Cattaraugus County recorded its first positive coronavirus test today, Public Health Director Dr. Kevin Watkins reported.
On Thursday, Cattaraugus County was the only county in Western New York and one of only a handful statewide that had not reported a confirmed COVID-19 case.
The positive case is a 33-year-old woman from a rural community in northern Cattaraugus County, who recently traveled to New York City and to the Buffalo area, Watkins said. He did not identify the community.
The woman and her immediate family are under mandatory quarantine in their home, Watkins said. Health Department staff are moving to determine who the woman’s contacts have been, and their contacts.
Watkins said it’s unclear where the woman was when she became infected. He does not believe she traveled to any Cattaraugus County businesses, which could minimize the spread here.
Watkins said the woman had earlier been diagnosed with influenza, but that after her condition didn’t improve, she went to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, where she received a COVID-19 test. The results were reported to the Cattaraugus County Health Department this morning.
“Staff are at her home now,” Watkins told the Olean Times Herald today. “They will quarantine her and the rest of her family and test the rest of the family as well. This is not unexpected,” he added of the first confirmed case.
“The prevalence has been low here and there have been no positives. We did know it was in the area,” Watkins said.
“We will continue to be vigilant in trying to trace anyone this person has been in contact with and any places she has gone,” he said. “We have not identified any major stores or areas or public parks or restaurants” where she had been.
Cattaraugus County Health Department staff will notify their counterparts in Erie County of the woman’s positive and her recent movements in Buffalo, Watkins said.
“I really wish people would hunker down in their homes,” Watkins said. “Traveling to areas where there is a high risk of COVID-19 is putting yourself and others at risk.”
Watkins warned, “If travel is not essential, stay indoors and avoid traveling to other areas where (there is) community spread.”
With the newly quarantined, Cattaraugus County now has 65 people in quarantine — 52 under mandatory quarantine and 13 precautionary.
“We’ve got 21 test results pending,” Watkins said. “We’ve tested 104 individuals and we’ve got the one positive case.