OLEAN, NY — Dr. Kevin Watkins, Cattaraugus County director of public health, confirmed that at noon on Sunday, the county went in to a state of emergency.
While there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Cattaraugus County, Watkins raised concern about its presence in neighboring counties. Three cases of the virus were confirmed in Erie County on Saturday night.
"Because a number of our residents travel to Erie County to work or to see medical providers, it is inevitable that we will probably start to see positive cases in Cattaraugus County," Watkins said. "We are recommending that schools remove students from their classrooms as one way to assist us."
Watkins channeled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo by suggesting that restaurants and bar reconsider remaining open.
On Friday, St. Bonaventure University announced that it was ending all in-person instruction from Monday until March 27. Tom Missel, the university's chief communications officer, said Sunday, "There are no more in-person classes until March 30 at the earliest, and an extension will be considered if necessary."
Watkins said that the university will work with the county to reassess the situation moving forward. He urged SBU students to follow the recommendations of their schools when traveling to areas that have been infected.
"If you are going to travel back and forth from Buffalo back to on-campus classes, we ask that you continue to practice social distancing and proper respiratory etiquettes," Watkins said.
SBU has not provided a comment since the state of emergency was declared.
For more information on the Coronavirus in the Greater Olean area, visit TAPinto Greater Olean's Coronvirus Updates page, which is updated continuously.
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