With COVID infections low, Chautauqua County hopes to reopen soon
While Chautauqua County sits adjacent to Erie County, the coronavirus has had a drastically different impact on the two entities. Hundreds of Erie County residents have been infected with the virus, with 266 deaths attributed to COVID-19. In Chautauqua County, there have been less than 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19; three lives have been claimed by the virus. County Executive P.J. Wendel reports four county residents are currently dealing with the virus. "Prior to Tuesday, we had not had a hospitalization for COVID-19 since the eighth of April."
Wendel, who discussed his county's situation Friday morning with WBFO, said 804 county residents have had negative tests for the virus and 25 people have recovered from the infection. Wendel is also confident the county's healthcare facilities have the capacity to help the community move forward in the weeks to come.
"Whatever guidance comes from Albany is what's going to prevail, obviously," Wendel said when asked if Chautauqua businesses are prepared to reopen at a reduced capacity. He says business owners are communicating and working to develop best practices to keep patrons and employees safe.