COVID cases remain high in Genesee, Orleans counties

WARSAW – Wyoming County has declared a state of emergency due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, which has placed “significant strains” on the Wyoming County Community Health System.

The state of emergency took effective at 2:41 p.m. Dec. 1 and will remain in place for up to 30 days, unless rescinded. The declaration my be extended for additional 30-day periods, said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Rebecca Ryan.

“There has been an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in residents throughout the county, placing significant strains on the Wyoming County Community Health System,” said Ryan, who is also the Warsaw town supervisor.

“The purposes of this state of emergency is to assist in the procurement of goods and services and to render all required and available assistance to the Wyoming County Community Health System, County Health Department, municipalities and school districts that is vital to the security, well-being, and health and safety of the citizens of Wyoming County,” Ryan said in a statement.

The declaration came a day after WCCHS updated its visitation policy, including requiring masks and instituting a COVID-19 testing procedure.

Wyoming County Community Health System is run by Wyoming County. It is one of just two county-owned hospitals in New York State.

As of Nov. 24, the most recent data available, Wyoming County had 155 active cases of COVID-19, according to the Wyoming County Department of Health.

While cases have been rising, the rate of hospitalization is causing concern in the Finger Lakes region. Monroe County declared a state of emergency on Monday.

Hospitals in the nine-county Finger Lakes region, which includes Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties, reported 462 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 as of Nov. 29. That include 105 people in intensive care units, according to the state department of health’s daily hospitalization summary.

The rate of hospitalizations in the Finger Lakes is 34.74 people per 100,000 residents in the past seven days, according to the state department of health.

A week ago, on Nov. 22, the region saw 391 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including 85 in ICU. The seven-day rate of hospitalizations on Nov. 22 stood at 32.503 people per 100,000 residents, according to the state department of health.

Other GLOW-region hospitals have also acknowledged increasing pandemic challenges.

Noyes Health officials told The Livingston County News on Wednesday that the hospital census at Noyes Memorial Hospital, Dansville, continued to grow, “both because of the pandemic and other area hospitals occasionally diverting patients to Noyes.”

“Patient volumes are at record numbers since the beginning of the pandemic,” the hospital said in a statement responding to a series of emailed questions.

As of Wednesday morning, Noyes reported 52 inpatients, with 24 of them COVID positive and five of them intubated.

“With the Thanksgiving holiday, we expect to see the COVID numbers continue to grow,” the hospital said.

Noyes has had a number of patients transferred there from other hospitals, because those hospitals were at or over capacity.

There have been times when patients in the Emergency Department have had delays being transported to a bed on the floor.

Noyes Health on Nov. 24 canceled elective surgeries in Dansville through Dec. 8 and moved most elective surgeries not requiring post-op hospitalization to its Geneseo facility so the procedures could continue. That move opened up additional patient beds in Dansville.

The hospital is also updating its visitors’ policy, with changes taking effect on Friday.

There were at least 879 active cases of COVID-19 in the GLOW region, based on the most recent available data. In addition to the 155 cases in Wyoming County as of Nov. 24, there were in Genesee County, 241 cases, Orleans County, 222 cases, and Livingston County, 261 cases, all as of Nov. 29.

The positivity rates in the GLOW region remain above rates for the Finger Lakes and are significantly higher than statewide rates.

In Wyoming County, the 7-day positivity rate was 14.5% as of Nov. 29. Genesee County was at 13.6%, Orleans was 12.8% and Livingston County was 10.8%. The Finger Lakes was 9.9%, while the statewide rate was 4.2%, according to the state Department of Health.

Health officials continue to encourage residents to get vaccines and boosters to reduce the chance of severe illness if they were to contract COVID.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1