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Chautauqua County sees range of new coronavirus cases, including two under age 18

Chautauqua County

There was a time when the fruits of hot summer misbehavior were hangovers and bad sunburns. Chautauqua County is seeing COVID-19 infections.

Virus cases in the county have been low in recent weeks, with occasional outbursts. Tuesday, there were nine new cases, although none were hospitalized.

Different about these cases were the ages: two under the age of 18, two males and a female in their 20s, a male in the 30s, a female in the 40s, a female in her 50s and a male in the 60s. That covers most age groups being diagnosed.

Chautauqua County Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler said these are not people visiting Pennsylvania, but party sites in their own county.

"From what we can tell, we don't believe it's people crossing the line. What we seem to be experiencing is an increase in cases due to things such as graduation parties, barbecues, picnics, people gathering together, especially young people, and not abiding by the social distancing requirements," Schuyler said.

She said young people are often not cooperative with contact tracers following infections. However, they are on social media with pictures, are sometimes blown in by other people who are angry about the resulting infections, and are sometimes caught by screening procedures at their jobs.

"We were looking at -- for instance, the week of June 28-July 4 -- our percent positive rate for that week was 0.4%," Schuyler said. "Going to July 5-July 11, in what we were reported, our percent positive rate went up to 1.5%."

Schuyler is expecting more cases as the warm and sunny weather of summer continues.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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