Chautauqua County mental health officials are warning that the number of overdoses are continuing to spike amid the COVID-19 crisis. With residents forced into social isolation... Department of Mental Hygiene Director Patricia Brinkman says the numbers are striking.
Brinkman says this is a nation-wide issue. But locally.... Health Officials indicate 45 overdoses, including two fatalities, occurred during the month of March. As of April 22nd.... 14 overdoses have been reported, including 3 fatalities. In 2019, the average number of overdoses in one month was 19. Brinkman says her department was alerted by local law enforcement agencies to a 'bad batch' of drugs, including fentanyl, being sold on the street. Brinkman says one overdose death is too many.... and they are encouraging residents to get help through the Now is the Time Campaign. Brinkman says "the risks and dangers of these days are great, but so too are the options for help". Information can be found at CombatAddictionCHQ.com.
A Mayville man has been indicted by a federal Grand Jury for allegedly trafficking significant amounts of methamphetamine in Chautauqua County. U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced late Thursday that the indictment for possession with intent to distribute 5 games or more of Meth was handed up against 44 year-old Harry Radke. Prosecutors say back on January 27th of this year... the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office received information that multiple individuals were living in apartments at a residence on South Erie Street in Mayville. After speaking with the owner of the building... they found that only one apartment should have been occupied. They later arrested Radke after an investigation turned up Methamphetamine... and, drug paraphernalia was found in one apartment. He faces up to 40 years in prison, and a $5-million fine.
Chautauqua County has had one new case of the COVID-19 Virus reported... bringing the total in the county to 29. County Executive P-J Wendel says it's the second day in-a-row in which a positive test for COVID-19 has been reported after none for several days. Wendel says the new cast is a woman in her 30s... and, she is one of two active cases that are recovering under orders of the Local Health Official. He says 24 others have now recovered... and, three deaths have been reported. A total of 51 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... and, 653 negative test results have been reported to date.
More evidence is emerging that far more New York residents have had the Coronavirus than the number confirmed by laboratory tests. Governor Andrew Cuomo said during Thursday morning's press briefing in Albany... that the state has already tested 3,000 people in 19 counties... and, found that 13.9-percent had been infected... but, recovered. As expected... he says most of the positive cases were found in the heavier populated areas.
Cuomo says the early data also shows that men had about a 4-percent higher infection rate then women. He also cautioned that the data was preliminary. The governor also announced some new regulations for nursing homes... which have been hard hit by the pandemic nationally. Cuomo says some are already being used... but, he says if a nursing home can't care for the person, they have to transfer them to somewhere where they can. Back to testing... Cuomo says people were recruited for the study at shopping centers and grocery stores -- meaning they were healthy enough to be out in public. More than 263,000 people in the state have tested positive for the virus.
Residents of northcentral and northwestern Pennsylvania are projected to be the first in the state to be released from Governor Tom Wolf's stay-at-home order, and many retail stores in those areas should be able to reopen by May 8th. That's according to a statewide reopening plan released Wednesday. Wolf wants to begin easing some pandemic restrictions in areas of Pennsylvania that have been lightly impacted by the new coronavirus.