MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County officials cautioned residents that mitigation measures such as masks and socially distancing are not going to end anytime in the foreseeable future.
During a COVID-19 update, County Executive P.J. Wendel and County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler cautioned that no one knows how long mitigation steps will continue.
“I don’t see the precautions we have of masking or capacities ending any time soon,” Schuyler said.
Wendel stressed that results will determine future timelines.
“We have to continually monitor this. It has to be done based on the safety and health (of the community),” Wendel said.
“I think the more we learn, the more you know, the science should impact our policy,” Schuyler furthered. “Right now, we’re not there.”
Officials continued to urge people to wear masks, wash hands, socially distance and avoid large gatherings.
While the region was among the best in state at one point, people became lax about the state’s recommended precautions, Wendel said.
“This is a dire concern we have in Chautauqua County,” Wendel said. “This is important, this is a matter of health and safety to all of our residents so we can’t make any qualms about this. This does not mean we are back to life the way it was before March 15.”
Schuyler says the whole COVID-19 situation is “quite stressful.”
“It is frustrating when outbreaks could be prevented and so much of it goes back to just wear a mask,” she said.
She called on college students to be smart role models for their fellow students and younger students.
“This is a time 4 u to really step up and be a leader and be a good role model for your students,” Schuyler said.
Wendel said Europe is beating the virus simply by wearing masks and being disciplined.
“Be safe and respectful. This is still here we still need everybody to have the same dedication and discipline as we had before,” he said.
Officials urged anyone to report to the state any business that is violating state mandates. These reports will be investigated by the county and local law enforcement, they said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo accepted Wendel’s request to loan the county four rapid testing machines and the county is developing plans for the use of the machines, which allow for test results in relatively quick time.
Wendel also reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, most students at SUNY Fredonia.