Chautauqua County Sees One Case Of COVID-19 Friday

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MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County officials have reported one new positive case of COVID-19 during their weekly press conference Friday afternoon with no hospitalizations.

The new case is a woman in her 30’s. This brings the total number of positive cases to 106 with 130 under a mandatory isolation or quarantine orders, 88 recoveries, six fatalities, and 8,427 negative test results.









Chautauqua County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler praised the number of negative COVID-19 test results throughout the county. However, Schuyler stressed the county is not out of the woods and a second wave of the virus is possible as regions continue to reopen with more people getting outdoors.

Dr. Mary Ann Spanos, Director for the Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services said her concern with regions reopening is a possible influx in cases with the elderly in nursing homes and retirement homes.















“(The elderly) have not been given a sense of direction” said Dr. Spanos.

“In New York State, 85 percent of the 24,133 COVID-19 deaths are people over the age of 60…even though the county and the country are slowly opening businesses, it does not eliminate the risk for older adults, who are still the most at risk population.” Dr. Spanos said.

In an effort to provide guidance for older adults, the Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services has adapted Eagle County, Colorado’s “Safer at Home” guidelines for older adults in the county; a three phase plan of recommended actions to help seniors protect their health.

Phase One, starting this month:

  • Limit group size to 5-6 people. The more people in a gathering the greater the risk. Continue to limit the gathering size as much as possible.
  • If anyone has any signs of illness, they must remain at home.
  • Keep 6-8 feet of distance between people – avoid close, face-to-face conversations.
  • Wear a facemask that covers both nose and mouth when in groups or public settings.
  • Wash or sanitize hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
  • Keep gatherings to outside settings when possible.
  • Keep interactions with larger numbers of the general public to a minimum by utilizing senior shopping hours at stores and keeping indoor interactions with the public brief (under 10 minutes).
  • Avoid personal contact with others (hugs, handshakes, etc.).
  • Avoid sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses.
  • Return to work as comfortable, working with your employer if special accommodations need to be made.
  • Contact your health care provider immediately at onset of symptoms for testing.
  • Senior congregate meals continue to be takeout or home delivery.
  • Transportation for older adults should limit the number of riders to 25 percent capacity.
  • Organized group senior programs should remain suspended.

Phase Two, starting in July:

  • Limit group size to 10 – 12 people. The more people in a gathering the greater the risk. Continue to limit the gathering size as much as possible.
  • If anyone has any signs of illness, they must remain home.
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between people whenever possible.
  • Wear face coverings while in public settings and wash/sanitize hands frequently.
  • Keep gatherings to outside settings when possible.
  • When gathering inside, ensure proper space between people and sanitize surfaces, door handles, bathrooms, etc. before and after use.
  • Senior programs may start to organize small group activities (10 or less) for exercise, arts and crafts, book clubs, etc. adhering to social distancing and sanitizing protocols.
  • Congregate senior meals will be provided via takeout or delivery.
  • Transportation should limit riders to 50 percent of total capacity with social distancing.
  • County organized large group senior gatherings remain suspended.

Phase Three, starting late summer or early fall:

  • Limit group size to 15-20 people. The more people in a gathering the greater the risk. Continue to limit the gathering size as much as possible.
  • If anyone has any signs of illness, they must remain home.
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between people whenever possible.
  • Wear face coverings while in public settings and wash hands frequently.
  • Keep gatherings to outside settings when possible.
  • When gathering inside, ensure proper space between people and sanitize frequently.
  • Senior programs may organize small group activities (15 or less) – exercise programs, health education, support groups, art classes, book clubs, etc. while adhering to social distancing.
  • Organized high touch activities such as card games or puzzles should be suspended for the foreseeable future as multiple people touching the same items can spread the virus.
  • Senior nutrition programs may start to offer congregate meals limited to less than 15-20 participants at each seating. Meals will also continue to provide via takeout or delivery.
  • Transportation should limit riders to 50-60 percent of total bus capacity and encourage distancing.
  • County organized large group senior gatherings will remain suspended.

Residents who have family members in nursing homes are still recommended to stay in contact with those members via technology if possible. When allowed, in person visitations should be kept to a minimum with masks and social distancing guidelines followed.

Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel said business in Phase Three should have their plans in place for a possible entrance into that phase next Tuesday.

“Our comeback will be greater than our setback” said Executive Wendel.

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