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COVID-19 cases climb in Chautauqua County

Posted at 5:48 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 17:48:59-04

MAYVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Chautauqua County Executive Paul Wendel Junior urged residents on Friday to stay vigilant, and continue to wear masks and remain socially distant.

This comes as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the county.

"These numbers are dire and we need to focus on what we are doing. The disease is here. This is a dire concern we have in Chautauqua county," he said.

On Friday, 15 new cases were announced, bringing the total to 173 active cases.

"We have seen this primarily due to a local cluster of cases. Most notably our cases at Fieldbrook Foods, and now we're seeing another cluster identified to SUNY Fredonia," said Wendel.

Fieldbrook Foods now has 58 employees who have tested positive.

"In general, Fieldbrook Foods was doing a very good job of implementing all of the preventive guidance that has come out," said Christine Schuyler, Public Health Director. "Staff did identify some areas, some vulnerable places where we really recommended some improvements be made."

The latest numbers from SUNY Fredonia show 50 cases, which county leaders said are tied to parties.

"We're working with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office as well as the campus security, and the Fredonia Police to ensure that any knowledge that we get of any gatherings will be addressed. The law enforcement will be going out and we will be breaking up gatherings," said Schuyler.

In response, the school will conduct another round of pool testing on campus Monday. Going forward, pool testing will occur every week.

Wendel said Chautauqua County will receive four rapid test machines and test materials to provide 1,000 tests.

There are eleven deaths as of Friday, and as the Labor Day weekend approaches, the county and the health department warn residents to avoid large gatherings and to always wear a mask.

Wendel also encouraged residents to report businesses and individuals who are violating State Regulations and PAUSE restrictions.