JAMESTOWN – Local elected leaders are calling for our area to reopen.
Assemblyman Andy Goodell, speaking during a press conference held by Congressman Tom Reed on Tuesday, said restrictions placed by New York State are killing local businesses.
“There have been four deaths for COVID-19, and just under 400 deaths all together,” explained Goodell. “You are 100 times more likely to die from something else in Chautauqua County than COVID-19, yet our local businesses are being killed by a statewide shutdown that started with a crisis in New York City and continues with problems in Buffalo.”
Furthermore, the Assemblyman says since the outbreak began, there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in Jamestown and there has not been a new confirmed case in the south county in the past two weeks.
“If you are watching daily on the quadrant map, you’ll see the number of confirmed cases within the Jamestown quadrant, which includes about a third of the county, has not changed within several weeks,” explained Goodell. “The reason I know there is not resident within the City of Jamestown is because the health department does maintain the exact address of everyone, and they shared that information with me.”
Chautauqua County Health officials, citing the safety and privacy of those infected with COVID-19, previously said they will not share specific locations of cases, but rather, release information on a countywide map.
The Assemblyman also urges law enforcement to prioritize their work, focusing on the “most serious violent crimes first and the most serious criminal activity before they focus on whether or not someone is improperly driving a golf cart.”
He encouraged residents who disagree with the NY on PAUSE order to visit the Governor’s website and voice their concerns in the written comment section.
Goodell’s Democrat opponent voiced her concern about the lack of sample size in regards to COVID-19 data.
“Our representatives continue to proudly announce our “low infection rate”. They need to remember these low numbers correlate with the low amount of testing,” explained Christina Cardinale. “I’m not against reopening. I’m against reopening without being conscientious. I’m against a pandemic strategy that involves a “let the chips fall where they may” mentality.”
Previously, Governor Cuomo set seven criteria for reopening and each region must maintain each of those criteria to progress towards a full reopening:
- Metric #1: Decline in Total Hospitalizations
- Metric #2: Decline in Deaths
- Metric #3: New Hospitalizations
- Metric #4: Hospital Bed Capacity
- Metric #5: ICU Bed Capacity
- Metric #6: Diagnostic Testing Capacity
- Metric #7: Contact Tracing Capacity
So far, only four regions met all seven criteria’s for reopening: the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, the Finger Lakes and North Country.
Western New York currently meets five of the seven benchmarks, falling short with the first two metrics for decline in total hospitalizations and deaths.