  • Developing industry specific plans for the step-by-step easing of community mitigation measures;
  • Requiring compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s  COVID-19 guidance for all businesses;
  • Continuing to focus on safety for employees and customers including social distancing, the use of face coverings or other protective equipment as appropriate for the industry; cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces; and not working when ill;
  • Continuing robust COVID-19 public health surveillance and response work through robust isolation and quarantine measures, contact tracing of cases, health education, and increasing mitigation measures as necessary;
  • Focusing on low risk business sectors first, such as manufacturing, professionals, office staff; and
  • Phasing in other business sections as the situation continues to improve.

“As we plan for the eventual reopening of our communities, I can assure you that we will continue our COVID-19 surveillance and response work,” said Christine Schuyler, County Director of Health and Human Services. “In the event that monitoring shows increased transmission of COVID-19 or a strain on our public health or healthcare systems at any step of loosening community mitigation measures, I will advise of the need to tighten mitigation measures as appropriate.”

Businesses are asked to submit their reopening plans electronically to New York State Senator George Borrello at, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell at ; and, fax to (716) 753-4640 or mail to Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health; HRC Building, 7 N. Erie Street; Mayville, NY 14757.

As of Wednesday, Chautauqua County has two active COVID-19 cases, both of which are in mandatory isolation. Officials say there are no COVID-19 hospitalizations and only one new lab confirmed case in Chautauqua County in the last six days. In addition, they say there’s been a dramatic drop in the number of people who are in quarantine and isolation.

Officials add over 600 people who have been tested, with 96 percent testing negative; and Chautauqua County has one of the lowest positive test percentages (4 percent) in the entire State of New York.

“These statistics provide some good news for Chautauqua County,” said Wendel. “They show we are on the right track to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our County and can provide residents with some reassurance that the social distancing efforts they are taking are working. However, it is important that we do not let our preventive efforts fall to the wayside now. We all still need to remain diligent and focused on continuing to minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

Residents are reminded to continue to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. It is also important for individuals to practice appropriate respiratory hygiene by not touching their faces, washing their hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and staying home when they are sick.

Healthcare providers should also continue to refer individuals with COVID-19 symptoms for testing. This includes hospitalized patients, nursing home and adult care facility residents, healthcare workers, individuals with chronic health conditions, individuals who are immunocompromised, and other essential workers.

Throughout the pandemic, officials say there’s been 28 confirmed cases, including one new case of a female in her 20’s; 23 recovered cases, three deaths, 43 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 620 negative test results to date.

“Thanks to the great efforts of the Chautauqua County Health Department and the tremendous cooperation of our residents, the infection rate of COVID-19 in Chautauqua County continues to remain low,” said Wendel. “We should remain optimistic when we really look at our current situation.”


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