Officials in Niagara County say three more positive tests have come back, raising their known number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases to four as of late Thursday morning.
The latest patients, whose ages range from 62 to 83, are from the western end of the county, according to updated information released Thursday afternoon.
"I recognize the public wants as much information as possible as soon as possible. We are doing our best to get that out," said Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton in a prepared statement issued Thursday afternoon. "Our initial priority is quarantining those who were in close, regular contact with these individuals because that is the key to reducing community spread. With three cases, that effort is taking time but our team is working hard. A full contact trace that looks back at all the places an individual has been will take between 24 and 48 hours and will be released as soon as we can. At this time, we cannot say for sure if the disease was contracted through community spread or exposure through travel to a hot zone, but all signs seem to be pointing toward community spread."
The latest patients found to have COVID-19 are, according to county health officials:
An 83 year-old man who tested positive at Mount St. Mary’s who has underlying health complications and is currently in a local health care facility.
A 62 year-old man who tested positive at a Kaleida facility, who does not have any apparent underlying health complications and is currently isolating at home.
A 62 year-old female, who tested positive at a Kaleida facility. It is unknown at this time about any underlying health condition. She is isolating at home.
Earlier in the week, Niagara County officials confirmed their first known case, a woman in her early 40s who had recognized the symptoms and went into self-imposed quarantine.
As of Thursday afternoon, 42 individuals were in quarantine and four in isolation, including the three newly-identified positive cases. Five more test results were pending.