First positive coronavirus case reported in Cattaraugus County


A confirmed case of the coronavirus was reported in Cattaraugus County Friday morning, just weeks after having zero confirmed cases.

Health officials say the woman is in her 30s, she’s from the northwestern part of the county and she is at her home in isolation.

Public health director Dr. Kevin Watkins, says the woman has a travel history of going to New York City and became sick earlier this month. They are currently in the process of tracing the people she may of come in contact with.

“So, at this time we have gone our to her home and we’re making sure that she is doing well,” Watkins said. “And we’re assessing her and family and seeing if there’s a need for any more medical support on our end.”

Watkins says testing is a serious factor in determining future cases. Right now, there’s a limited supply of testing and there’s no word on when more testing kits will arrive.

“I don’t know what appears to be the big delay in providing sample kits, but it just appears to that all of those sample kits, either they end up going downstate or the facility that makes them, are just not able to produce enough of them,” he said. “And, that’s unfortunate, because there’s no way to determine the prevalence of this virus in your community if you don’t at least sample a good portion of your population.”

The county is one of a handful of counties in the state that have gone weeks without a positive case and some residents in the county, have different opinions on why that might be.

“Well, I don’t know. Maybe, because we’re a little more rural,” said Natalie Roberts of Ellicottville.

Some feel as though, the disease has just gone undetected.

“To be honest, I think it already went through. I know in January there were a lot of people who got real, real sick, myself included, but they didn’t know what it was,” said Steven Wig.

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