Cattaraugus County Health Director Concerned With Infection Rate Increase

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LITTLE VALLEY – The COVID-19 infection rate in Cattaraugus County is making an upward trend, something that the county’s Health Director is concerned with.

In a pubic update on Wednesday night, the county reported 42 new cases, with 207 active.

The county’s seven-day average positivity rate is now 4.2 percent, up from 2.9 percent the day before.

Health Director Dr. Kevin Watkins says that if his county’s infection rate continues to increase, the county could qualify for New York State’s micro-cluster containment efforts.

“We are concerned that we might have to fall under that yellow zone if this continues,” said Watkins. “Yellow zone simply means that we will have to change some of the current activities that we have in the county and we will have to tap down on those activities.”

Specifically, zip codes with seven-day rolling average positivity rates above 3.5 percent for 10 consecutive days and has 10 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents are flagged as a yellow precautionary zone.

Watkins says in the yellow zone, schools must do weekly COVID-19 testing, house of worship capacity is capped at 50 percent and mass gatherings limited to 25 people.

Businesses do remain open, with dining limited to four people per table.

Watkins attributes the increase in cases to testing at St. Bonaventure University and general community spread.

He is asking everyone in the community to continue to wear their mask, practice social distancing, clean surfaces regularly and wash their hands.


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