Another person has died from COVID-19 in Niagara County and there are 32 new positive tests, said Legislature Chair Becky Wydysh in her Thursday briefing.
The deceased person is identified only as a 65-year-old man with underlying health conditions. That brings the death toll up to 18 and the total number of positive cases to 326, with 154 county residents recovered.
Wydysh said the increase might be a little misleading.
"We also believe that this number is a byproduct of the factor that we are doing more testing recently in Niagara County," she said. "So while this number is a bit shocking - it's hard to hear 32 new cases in one day - it's not surprising to the professionals. It underscores that we are not on the downside of this curve yet. We've continued to say our numbers are still going up."
Wydysh said there have been more than 1,400 tests across the county and Albany is continuing its antibody tests to show who had the virus and may not have known. Across the entire state, that approaches 14%, skewed by the cases numbers around New York City. Upstate it is only nearing 4%.
Wydysh said more tests are needed to allow better decisions.
"Bottom line is that we can't make accurate and informed decisions when we don't have an accurate picture of what's happening," Wydysh said. "So, again, we will continue to work on getting those tests, getting the correct individuals tested to get an idea of what's happening, making sure that our first frontline responders are being tested that need to be. Those individuals, again, working with the public, our healthcare workers, our First Responders, all of those individuals."