OLEAN — Cattaraugus County reported 101 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend and on Monday.
Twelve cases were reported Saturday, 55 on Sunday and 34 Monday. There are 338 active cases.
As the county moved from the low community rate to medium in the past week, there has been an uptick in coronavirus cases in school districts as well.
In Cattaraugus County schools, there have been 2,011 students, 342 teachers and 370 staff members diagnosed with COVID-19 since Sept. 1.
County public school students have had 118 cases in the past two weeks, including 82 in the past week and seven new cases as of May 6.
Teachers in the county have had 44 cases in the past 14 days including 33 in the past seven days and seven new cases on May 6. Staff had 37 cases over the past two weeks including 31 in the past seven days and five new cases on May 6.
In Olean City Schools, for example, there have been 156 students reported with COVID-19 since Sept. 1 — 26 in the last 14 days including 26 in the past week and 13 new cases on May 6.
There have been a total of 246 cases including students, teachers and staff, according to the state Health Department’s COVID Report Card. The district has reported 45 teachers diagnosed with COVID-19 — 10 in the past seven days and two on May 6. Also, 45 staff members — five in the past two weeks, four in the last week and one on May 6. The district has 1,881 students, 201 teachers and 163 staff members.
Allegany-Limestone has reported 113 students this school year, but only one in the past two weeks, on May 6. Seventeen teachers have had COVID-19, but only one in the past two weeks. There were also nine staff who have tested positive, but only one in the past two weeks.
In Portville, there have been 191 students who have tested positive for COVID-19 including 11 in the past two weeks, six a week ago and one on May 6. There have been 17 teachers testing positive, but only one in the past two weeks. Of the 32 staff who have tested positive, only one was positive in the past two weeks.
In Hinsdale, there have been 76 students testing positive this year — nine in the past two weeks including seven sin the past week. There have been 23 teachers with COVID-19 — seven in the past two weeks including six in the past week, and 16 staff members — two in the past two weeks including one in the past seven days.
Salamanca Schools have reported 206 students cases of COVID-19 this school year — seven in the past two weeks including two in the past week. There have been 56 teachers testing positive — five in the past two weeks including two in the past week. Staff have tested positive 30 times — two in the past week.
A similar pattern is apparent in COVID-19 cases in Allegany County schools, where there have been 1,359 students, 223 teachers and 284 staff members testing positive since Sept. 1.
In the past two weeks, 61 Allegany County students have tested positive including 31 in the past week and three on May 6. There were also 33 teachers testing positive in the past two weeks including 20 in the past week and three on May 6.
School staff had 23 new cases in the past two weeks including 13 in the past week and five on May 6.
“This surge was not unexpected,” said Public Health Director Dr. Kevin D. Watkins. “More people are out and about. They are more relaxed about the precautions they took earlier.”
Watkins predicted last Wednesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would move Cattaraugus County into the medium community transmission level. Allegany and Chautauqua counties remain in the low level.
Cases involving students, teachers and school district staff are also on the upswing, Watkins said. That started picking up after Easter vacation.
The sub-variants of Omicron that are racing across New York state — BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 are responsible for most infections and are capable of evading COVID-19 vaccines in some cases.
Watkins said someone who is fully vaccinated and who has received a first or second booster in the past four months appear less likely to contract a severe case of the virus.
“We are not seeing a lot of severe cases, hospitalizations or deaths,” Watkins said. There have been 247 COVID-19 deaths since April 23, 2020. The last death was reported in the county April 1. Since March 2020 there have been 19,274 cases reported here.
After 4,739 cases in January (a record), Cattaraugus County reported 1,161 in February, 411 in March and 740 in April.
The new sub-variants can infect those who have been vaccinated, but whose immunity is waning, as well as those with natural immunity, Watkins said.
While not sparking more severe cases, the new variants are more transmissible. “We still want to reduce the number of cases by vaccinations and boosters,” Watkins said.