Niagara County residents and local leaders react to surge in COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

NIAGARA COUNTY (WIVB)– Coronavirus numbers continue to climb in Niagara County. The health department is reporting a 10.8% positivity rate.

Stay home, that’s the message from Niagara County Health officials are trying to get across to the general public as coronavirus numbers surge in just days.

Niagara County Department of Public Health says there have been about 900 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 since last Wednesday. Most of those positive cases were from 20 and 30-year old residents.

“The people that we’re getting now, they’re from people who live here, so it’s not students visiting, or who go to school here. It’s from people who live here.”

Daniel J. Stapleton, Public Health Director

The county’s public health director says the spike is happening for a number of reasons, including relaxed COVID-19 precautions.

Stapleton goes on to say “We want to make sure that people are taking this seriously, because we have 108 people who died. so when they say it’s not that serious, it’s serious to 108 people, who lost their loved ones.”

The spike in numbers is making a few residents in the county nervous.

North Tonawanda resident Connie Heim said, “It’s horrible and I’m hoping this thing will go away finally.”

Another resident, Now Weegee Rosart chimed in, “It makes me more cautious about where I go and what I do.”

Right now, only North Tonawanda and a portion of Niagara-Wheatfield are in a yellow zone.

In Niagara Falls, an area with more than 200 active cases, officials say they’ve been walking the line with COVID-19 safety precautions.

“There’s really such a simple method for all of us to continue to battle this and that simple method is please, please please wear your mask.”

Robert Restaino, Mayor, Robert Restaino

If you’re heading out to get tested for COVID-19 in Niagara County, the health department says, it’s important to remember that their tests are free.

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