MAYVILLE – It has been one year since a COVID-19 state of emergency was declared in Chautauqua County.
On Sunday, March 15, 2020 County Executive PJ Wendel declared a State of Emergency as the Coronavirus Pandemic began to impact Western New York.
Wendel was joined by members of his just established Coronavirus Response Team with County Health Director Christine Schuyler and County Sheriff Jim Quattrone among others.
At the time there were two people in precautionary quarantine awaiting their COVID-19 test results with no confirmed positive cases.
“I like to put faith in our residents that they realize that, as Christine (Schuyler) has said, stay home, hunker down, this is a time to play board games, watch videos, really re-engage with the family, share time, and really limit public gatherings,” said Wendel.
In the week to come schools, businesses and anything deemed ‘non-essential’ closed part of New York State’s ‘On PAUSE’ directive.
Terms like ‘social distancing’ became a new norm for many, with grocery stories running low on high demand items like toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning products.
“I want to remind the public as they are out in the community, as they are out at the stores or wherever they may be going, to exercise respect and be considerate of others, recognizing that we do not need to panic,” said Sheriff Quattrone. “We can go to the store and do our normal shopping, but to it as we need to, and not out of a panic.”
And now a year later 7,775 residents have come down with the virus, with more than 7,500 recovering and 139 deaths.
With the advent of three approved vaccines, new cases appear to have reached a plateau with the county health department reporting around 20 new cases a day.