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Cuomo: WNY Region positive rate is 2%; state sending health officials to assist

The governor issued the caution flag earlier this week after a steady increase of positive cases.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the caution flag in the Western New York region will be raised a little higher after the region's COVID-19 positive rate was at 2% for August 26. 

The governor issued the caution flag earlier this week after a steady increase of positive cases.

Of the 5,983 COVID-19 test results for August 26, 118 were positive. The last time there were more than 100 positive results on a single day in the region was May 22.   The seven- day rolling average of positive test results continues to climb. The average of the percent positive is now 1.6%, that’s double what it was on August 17.

When asked about locations, the governor said they have traced at least 53 positive cases to a food processing plant in Chautauqua County. 

Other cases are attributed to community spread, a steel plant in Erie County, new cases at two nursing homes, seasonal labor at farms.

Governor Cuomo says the state will deploy a SWAT team from the Department of Health and open eight testing sites, including three in the City of Buffalo.

"The infection rate in Western New York was 2 percent so that's not good news, and we're going to deploy a SWAT team from the Department of Health that are going to do additional testing at eight sites," said Cuomo.  

The sites will be located in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Lockport, Williamsville, West Seneca and Dunkirk. The state will use Abbott testing machines at these sites, according to the governor,  which will get same-day results. 

"People will have to make an appointment, but we are focusing on Western New York and we're going to continue to focus on it," said Cuomo.

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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