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Niagara County now at four Covid-19 cases; the first 'did not have any community contact'

Niagara County announced Thursday afternoon that it had received three additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the county's total to four.

The three cases are all from the western region of Niagara County, which includes Niagara Falls, the Town of Niagara, Lewiston and Porter. The county's first case was also from the county's western region.

Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said the New York State Department of Health confirmed the three new positive test results on Thursday.

The county said that more information will be made public on the three additional cases as it becomes available.

Niagara County's first case of COVID-19 is one in which officials say a woman "did not have any community contact" dating back to one week before she developed symptoms of the coronavirus disease.

The 42-year-old woman started showing symptoms on March 8, when she "immediately began quarantining herself," according to a Thursday morning statement by Niagara County Legislature Chairwoman Becky Wydysh.

The Niagara County Department of Health's clinical team reviewed one full week before she was symptomatic, Wydysh said. Officials had several interviews with the woman, who officials believe contracted the disease through community spread.

"Based on the interviews and timeline, and thanks in large part to the affected individual’s actions to quickly quarantine herself, distance herself from family members and seek medical attention, the Niagara County Department of Health is confident she did not have any community contact during this period," Wydysh said.

"This means no shopping, no public transportation, no work, nor any other outside interactions. The only contact was with family."

Wydysh said the the county has been contacting people who were in direct contact with the woman "at a personal gathering" and instituting quarantines, with those people closely monitored. Wydysh said none of those subjects was showing any symptoms as of Thursday morning.

Wydysh said Niagara County had 34 individuals in quarantine, all of whom are showing no symptoms.

[COVID-19 news: Developments in Buffalo and Western New York]

The initial COVID-19 patient, who has been hospitalized in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, has a compromised immune system.

People with compromised immune systems do not have optimal ability to defend against illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people with compromised immune systems are one of the groups who are at greater risk for severe illness from the novel coronavirus, along with older adults and persons with underlying health conditions.

Officials said that the Niagara County Health Department learned of the first positive test result from the New York State Health Department at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The county issued a news release Tuesday night and held a news conference Wednesday morning.

Niagara County's first case of COVID-19 is one of community spread

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