The Cattaraugus County Department of Health has 12 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to Health Director Dr. Kevin Watkins.
The 12th case is a male resident who lives in the northwestern part of the county and a health care worker who had been in close contact with a known COVID-19 positive individual, according to the Cattaraugus County Department of Health’s press release. The man developed post-nasal drip, a dry cough and a fever and tested positive on April 7.
The 11th case is a female who lives in the southeastern part of the county and also tested positive on April 7. According to the press release, she has no significant travel history and was initially diagnosed with sinusitis after she arrived at an Urgent Care facility presenting post-nasal drip and headaches. Later, she developed a fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Both patients are in quarantine at home with their families, according to the release.
Six cases have been reported in the northwest part of the county; four cases have been reported in the southeastern part of the county; one case a piece have been reported in the northeast part of the county and the southwest part of the county, according to Cattaraugus County’s interactive map.
The New York State COVID-19 tracker lists 15 cases for Cattaraugus County. Watkins explained the discrepancy to TAPinto Greater Olean.
“We’ve identified at least four of them [patients] who live in another county,” Watkins said. “What we have to do then is transfer that case to that county. The state’s tracker is somewhat delayed in moving those transfer cases over to that county and may have more cases than what we have identified. For instance, today the state’s tracker may have Cattaraugus County at 15 cases, whereas we only have 12 confirmed cases. Those other cases have been transferred over to Erie County.”
As part of Cattaraugus County’s policy, the department of health is not allowed to disclose what municipalities COVID-19 patients live in. Watkins said it brings negative attention to a specific area.
“Because it is such a small county, when you identify someone by municipality or a zip code, it tends to draw attention to a specific area that should not be drawn to it,” Watkins said. “Just because we have identified several cases in a particular region or area, it doesn’t mean it's just located there. We have community-spread COVID-19. We should assume that everyone is positive until they’ve had a test saying otherwise.”
According to the department of health, a thorough contact tracing on the new COVID-19 positive individuals has begun. The department of health has not released contract tracing on any patients to the public since March 28.
Watkins said the same policy applies to contact tracing.
“It brings unnecessary attention to places that have been visited by COVID-19 positive individuals, when in reality we are assuming that everyone in our community is positive unless they have had a test to indicate otherwise.”
For more information on the Coronavirus in the Greater Olean area, visit TAPinto Greater Olean's Coronavirus Updates page, which is updated continuously.
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