MAYVILLE – Those not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 are being blamed for the spike in new COVID-19 across Chautauqua County, according to the County Board of Health who met Thursday.
The County Health Department has reported spikes in new Coronavirus cases over the past month across the county.
As the numbers steadily increase, Chautauqua County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler is working to identify where the spread is coming from, in most cases she says, it’s the unvaccinated.
“I can tell you from speaking with some of the emergency room physicians they can say that it’s obvious from presentation without even asking who’s vaccinated and who’s not vaccinated, based on the symptoms and the severity of the illness that they are seeing when someone presents into the emergency room,” said Schuyler. “Those who are not vaccinated are absolutely more ill, and that’s been seen statewide and nationwide again really demonstrating that these vaccines do work. They work and do what they were meant to do, and that is to reduce hospitalizations, illness, and deaths.”
The health director says the county saw 71 new cases of the virus on Thursday, 424 people now actively sick, and 31 people in the hospital. The CDC still has our County in a high rate of transmission.
“I am hopeful that the public out there who has mild symptoms of COVID-19 at this time or their kids do, we can assist in getting some more testing options out there for them,” said Schuyler. “I think it’s really important that we really decrease the load on our emergency rooms and urgent care centers right now with things that are not emergent, and really aren’t in need of emergency medical care.”
In the end, the group of health leaders agree, vaccination will bring an end to the pandemic, as board member Betsy Kidder explains.
“In the past three months that was 5.7 billion dollars for unvaccinated treatment, and 3.7 of that was just in August alone. So, I can only imagine what September, October, November are gonna feel like,” said Kidder. “My goal now is to really push vaccination, and really explain and educate about it on the people who remain hesitant cause I don’t see a pathway out of this cyclical mutation cycle, and kind of death cycle without getting a greater proportion vaccinated. It’s a daunting future that we have ahead of us at the moment.”