COVID-19 outbreaks seeming to appear at Alfred colleges

BREAKING – EXCLUSIVE: Seeming COVID-19 outbreaks at both Alfred college campuses, and possibly Wellsville, have pushed Allegany County, NY, into a Medium Risk for spread designation by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Fragmented information from various tracking sources shows elevated levels of new positives county-wide for the past two days, adding to already higher case levels when compared with last year, as we have been reporting for several weeks.

Data from Allegany Hope‘s daily Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests to Allegany County, NY, finds 72 new positives being recorded in the county so far this week, with 20 of them attributed to the Alfred zip code – 17 total in Wednesday and Thursday — with 16 at Wellsville – nine during the past two days — where Alfred State College also has a campus.

Alfred University is the only county campus maintaining similar online disclosures as last year, with Alfred State providing links to a statewide system which is difficult to gather information from and also is four days behind in reporting, as of yesterday.

Houghton University appears to have curtailed online reporting of positives this fall although cases attributed by the county to the full Houghton zip code have been very small.

As of today, Alfred University is reporting 18 current student positives since August 1, with three others having been resolved, along with three staff positives, with nine other cases being concluded during the same time frame.

Alfred State has reported 29 total new cases during the 10-day period between Friday, August 26, and Sunday, September 4, days before 10 positives were recorded in the Alfred zip code and two in Wellsville on Wednesday, and seven yesterday in each of the two geographic areas.

Educational facility numbers don’t match county reports due to some students and staff residing in other zip codes and aren’t recorded at all in Allegany County if they are living in Steuben or other counties.

County-acquired data also includes online self-reported home tests, information the State Health Department doesn’t collect unless an individual also receives a provider lab test.

This week’s new cases of 72 to date compares with 64 for the comparable period last week and 88 for the entire week.

Students at both educational institutions are required to have basic vaccinations unless they have medical or bona fide religious exemptions, with masks currently being optional.

However, the CDC says individuals, particularly in Medium Risk areas, should stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, get tested if they have symptoms, wear a mask if they have symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19, and wear a mask on public transportation.

It also notes that individuals may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect themselves or others, and should considering doing so when indoors in public places if they are at high risk for severe illness.

As shown on the CDC chart accompanying this story, Allegany County, as of yesterday, continues to run ahead of last year’s cases, even with lesser numbers being accumulated due to home testing.

The positivity rate calculated by the federal government, which appears to rely on state data, also is showing a 166 percent increase in positives during the past seven days.

The Allegany County Department of Health has reported no other significant concentrations of cases this week.

Allegany County is continuing to request that those testing positive through self or home tests enter the information at to aid in better determination as to the number of cases in the county and their general locations.

Various online COVID-19 Trackers, information from which may not agree with each other due to different reporting time frames, are available at:
– Allegany County Daily Cases – Under COVID-19 Updates:
– New York State Department of Health COVID Tracker:
— Alfred State College COVID-19 webpage:
— Alfred University COVID-19 webpage:
— Houghton Universeity COVID-19 webpage:
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