Coronavirus

Stories from WBFO and NPR about how COVID-19 is affecting Western New York, the United States and the entire globe.

Doug Ford / Twitter

The Ford government is facing criticism over its stay-at-home order. Many people in Ontario say the directives aren’t clear and even some health care professionals say they’re disappointed.

Gareth Rhodes / New York State Department of Financial Services

One day after announcing that five new state-run vaccination sites are opening this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office is warning that appointments for the limited number of vaccines at those sites are already booked through April.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

New York State has decided to allow all bars and restaurants in orange zones statewide to resume indoor dining at 50% capacity. That decision is in reaction to a court ruling allowing nearly 100 establishments in Buffalo to do that.

Santora's Pizza Pub & Grill

Restaurants in Erie County gained a key victory in court for their effort to welcome back dine-in guests. 

Ontario plans to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in all nursing homes and high-risk retirement homes by Feb. 15.

Ontario YouTube Channel

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has issued a stay-at-home order to people in the province and declared a state of emergency. They are the latest measures to curb the increasing number of cases of COVID-19.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to mandate internet service providers in New York to offer high-speed internet to low-income consumers at $15 per month, and is seeking to create a fund for families that can’t afford it at that rate.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo detailed his plans to use rapid coronavirus testing in 2021 to reopen restaurants, theaters and arts venues -- including New York City’s Tribeca Film festival in June -- even before most New Yorkers are vaccinated.

Rob Ortt / Facebook

The rollout of the next phase of New York’s COVID-19 vaccination plan continued to experience glitches on Monday, with sites for seniors to sign up for vaccines not working or overwhelmed.

Wegmans said that nine of its stores in New York state will receive a limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine to distribute to people age 75 and older, as well as Wegmans pharmacy employees.

Participating Wegmans Pharmacy locations:

Office of the Governor

The Buffalo Bills have been granted permission to have a limited number of fans attend their second straight home playoff game.

Darren McGee (Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo)

During the first of four State of the State speeches, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that fighting the COVID-19 pandemic will be the top priority. 

Doug Ford / Twitter

New modeling for the coronavirus in Ontario is expected to be unveiled early this week. It comes as the province is averaging well over 3,000 new cases a day and officials expect the numbers to continue to rise.

File Photo / WBFO News

In the Syracuse suburb of Manlius, police transparency carries a hefty price tag.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, after nearly a week’s delay, is scheduled to deliver his State of the State speech on Monday. He said in the midst of a worsening pandemic and economic losses, the message will be a bit brighter now that Democrats are set to control both houses of Congress, and President-elect Joe Biden said he’ll push for a bailout for states like New York that were hit hard by the pandemic.

Erie County Department of Health

Thursday's Erie County COVID-19 briefing reported "distressing" figures: the largest one-day total of positive cases since the pandemic began.

Santora's Pizza Pub & Grill

A group of over 70 area restaurants will head back to State Supreme Court Friday in hopes of reversing the governor’s executive orders which have shuttered the doors to customers. 

  

WBFO file photo

Niagara County is rolling out its COVID-19 vaccine distribution program and will begin administering it to eligible members of the public next week.

Buffalo.edu

President-elect Joe Biden has set the ambitious goal of  distributing 100 million  COVID-19 vaccinations  in the first 100 days of his Presidency. While that seems unlikely based on the early pace of distribution, local health officials remain focused on the job at hand. "The distribution of vaccine, right now, is to try to take care of those frontline healthcare workers," Dr. Nancy Nielsen said during her weekly conversation with WBFO. " That's why hospitals are the distribution site."


Erie County Department of Health

The loneliness and isolation of the pandemic appears to be fueling a significant rise in drug overdoses in Erie County.

Frank Augstein / Associated Press

The Ontario government is taking criticism for the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. It comes as the province surpasses 200,000 total cases of the coronavirus.

The New York State Legislature began the 2021 session with a strengthened Democratic base and intensifying challenges, including the ongoing pandemic and the growing budget deficit. 

Karen DeWitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

Republican members of the state Legislature want to rein in some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers that he has held through the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it’s time for more than just one branch of government to make all of the decisions.

ELLEN ABBOTT / WRVO NEWS

County leaders in New York said Tuesday that their health departments have been developing vaccination plans for years and can help smooth the rocky rollout of the state’s vaccination program, but they need more cooperation from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration.

Buffalo Bills

The parking lot at the Buffalo Bills' stadium in Orchard Park will be packed Wednesday with fans planning to see the team play the Indianapolis Colts Saturday.

Lasertron

Attorneys for local restaurants and the state could not come to an agreement in court Monday, so they will be back at it again on Friday. The two sides are arguing over the latest COVID-19 restrictions mandated by New York.

Office of the Governor

In New York state, like in most of the nation, the COVID-19 vaccination rollout is behind schedule and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening to withhold new doses from hospitals that do not speed things up.

NIAID

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that the New York State health department testing labs have discovered a case of the more contagious form of the coronavirus first discovered in the United Kingdom.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is giving is regular COVID-19 briefing Monday. Watch it live here at 2:30 p.m.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment in the Buffalo area is improving a little bit, although that’s from a very low base this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic hammered the job market.

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