The number of Cattaraugus County residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased to five over the weekend.
After reporting two cases Friday, as of Saturday night, three more positive test results were reported to Cattaraugus County Public Health Director Dr. Kevin Watkins.
“We assume there is community-wide spread of the virus within our area,” Watkins said. “We are continuing to ask residents to hunker down in their homes and avoid travel.”
On Friday morning, the Cattaraugus County Health Department reported its first confirmed test for the novel coronavirus — a 33-year-old woman living in the northwest part of the county.
Friday night, a second case was confirmed by COVID-19 test. The man lives in the southwest part of the county.
A man from the southeastern part of the county, with no known travel history to a location with widespread coronavirus, was admitted to Olean General Hospital and is among the three latest COVID-19 cases in the county.
He is the only county resident to be hospitalized with symptoms of COVID-19.
Watkins said the man, in his mid-70s, was tested for coronavirus on Friday. It came back positive late Saturday. He had a fever, a cough and was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Watkins said he anticipated the man would be discharged soon and would be quarantined along with his family in their home.
The county Health Department has tested more than 150 county residents, Watkins said.
He urged residents to continue to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer and to practice social distance to avoid spreading the coronavirus.
Also on Saturday, a positive test result was received from a female teenager from the northwest part of the county who had recently been to New York City and Buffalo. She showed no symptoms of the coronavirus, but was tested because she had been in close contact to someone who tested positive, according to Watkins.
A man in his 30s from the northwest part of the county also tested positive on Saturday. He showed no symptoms of the virus, but was close to a person who tested positive. The man also had a recent travel history to Buffalo and New York City.
The second confirmed case of COVID-19 in the county was reported Friday night. The man, from the southwest part of the county, reported joint pain on March 18 and went to a chiropractor, Watkins told the Olean Times Herald.
The man called the county Health Department after he developed a cough and shortness of breath and was tested on Thursday. The results were reported at 6 p.m. Friday.
“He had traveled up to the Buffalo area,” Watkins said of the man, who has been placed under mandatory quarantine for two weeks at home with his family.
“We will continue to watch him very closely for symptoms” that could require hospital treatment, Watkins said.
That resident had recently visited New York City and the Buffalo area, according to local health officials.
At last report, there are 38 residents in mandatory quarantine in their homes and 13 in precautionary quarantines in their homes. That number has grown since Saturday’s report.
On Thursday, Cattaraugus County was the only Western New York county and a handfull in New York State not to report a confirmed case of COVID-19.
An Allegany County woman who reported shortness of breath upon coming to the Olean General Hospital emergency room on Friday. She had earlier tested negative for influenza.
Watkins said health care providers who came in contact with the woman are being tested for COVID-19. “We continue to monitor them for symptoms,” he said. “Everyone was wearing personal protective equipment and there was no known exposure” to the positive case from Allegany added Watkins.
“The staff,” Watkins said, “was well-prepared. They are treating all respiratory cases as if they were positive for coronavirus.”
In Allegany County, the number of positive COVID-19 cases stands at six.
The latest figures from Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz show that eight people have died and there are 414 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Erie County as of Sunday, up from 380 the day before.
Niagara County on Sunday reported 10 additional positive test results for Covid-19, bringing the total number to 38.
In other counties sharing a line with Cattaraugus, Chautauqua County had reported seven cases on Sunday and Wyoming County had reported seven cases as well.
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)