OLEAN — Thirty-two new cases of COVID-19 were reported Tuesday by the Cattaraugus County Health Department.

That’s on top of 26 new cases on Monday, when the number of COVID-19 cases passed the 5,000 mark. Tuesday’s total increased to 5,044 cases.

The daily positivity was 3.9%, while the seven-day rolling average was 3.2% and 14-day average was 3.4%.

There were 16 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday. Ninty-two residents have died of the coronavirus.

Cattaraugus County Public Health Director Dr. Kevin D. Watkins said, “We are beginning to see an increase.”

He expressed concern that the increase in cases, which comes at a time of increased COVID-19 vaccinations, may be the result of coronavirus variants, which are highly transmissible.

Nearly 31% of the county’s population, or 23,725 people have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 16,391 have completed their vaccine series. That’s still a long way from so-called herd immunity, which Watkins puts at 80% or better.

“We just have to be vigilant,” Watkins said. He said residents should continue to wear masks, keep a social distance and not congregate in large groups and wash their hands frequently.

Twenty of the positive COVID-19 tests were from women and 10 from men.

Seventeen of the new cases were from the northeast part of the county, which now has a total of 887 cases. The southeast corner of the county had eight new cases for a total of 2,769, the northwest had four new cases for a total of 598, and the southwest had three new cases for a total of 773.

To register for a free COVID-19 diagnostic test, go online to: https://data.enchantedmountains.net/form/cattaraugus-county-covid-19-diagnostic-testing-registration-10

Vaccination registration and appointments for people age 18 and older can be made through the county’s website: www.cattco.org/covid-vacc-info or through the county’s Vaccine Hotline at (716) 701-3777.

(Contact reporter Rick Miller at rmiller@oleantimesherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)

(Contact reporter Rick Miller at rmiller@oleantimesherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)

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