JAMESTOWN – Health leaders in Chautauqua County are discussing what would happen if the area enters one of New York State’s microcluster designations.
Speaking during Thursday night’s Board of Health meeting, Public Health Director Christine Schuyler explained that the county has received numerous questions from residents asking if, and when, the county could be flagged.
She says it is hard for local leaders to calculate what specific metrics the state uses to make their final decision, however based on metrics it is possible some areas could face a designation sooner than later.
“The Governor announces the zones at a press conference, then they go into effect immediately,” says Schuyler. “The guidance has not changed for yellow zone testing requirements of 20 percent students or staff in the effected zip codes, for instance if it was 14701 that would include all of the Jamestown school buildings as well as Southwestern.”
She says if the testing results indicate a lower percent positivity rate than the overall community then the schools will not have to transition to remote learning and the school will not have to retest students.
This week, Jamestown Public Schools started reaching out to parents with students attending class in-person to have them sign consent forms for COVID-19 testing.
In the yellow zone, schools must do weekly COVID-19 testing, house of worship capacity is capped at 50 percent and mass gatherings are limited to 25 people.
Businesses do remain open, with dining limited to four people per table.
Zip codes with seven-day rolling average positivity rates above 3.5 percent for 10 consecutive days and has 15 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents could enter the yellow zone. If the positivity rate is above 4.5 percent the county could enter an orange zone or above 5.5 percent could enter a red zone.
Chautauqua County currently has a seven-day average percent positivity rate of 8.8 percent.