Cattaraugus County on Thursday reported nine new cases of COVID-19, while Allegany County reported eight new cases.

The Cattaraugus County Department of Health’s active positive caseload reported Thursday was 84 as there have been 244 residents who have recovered from COVID-19. The county total cases since the onset of the pandemic is 337 and there have been 12 deaths.

Dr. Kevin Watkins, public health director for the county, reported that one of the new cases is a male resident of a Cattaraugus County nursing facility, which was not identified. The infection comes a day after the health department reported eight residents of an unnamed nursing facility and two healthcare workers were among 16 new COVID-19 cases in the county.

There were also four new cases of residents on the southeast quadrant of the county — two males and two females. None of the four reported any significant travel while three of the four reported they had direct contact with persons positive for COVID-19.

In the southwest quadrant of the county, a mother and son were among the new positives. Watkins said they recently traveled to Maryland and reported direct contact with someone positive for the virus.

Also in the southwest part of the county, a female who recently traveled to Virginia and North Carolina — but who reported no known contact with an infected person — tested positive.

Finally, a female from the northeast part of the county, who reported contact with someone positive for COVID-19, rounded out the new cases.

The health department has begun contact tracing regarding each case.

“We would like to reiterate that if any resident experience fever, cough, shortness of breath or whole body aches they should contact their health care provider (avoid going directly to an urgent care facility, or the Emergency Room before calling),” Watkins said in a press release.

As infections mount in the county, residents are urged to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after using the bathroom, coughing, sneezing or blowing one’s nose.

If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains a minimum of 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially with unwashed hands and disinfect commonly touched surfaces with a cleaner that is approved by the EPA against COVID-19.

Any resident interested in getting a swab test may register via the county’s website or call 938-9119 or 938-2265.

In Allegany County, the eight new COVID-19 cases reported Thursday pushed the county’s total for the pandemic to 203. That comes a day after the county’s health department reported two deaths and a total of 30 infections at the Houghton Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

A total of 147 Allegany County residents have recovered from the virus since the spring, while there have been three deaths.

There were 327 residents in quarantine on Thursday.

For COVID-19 questions and information in Allegany County, call the health department at (585) 268-9250, email healthinfo@alleganyco.com or visit the county’s website at www.alleganyco.com.

In Western New York, the positivity rate for coronavirus testing Wednesday was 1.6% (up from 1% Tuesday) and tied for the highest rate with the Mid-Hudson region.

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will provide 200,000 rapid test kits to New York City schools in “yellow zones,” a week after he said rapid-result testing would be made available to every county in the state.

Those tests will also be made available on an as-needed basis to help schools in so-called “yellow zones” test students and staff.

“I’ve asked local governments to do testing in the schools surrounding the red zones, in what we call yellow zones,” Cuomo said in a press release. “Some of the local governments have said they don’t have enough tests to do it. I’ve said if you need something, tell me and I’ll provide it.”

In “red zone” focus areas downstate, the positivity rate for test results reported Wednesday was 4.84%, down from 6.29% Tuesday. The red zones are home to 2.8% of the state’s population, yet had 11.5% of all positive cases Wednesday.

In the rest of the state, not counting red zones, 129,739 test results were reported, yielding 1,292 positives, or a 0.99% positivity rate. The state’s overall positivity rate was 1.09% with focus areas included.

There were 13 deaths reported Wednesday, pushing the state’s confirmed total to 25,618. Patient hospitalization (897) fell by 41 Wednesday, with 108 newly admitted patients.

There were 197 (-4) patients in ICUs, 95 (-5) of them intubated.

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