The increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in Cattaraugus County includes a rising number of students and staff in the county’s 11 school districts.

From September through November, nearly 650 cases of COVID-19 were reported in county schools.

The New York State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Report Card showed 464 students and 179 teachers and staff — a total of 643 — had been diagnosed with the coronavirus since the first tests in early September.

It is an increase of 150 from the 314 students who tested positive two weeks ago.

There have been 49 students testing positive in the Olean City School District this year, nearly double the 26 cases that had been reported as of two weeks ago. Adding 14 teachers and staff diagnosed in the past three months brings the district total to 63.

Pioneer Central School in Yorkshire recorded the highest number of cases this school year — 118, including 94 students. There were also 14 cases involving teachers and 10 cases among other staff.

West Valley Central School had the lowest total number of COVID-19 cases reported: eight, including five students.

Gowanda, Cattaraugus-Little Valley and Portville schools also had more total cases than Olean through Nov. 9. Gowanda reported a total of 87 cases including 53 students, Cattaraugus-Little Valley had 76 cases with 51 students and Portville had 64 cases with 47 students.

In the Olean district, there have been eight cases at East View Elementary, including five students, and 18 cases at Washington West Elementary, including 13 students.

There were 29 cases reported at Olean Intermediate and Middle School, including 25 students, and eight cases at Olean High School, including six students.

Of the 64 cases reported in Portville, 47 were students, including 27 elementary students and 20 from the junior-senior high.

Cattaraugus-Little Valley reported 51 of its 76 cases were students — 26 elementary, 14 junior high and 11 in senior high.

Fifty-three of Gowanda’s 87 cases were students, 14 elementary, 20 middle school and 19 high school.

Hinsdale has reported 51 cases including 39 students since early September.

In the Salamanca Central School District there have been 55 cases including 29 students — 12 at Prospect Elementary, 11 at Seneca Elementary and six high school students.

There have been 43 cases at Ellicottville Central School including 34 students — 17 elementary and 17 middle and high school students.

And at Randolph Central School, there have been 54 cases including 44 students — 21 elementary and 23 junior-senior high students.

November has been a record for both cases and deaths across the county. As the month ended Tuesday, there had been 1,962 and 37 deaths.

95 new cases

There were 95 new COVID-19 cases reported by the Cattaraugus County Health Department on Tuesday, pushing the total number of cases since March 2020 to 10,275. There have been a total of 176 deaths.

Health department staff are following 597 active cases, including 59 county residents who are hospitalized, and 762 in contact quarantine.

There are now 4,917 residents of the southeast part of the county who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 2,039 in the southwest, 1892 in the northeast and 1,427 in the northwest.

Women now represent 5,354 of the total cases and men 4,841.

Thirty-nine of the new cases Tuesday were people who were vaccinated and 56 were unvaccinated. The “breakthrough” cases involving people who are vaccinated is believed to be due to a waning of the effectiveness of the vaccine over time and the highly transmissible delta variant. That is why officials are urging people who are already vaccinated to get a booster shot.

Health officials are also waiting for more data on the newly-identified omicron variant first detected in South Africa. The variant is believed to be more transmissible, and it’s not known whether the existing vaccine is effective against the new variant.

Appointments for vaccinations can be made through the Cattaraugus County website by visiting: https://www.cattco.org/covid-vacc-info or call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at (716) 701-3777 if you need assistance.

To register for a free COVID-19 diagnostic test through the county health department, go online to:

https://data.enchantedmountains.net/form/cattaraugus-county-covid-19-diagnostic-testing-registration-10

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