Niagara County announced late Thursday morning that three more county residents have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the county to four.
Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said in a news release that all three of the newly diagnosed patients live in western Niagara County, defined by the county as Niagara Falls and the towns of Niagara, Lewiston and Porter.
The new cases are:
· An 83 year-old man who tested positive at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston. He has underlying health complications and is currently in a local health care facility, a county news release said.
· A 62 year-old man who tested positive at a Kaleida Health facility. He does not have any apparent underlying health complications and is currently isolating at home.
· A 62 year-old female, who tested positive at a Kaleida facility. She is in oisolation at home, and the county has no information about any underlying conditions she may have.
“I recognize the public wants as much information as possible as soon as possible. We are doing our best to get that out," Stapleton said in a statement.
"Our initial priority is quarantining those who were in close, regular contact with these individuals because that is the key to reducing community spread. With three cases, that effort is taking time but our team is working hard. A full contact trace that looks back at all the places an individual has been will take between 24 and 48 hours and will be released as soon as we can. At this time, we cannot say for sure if the disease was contracted through community spread or exposure through travel to a hot zone, but all signs seem to be pointing toward community spread."
Stapleton said none of these three patients had been under county Health Department quarantine and none of them are connected to each other.
The test results came from the State Health Department.
Stapleton said late Thursday afternoon that the number of people quarantined in the county is now 42 and growing, attributable only in part to the new cases. The number in quarantine was 34 at the end of the day Wednesday and 22 as of Wednesday's morning news conference about the county's first Covid-19 case, a 42-year-old woman with a compromised immune system who is hospitalized in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.
Stapleton said the five test results he mentioned during the Wednesday news conference still have not been received.