Orleans has highest Covid percentage in Finger Lakes Region

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2020 at 8:42 pm

‘We really need to buckle down.’ – Paul Pettit, public health director

ALBION – Orleans County has the highest percentage of positive cases in the Finger Lakes over the past seven days and on Monday.

And that is in a region which leads the state for the highest percentage of positive tests – 8.17 percent on Monday.

“We’re trending in the wrong direction,” Paul Pettit, the county’s public health director, told local elected officials in a conference call this evening. “We really need to buckle down.”

Orleans has had far fewer Covid cases than neighboring Genesee in recent days and weeks. But Genesee is testing a lot more people and has a lower positivity rate. That rate is one of the key indicators the state uses in determining whether an area will be designated a yellow, orange or red micro-cluster with added restrictions on businesses, schools and for gatherings.

Orleans had a 9.7 percent positivity rate on Monday and has a 9.5 percent rate the past seven days. The Finger Lakes Region has had the highest positivity rate each day among the 10 regions since Dec. 7, averaging 7 to 8 percent nearly every day.

Here are the rates among the nine counties in the region:

  • Genesee: 4.9% on Monday (27 out of 555); 8.6% over 7 days
  • Livingston: 6.0% on Monday (33 out of 546); 6.1% over 7 days
  • Monroe: 7.9% on Monday (548 out of 6,949); 8.7% over 7 days
  • Ontario: 7.6% on Monday (46 out of 602); 7.1% over 7 days
  • Orleans: 9.7% on Monday (17 out of 175); 9.5% over 7 days
  • Seneca: 4.4% on Monday (8 out of 181); 6.3% over 7 days
  • Wayne: 6.7% on Monday (34 out of 504); 6.1% over 7 days
  • Wyoming: 7.6% on Monday (19 out of 249); 7.9% over 7 days
  • Yates: 3.7 % on Monday (3 out of 81); 5.6% over 7 days

The City of Batavia and an area with the Batavia zip code was designated a yellow zone on Monday by the state. That is a precautionary zone with the least restrictions of the three zones. (Orange and red are more restrictive.)

Pettit said Orleans is trending towards a micro-cluster designation. He urged the community to adhere to social distancing, wear face masks when in public buildings, stay home if showing symptoms and try to avoid social gatherings of any size.

Those gatherings are responsible for 74 percent of the Covid spread in the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Pettit, who is also public health director in Genesee County, said the gatherings, even three or four people, are big factors in the local spread as well.

“What we know about Covid is it does a very good time of spreading in close gatherings,” Pettit said.

Many people are contracting the virus at work and then bringing it home, where it spreads to family. If friends come over, it can spread from that indoor social gathering, Pettit said.

These are the percentage of positive tests by each region the past three days.