Coronavirus

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

WNYC

Disgraced former congressman Chris Collins is once again asking to delay his federal prison sentence given concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

 


Thomas O'Neil-White/WBFO file photo

The death rate among Erie County’s African American population due to COVID-19 is going down, according to County Executive Mark Poloncarz. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Updated at 6 a.m. Friday. Local officials in five regions around the state that began Phase 1 of reopening two weeks ago have been preparing for Phase 2 to begin Friday, and officials have been telling business owners to be ready to open. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Phase 2 will not start until data from phase one is examined by outside experts.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says concern and fear of the novel coronavirus is keeping people from getting health care they need and keeping parents from taking their kids in for routine care and routine vaccinations.

Student portraits
Left: Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News; Right: Courtesy of Melody Konde

High school seniors who attend Buffalo Public Schools, including some of the newest immigrant and refugee arrivals to the United States, are eagerly awaiting plans for an unusual graduation season. To learn more, WBFO’s education reporter Kyle Mackie interviewed two seniors at Newcomer Academy.


Darren McGee / Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order that allows businesses to deny entry to customers who aren’t wearing a mask, saying it’s intended to improve public health and reduce fights.

 

 


Buffalo.edu

As the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 continues to decline, more of public life will reopen. While it's a positive development, Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, offers the stern reminder that "this is not a virus to be trifled with." Nielsen answers questions related to COVID-19 every Thursday morning on WBFO.

Niagara County

Niagara County on Wednesday announced four additional deaths due to the novel coronavirus.

 

Buffalo Public Schools

Buffalo Public schools have a new budget for next year, a budget that probably won't hold for long, as Albany deals with a state budget much larger than the revenues coming in.

On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the NHL's plan to resume play and how the Sabres have once again failed to make it into the postseason, even with an expanded 24-team playoff field. Also, Bill shares his thoughts on the team retaining General Manager Jason Botterill and what challenges await him in what will be an usual offseason. And what's going on with young defenseman Lawrence Pilut and his possible desire to play overseas?


Twitter

Four of the five Ontario long-term care homes that were the subject of a Canadian Armed Forces report detailing cockroach infestations, aggressive feeding and bleeding infections are being taken over by the provincial government.

Gary Theriault hops off his motorcycle and walks into the Tastee-Freez, a roadside ice cream and takeout stand just a short hop from the Canadian border, in Madawaska, Maine.

As he waits for his milkshake, Theriault peers across the St. John River towards Edmundston, New Brunswick. He says the two communities have long been linked by their heritage and connected economies.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO file photo

A local group of companies and foundations has launched a new initiative to help small businesses and nonprofits across the region survive the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


New York state lawmakers returned to session this week with plans to vote on bills aimed at helping New Yorkers cope with all of the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 


Darren McGee / Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

A new poll finds most New Yorkers are comfortable with the pace of the reopening of the economy, even though many are taking a financial hit due to the shutdown.

 


Poll: New Yorkers fear 'second wave' of COVID-19

May 27, 2020
Dave Lucas / WAMC News

Most New Yorkers believe the state should not reopen too quickly, according to a new Siena Poll.

Live music returns, just pull up your vehicle

May 27, 2020
Aaron Winters

Perhaps the vehicle to lead us out of the coronavirus pandemic will be our cars. The car. In which we are hermetically sealed. Unless we roll down the windows, which is bound to happen as summer arrives. One thing COVID-19 cannot stop.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

With the possibility of bars and restaurants being allowed to open in three weeks, the City of Buffalo is rushing to help those establishments get ready, perhaps even to allow sidewalk and street closings to help.

Hyatt

The future of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Buffalo is apparently bleak. It is not clear whether a hotel will reopen in the building attached to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center when the coronavirus pandemic breaks.

Twitter

There was shock and anger in Ontario Tuesday after a Canadian military report threw a spotlight on deplorable conditions at five long-term care homes in the province during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A state Assemblymember, an estimated 70 pastors and church leaders, and at least 100 supporters gathered outside a Hamburg church, where they demanded Gov. Andrew Cuomo consider places of worship as essential institutions and reopen them.

Darren McGee / Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday he believes New York has finally “turned the page” on the COVID-19 pandemic, for now at least, and that it’s time to refocus on “supercharging” the economy.

 

 


 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Older adults are most vulnerable to become seriously ill from COVID-19, so even as Western New York and other areas of the country begin to reopen, public health officials warn those over 65 should continue to limit their exposure. WBFO’s Older Adults Reporter Tom Dinki explores what local nonprofit organizations are doing to help seniors get their essentials without risking their health. 


From tourism and hospitality to retail, multiple industries are suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Jim Fink of Business First discussed some of the struggles during his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass. Tourism, Fink points out, is suffering on both sides of the Niagara River as the border remains closed. Some retail analysts, Fink says, are predicting as many as 40% of small retail shops are in jeopardy of closing.


Profile of a respiratory therapist

May 26, 2020
Photo Provided / WXXI News

When a patient is admitted to a hospital to be treated for COVID-19, one of the first healthcare professionals they will probably see is a respiratory therapist.

Fort Erie

Usually, this would be the time when there are bonfires on the beaches on the Canadian shore of Lake Erie, traffic building on the Peace Bridge and people talking about Sherkston. Not this year.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The Buffalo Common Council wants to give a break to many local bars and restaurants by changing the rules for outdoor eating and drinking.


Erie County Department of Social Services

The New York State Child Care Availability Task Force was established 18 months ago to dive into what officials call the child care "crisis" afflicting the state. After just a couple of months of pandemic, however, words like "devastation" and "decimation" are being used. Here are their interim findings and recommendations.

Even in a typical year, Memorial Day in the U.S. can be a confusing mixture of joy and sadness — at once a hearty welcome to summertime, brimming with picnics and parties, and a somber remembrance of the service members who died in wars.

But this has been no typical year.

Office of the Governor

Local governments in New York will now be required to provide death benefits to public workers on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who also urged the federal government Monday to provide hazard pay to those individuals.

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