BELMONT — Allegany County officials hope locals will do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19 as cases rose by 19 on Monday.

To date, 928 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed by the Allegany County Department of Health, with 186 active cases and 710 recoveries. Officials report 32 deaths from the disease.

The 300th case was reported Oct. 24, taking seven months to hit that tally. The 600th case was reported Nov 13, doubling in three weeks. The 900th case was reported on Sunday, eight days later.

With a population of 46,430, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, almost 2% of Allegany County residents have tested positive for the disease.

Those aged 20 to 29 account for the most cases of any age group, at 170 cases. Those 50 to 59 accounted for 123 cases, while those 60 to 69 accounted for 103, and those 70 to 79 accounted for 102.

The positivity rate for Allegany County was 3.6% on Sunday, the state health department reported, with a seven-day average of 3.5%.

The seven-day average had been above 7% several days last week and at one point was the highest of any county in the state.

THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT asked residents to help in slowing the infection rate.

“As Allegany County moves closer to a potential yellow zone designation, we need to work together to protect our residents, help our hospitals and healthcare providers, and keep our businesses open,” said Theresa Moore, a spokeswoman for the department.

Under guidelines from the governor’s office, Tier 4 areas, including Allegany County, will start to see a yellow precautionary zone established if the area has seven-day rolling average positivity above 4% for 10 days and the area has 15 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents on a seven-day average.

If implemented — as they have been in neighboring Erie and Steuben counties — non-residential gatherings would be capped at 25 people, houses of worship would be limited to 50% capacity, restaurants would be required to limit parties to four customers and close by 10 p.m., and schools would be required to test 20% of in-person students and faculty every week.

On Tuesday, 302 tests were given, with 25 coming back positive — 8.3%.

Noting the importance of early detection, anyone who is sick or feeling ill should self-isolate, contact their primary care provider, and get tested.

For those unable to get tested through a PCP, call the health department at (585) 268-9250 and press #4. Leave your name and telephone number, and please answer your phone when someone calls you back to do the pre-registration.

“One way we battle the novel coronavirus is to know your status, and if you are positive, we need to know all of your contacts in order to break the virus transmission chain,” Moore said. “The public can continue to assist our office by downloading the COVID Alert NY application. If you do not wish to download the application, you can make lists of your contacts two days prior to becoming ill and keep them handy for when we call.

“We need to work together during this holiday season to slow the COVID-19 infection rate,” she added. “Limit your exposure during the holidays by celebrating in smaller groups and with people that live with you. Ask relatives, family, friends, and neighbors not to travel during the holidays. Do your holiday shopping online to limit your exposure in crowded malls or stores, have items shipped, or do outside of store pickups curbside.”

Mask wearing, frequent hand washing or sanitizing, keeping a social distance of six feet or more and avoiding crowded areas is also recommended.

For more information about COVID-19, call (585) 268-9250 or check out www.alleganyco.com.

(Contact City Editor Bob Clark at bclark@oleantimesherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @OTHBob)

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