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Niagara County reports 26 new COVID cases within past 24 hours

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In just one day, Niagara County's number of known cases of COVID-19 jumped from 65 to 91. Officials reported 26 additional cases during their Thursday afternoon briefing.

Most total cases to date are in municipalities with higher population density. Niagara Falls leads with a total 23 cases. Nine of those cases are among the latest reported Thursday afternoon. (Click here for the Niagara County COVID map)

Daniel Stapleton, Niagara County's public health director, says he's not surprised by the numbers. While some rural communities have yet to record a confirmed case, Stapleton warns that such a trend will likely not last much longer.

"If your municipality does not have a number in there, it doesn't mean that it isn't in your population. It just means that the testing isn't where we want it to be," he said. "We're improving on those. I think we're improving on having providers that are able to test... testing that we've been able to send on a limited basis. But people need to continue to expect it's in your hometown."

Among the outstanding cases, 77 individuals are in isolation, most of them at home. Officials add that 14 patients are currently hospitalized but 14 others have successfully recovered.

"The 14 recovered is an important number because it shows people that you can be positive for the virus,  you isolate yourself and then you are fine," Stapleton said. "We thank God we haven't had any deaths from this. Everybody is recovering as we would expect them to. But it's still scary."

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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