Seven more Cattaraugus County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 as the county continued Wednesday to offer free rapid testing at an Allegany testing site.
Five new cases were reported Wednesday in Allegany County as well.
The seven in Cattaraugus County brought the number of residents with positive COVID-19 tests over the past seven months to 382. Two hundred eighty-six have recovered; Fifteen have died from COVID-19.
Wednesday’s total was 10 fewer than the 17 positive tests announced on Tuesday, one short of the record number in a single day set earlier this month.
Dr. Kevin D. Watkins, Cattaraugus County’s public health director, said Monday he was afraid a second wave of coronavirus was underway in the county.
On Tuesday, while visiting the Allegany testing site, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said Cattaraugus County’s COVID-19 numbers were not going in the right direction. She agreed to county officials’ requests for more rapid test kits.
Wednesday’s report showing seven new positive COVID-19 tests seemed to be going in the right direction.
The breakdown for the seven new positive COVID-19 tests showed four females and three males, with none described as healthcare workers, who have represented a large percentage of recent infections.
Two of the positive tests were women who had recently traveled out of state, Watkins said.
One of the residents who was positive for the virus, from the northeast part of the county, traveled to Ohio and North Carolina. She developed symptoms and was tested. The other woman, from the southeast part of the county, developed symptoms and was tested after traveling to Florida.
All three males were from the southeast part of the county and all were symptomatic.
One was hospitalized with pneumonia and tested positive for COVID-19, another was a direct contact of a known COVID person and the third reported no travel or contact with a known positive.
Of the other two women, one was from the northeast part of the county who was asymptomatic and had no known contact. The other woman was from the northeast part of the county, was asymptomatic and the direct contact of a known COVID person.
The Health Department has begun a thorough contact tracing investigation for those individuals that they have been in contact with and the places that they have visited, Watkins said.
“We would like to reiterate that if any resident experiences fever, cough, shortness of breath or whole body aches they should contact their health care provider and avoid going directly to an Urgent Care facility, or hospital emergency room before calling,” he said.
In addition, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after using the bathroom, coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, Watkins said.
If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains a minimum of 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
Disinfect commonly touched surfaces with a cleaner that is approved by the EPA against COVID-19.
Finally, in an effort to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community, any resident interested in getting tested, can register for a test at www.cattco.org/covid-19-test or call 938-9119 or 938-2265.