COVID deaths were undercounted

BATAVIA — New COVID-19 cases ramped up significantly across the GLOW region over the weekend, while Genesee County also reported a spike in hospitalizations.

A total of 178 new cases were reported as of Monday afternoon within the region. In the meantime, the number of people hospitalized in Genesee County nearly doubled from eight to 15 since Friday.

The numbers again have officials within the counties urging people to use caution, to help keep prevent new cases from rising even more.

Jennifer Rodriguez, director of the Livingston County Department of Public Health, said her staff is seeing more instances of “living room spread of COVID-19 as folks gather in smaller, indoor settings during this time of year.”

Livingston County’s seven-day average positivity rate, a key metric used in determining whether the state’s color-coded lockdown restrictions go into effect, has decreased in recent days after peaking at 4.72 percent on Nov. 15. The rate had been around 1 percent in mid-October.

Along with increased positivity rates, the county is seeing a dramatic rise in the number of contacts, or people who have been exposed to positive cases and must quarantine. As of Monday, there were 600 county residents in quarantine, Rodriguez said.

“We encourage residents to choose wisely as they decide to attend social gatherings,” she said.

Livingston County health department data revealed that recent positive cases have often involved the college age group, with mini-clusters reported at SUNY Geneseo and Elim Bible Institute and College in Lima. Another mini-cluster was traced to a large social gathering in a neighboring county.

The Alpine Manor — an assisted living home for older adults in Lima — has also experienced a recent mini-cluster of positive COVID-19 cases and one resident’s death. “These types of clusters are especially worrisome because they often involve populations that are more vulnerable,” Rodriguez said.

Livingston County Administrator Ian M. Coyle stated, “As a county government, we remain steadfast in our support of first responders, nurses and essential staff and thank them for their tireless efforts during this pandemic.

“I encourage friends and neighbors to work together to protect the vulnerable and those most at risk as, in doing so, you protect the essential workforce as well,” he continued. “You may be impacted from the virus, carry it, be without symptoms and spread it to someone who will be negatively impacted.

“People should assume the virus is everywhere and act accordingly with public health top of mind,” he said. “Please remember to stay home if you are sick. Wash and disinfect your hands regularly, wear a mask, and maintain social distance to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

A county-by-county look at the data:

Genesee County reported 77 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing its total to 729 cases.

The new positive cases reported since Friday are residents of Batavia, Darien, Elba, LeRoy, Oakfield, Pavilion, and Pembroke. The individuals are younger than 20 years old, and in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Two were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.

Fifteen people are currently hospitalized.

Recoveries increased by 37 to 490, according to data from the Genesee and Orleans County health departments.

As of Monday, Genesee County data showed 128 community active cases under mandatory isolation, along with 725 people under mandatory community quarantine. There have been five deaths attributed to the virus.

There have been 46,562 total tests for the virus conducted in Genesee County. The results include 45,910 negative tests for an infection rate among those tested of 1.40 percent.

Orleans County reported 29 new case on Monday, bringing its overall total to 571, officials said.

The new positive cases reside in Albion, Barre, Clarendon, Gaines, Murray, Ridgeway, Shelby and Yates. The cases included individuals younger than 20 years old, and in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. Nine were under mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.

Four of the 29 new totals being reported Monday were not included in the mandatory isolation count as their positive test results were received after their isolation period was completed. The health department encourage anyone who has tested to self-isolate and limit contact with others as they wait on their test results, especially if they are having symptoms. One of the new positives is an inmate at Albion Correctional Facility.

Two people are hospitalized.

The number of recoveries in Orleans County increased by 36 to 364 people.

As of Monday, there were 36 active community cases under mandatory isolation, 221 people under mandatory community quarantine. There have been 57 total deaths.

To date, there have been 25,097 total tests conducted for county residents, with 24,526 of them negative for an infection rate of 2.28 percent among those tested.

Wyoming County reported 28 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing its overall total to 371 cases since the pandemic began, according to the Wyoming County Health Department.

Fourteen cases are from the northwest quadrant, which includes Attica, Bennington, Orangeville and Sheldon; eight is from the southwest quadrant which includes Arcade, Eagle, Java and Wethersfield; two are from the southeast quadrant, which includes Castile, Gainesville, Genesee Falls and Pike; and four from is from the northeast quadrant which includes Covington, Middlebury, Perry and Warsaw. The cases include one person younger than 20 years old, four in their 20s, three in their 30s, five in their 40s, six in their 50s, four in their 60s, two in their 70s, one in their 80s, and one in their 90s.

As of Monday, the county had 50 active cases under mandatory isolation, 208 people in mandatory quarantine, and 46 in precautionary quarantine after traveling out-of-state.

Twenty-two new recoveries were reported, bringing the county’s total to 316. The county has had five total deaths.

A total of 29,919 tests have been conducted, with 29,548 negative results. The infection rate among those tested is 1.24 percent.

The Livingston County Department of Public Health has reported 44 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing its total to 649 confirmed cases since the pandemic began.

The county also reported 37 recoveries, bringing that total to 566.

The number of active cases is 73, according to the county’s COVID-19 tracking map.

Active cases include 14 cases in Lima (down one); 11 in Caledonia (up one); 10 in Mount Morris (up four); nine in Avon (up one); eight in Dansville (up one); five each in Geneseo (down one) and Livonia (up two); four in Piffard (down one); two each in Linwood and a Wayland address in a Livingston County zip code (up one); and single cases in Conesus, Dalton, and Leicester.

Livingston County has administered 47,782 tests for COVID-19 among county residents. The results include 48,133 negative results, according to the county’s COVID-19 tracking map. The infection rate among those tested is 1.36 percent.

SUNY Geneseo reported seven active cases within its college community, while 54 students are in quarantine, according to data from the college’s COVID-19 dashboard and the state tracker.

Includes reporting by Matt Surtel and Matt Leader

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