OLEAN — There were 35 new COVID-19 positive test results for Cattaraugus County residents Thursday — including 14 more St. Bonaventure University students.
The 14 new positive tests on the university campus bring to 62 the number of students who have tested positive this week.
St. Bonaventure President Dennis DePerro notified students and staff Thursday night he has suspended in-person classes after today. He indicated the university’s active caseload has increased to a point where staff can no longer care for any more positive students than are now in isolation on campus.
The total COVID-19 positive tests in Cattaraugus County is now 762.
There have been no new coronavirus deaths since a 23rd person, a 77-year-old man in respiratory failure who died on Tuesday.
The Cattaraugus County Health Department is reporting 236 active cases and 15 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. There are currently 439 individuals in contact quarantine and 25 in travelers quarantine.
The daily positive COVID-19 positive rate was 5.8%, while the 7-day rolling average is 4.8% and the 14-day rolling average is 3.3%.
In neighboring Allegany County, 36 new cases were reported Thursday, pushing the county’s total to nearly 800 — there have been 790 confirmed cases since the spring. A total of 536 people have recovered from COVID-19, while there have been 27 deaths. A total of 1,063 residents were in isolation or quarantine on Thursday.
Allegany County’s seven-day positivity rate in testing was 5.7% on Wednesday, according to data compiled by the New York Department of Health.
Erie County, meanwhile, found itself largely with an orange designation by the state after being mostly yellow earlier in the week. In orange areas, schools must go all-remote. They can resume in-school instruction after four days of cleaning the schools and testing all students and staff.
There are 233 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 in the five Western New York counties, a number that has doubled in the past two weeks. It is only 30 people below the peak number hospitalized during April.
The Western New York death toll from COVID-19 stands at 980, while 25,000 have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers to stay home for Thanksgiving and limit their gatherings to the immediate household.
“I will wager you that if people are not extraordinarily diligent and act in a way they’ve never acted before, you’re going to see a very large spike,” the governor said Thursday, echoing the federal Centers for Disease Control’s plea that Americans not travel.
“The travel is a real problem for us because this state still has the lowest infection, except for Vermont or Maine,” Cuomo said. “If people are coming from Vermont or Maine, they don’t pose as much of a risk. If they’re coming from anywhere else, they pose a greater risk.
“It’s your family, it’s your home, it’s your table, these are all environments where you feel safe and that is the beauty of Thanksgiving,” Cuomo added. “I’m at home with my family. I’m in my safe zone. Your safe zone, it’s not a safe zone. Your safe zone is dangerous this year. Please — love is sometimes doing what’s hard.”
Dr. Kevin D. Watkins, Cattaraugus County’s public health director, urged residents to hunker down in their home and not go outside without a mask. Maintain social distancing and wash your hands often, he advised.
Watkins said Cattaraugus County residents who want to be tested for COVID-19 can register online at www.cattco.org/covid-19-test or call (716) 938-9119 or 938-2265.
In nearby Pennsylvania counties, McKean County’s COVID-19 case count jumped by 25 cases with Thursday’s reporting, to a total of 327, and one additional COVID-19 death was reported.
McKean, Elk and Potter counties have each reported 3 deaths.
Elk County saw an increase of 10 cases to 393, Potter, five additional cases to a total of 123, while Cameron County remained at 17.