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COVID-19 updates for Western New York counties on May 22

7,022 people have tested positive for COVID-19, and 583 people have died across the eight counties of Western New York.

NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. — Erie County is the largest county in the state's Western Region, which includes Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. 

On Friday night, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz shared that there are now 5,465 cases of COVID-19 within the county. The county executive also reported eight more deaths, bringing the total to 480.

The Health Department said it has conducted 40,291 coronavirus tests so far. on Thursday alone, over 2,200 tests were conducted in Erie County.

On Friday afternoon, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz shared on Twitter that hospitalizations have "dropped again" as of May 20. 

In a hospitalization graph shared, Erie County COVID-19 hospitalizations are seen climbing from 179 on May 17 to 182 on May 18, and then to 186 on May 19. On May 20, hospitalizations dropped to 178, down 12 from the day before. 

Patients in the ICU, on airway assists, and deaths also dropped on May 20. Thirty-eight patients with COVID-19 were hospitalized in the ICU, and 30 of those patients were on airway assists. Three hospital patients died.

The county executive now reports that as of May 20, people 65 and older made up 61 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. On Thursday, Poloncarz had said that 65 percent of COVID-19 patients were ages 65 and older and 35 percent were ages 64 and under. He added that there has been growth in the number of patients age 85 or older.

Niagara County 

On Friday, the Niagara County Health Department's coronavirus tracking map reported no new COVID-19 related deaths since Thursday. There are a total of 59 deaths in the county.

The map shows that there are 15 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 936. 

The Health Department's map shows 263 active cases. A total of 614 residents have recovered from coronavirus in the county. 

County officials said there are 248 people isolating at home, while 15 are hospitalized. The health department said they have conducted 9,151 tests as of Friday at 11 a.m. 

Anyone in Niagara County who is looking to get tested for COVID-19 at Niagara Community College must call the New York State hotline at 1-888-364-3065. Drive-thru testing is by appointment only.

Per Governor Andrew Cuomo's executive order, hospitals in Niagara County can resume elective surgeries. This includes Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Mount St. Mary's Hospital, and Eastern Niagara Hospital.

Cattaraugus County

The Cattaraugus County Health Department reported six new cases on Friday. The county currently has 59 confirmed cases. The county has now run more than 3,000 tests.

The Cattaraugus County's COVID-19 tracking map shows that 17 cases are currently active. 

Overall, there have been two deaths, 40 recoveries (up three), 68 people who are now under quarantine/isolation orders (up 18), and 2,840 negative test results out of 3,091 tests.

Chautauqua County

Chautauqua County reported having 70 confirmed cases as of Friday afternoon. Twenty-seven of them are active and four people have died. 

There are currently 189 people under isolation or quarantine orders. 

Allegany County

No new cases were reported on Thursday or Friday, with total number of confirmed cases holding at 44. Overall, there has been one death, 41 recoveries, and 22 people who are now under quarantine/isolation orders. A total of 615 people have been released from quarantine/isolation out of 637.

Wyoming County 

The Wyoming County Health Department did not report any new cases of coronavirus on Thursday or Friday. The county currently has 76 positive cases of COVID-19.

Overall, there have been five deaths and 68 recoveries. Currently three residents are in mandatory isolation and 12 are in mandatory quarantine.

The county reports 1,383 negative test results as of Friday (up 52), out of 1,459 total tests (also up 52).

Genesee County

The county reported no new cases on Friday, with the total number of cases sitting at 178. At this time, four people have died and 112 people have recovered.

As of Friday, 11 residents are under mandatory isolation orders, and 42 people are in mandatory quarantine. There are 11 active cases, down three from Thursday. The county reports 2,569 negative test results out of 2,747 tests. 

Orleans County

The county reported 23 new cases on Friday, bringing the total to 194. The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments also report five additional residents have died, bringing the total to 28. Fifty-nine residents have recovered.

As of Friday, 17 residents are in mandatory isolation, while 70 people are in mandatory quarantine. The county reports 1,429 tests have come back negative out of 1,623 total. There are 17 active cases, down one from Thursday.

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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing

  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands

  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members

  • Use different utensils and dishes

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, hot your hand.

  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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