Health Director Continues Masking Push, As COVID-19 Delta Variant Concerns Grow

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MAYVILLE – The County Public Health Director is pushing for vaccinations and masking-up to fight the arrival of the COVID-19 Delta Variant in Chautauqua County.

Director Christine Schuyler announced earlier this week that the county has reached a substantial level of transmission, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s standards.

While the county does not have the ability for DNA sequencing, she says that the uptick in COVID-19 cases is evidence that the Delta Variant has made its way to Western New York.

What we do know about the Delta Variant is that it is highly contagious.

“Because of that, the CDC does recommend indoor masking for both those who are vaccinated and vaccinated in an attempt to try and reduce the spread of this very contagious Delta Variant,” said Schuyler.

In Chautauqua County, 90 percent of infections, hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated.

“What we do know is that vaccinated people are less likely than unvaccinated people to contract the Delta Variant and that makes it much harder than to obviously spread it to others,” said Schuyler.

As for any kind of mask mandate, County Executive PJ Wendell and his team have yet to make any formal decision.

“We are looking at the data, we’re looking at the information and we will be working with our employees as we move forward with this,” said Wendell.

For now, Wendell believes that wearing a mask or not wearing one is a personal choice.

Schuyler says to help stop the spread of COVID-19, get vaccinated.

“Our goal here is not to completely eradicate the coronavirus. Our goal here is to prevent severe illness and death, (and) not to overwhelm our hospitals,” said Schuyler.


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