Covid map

John Hopkins University has released a map that tracks the number of confirms and suspected cases of the deadly coronavirus. (John Hopkins University)

Local officials are creating an online "heat map" to show where COVID-19 has been confirmed in Niagara County, Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton announced Monday evening.

Stapleton said he expects to be able to release something by Tuesday.

This is a first for the Niagara County Health Department, Stapleton observed, adding that it was inspired by national heat maps he's been seeing showcasing the number of COVID-19 cases in the states.

"Depending on the number of cases it would get darker ... One case will show one shade of red and the darker the red the more cases they have," he explained.

Monday afternoon, three more positive COVID-19 test results in Niagara County were announced, which brings the total number of county cases to 12. Of the three new cases, one lives in the Town of Lockport, one in the city of Lockport and one in Niagara Falls.

There are 64 county residents under quarantine, 12 in isolation and four test results pending from last week. 29 individuals have completed their quarantines, county officials added.

Stapleton believes all new cases were via community spread.

“The numbers across all of Western New York continue to increase and, as I have said, if we had the supplies to do testing at the rate we would like, I am certain the number of positives would be higher,” Stapleton said.

Stapleton also announced on Monday that while Niagara County Health Department employees will continue to reach out to those who came in close, direct contact with a positive case (like family and friends), they will no longer be doing full-scale community contact tracing as it has little to no clinical value at this point.

“As every health and government officials has repeatedly said, act is if the virus is everywhere because it probably is,” said Stapleton. “A few months ago, we had a hepatitis outbreak at a local restaurant. Contact tracing – letting people know if you ate this restaurant at this date and time please get tested – made sense. It does not make sense in a pandemic and it’s taking time away from other critical functions.”

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