Chautauqua County enacts its COVID-19 Response Team, as 2 people test positive

Mar 24, 2020

Chautauqua County officials learned Monday there are two county residents who are officially diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.

County Executive Paul Wendel told a news conference of the test results.
"These cases were confirmed through testing at the ACL Laboratories and are the first confirmed cases in Chautauqua County," said Wendel. "The two individuals who were diagnosed with COVID-19 include a female in her 30s who resides in the Dunkirk area, with recent travel to the City of Buffalo. The second, a male in his 30s who resides in the Silver Creek area, with recent travel to the City of Buffalo, as well."

Public Health staff have begun an intensive investigation to identify close contacts of these two people. Once identified, the department will notify the close contacts of their potential exposure to COVID-19 and they will be placed under mandatory quarantine to monitor for symptoms.

County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler said she is not surprised.

"This confirmation is not a surprise to us. As we have been saying, my full assumption has been that the coronavirus is spreading around and in our community," she said. "The lab-confirmed cases just give us that official confirmation of what we have been thinking and what we have been preparing for. I fully expect to see more positive cases."

Both were in quarantine awaiting test results and remain in quarantine, although not in the hospital. One test took five days to return results and the other took three days.