Coronavirus

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

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a conference call with the media Thursday to provide an update on COVID-19 infection trends in New York State. Cuomo noted that the state's focus over the past two weeks has mainly shifted to microclusters of positive results, with many reported downstate in Brooklyn and Queens and in some New York City suburban counties. There have also been increases in the Southern Tier, due to people crossing into and out of Pennsylvania, where COVID rates have been rising. Listen to the entire interview.

Chautauqua County

Chautauqua County is reporting 12 new cases of COVID-19 and investigating a new cluster in the North County linked to a private event.

Genesee Brew House

The Genesee Brew House is temporarily closing until Tuesday, Oct. 27, after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

A spokesperson for FIFCO USA (parent company of Genesee Brewing), Mary Beth Popp, said that Genesee is “taking every step to prioritize the health and safety of our employees and customers. We are temporarily closing until Tuesday, contacting all employees and customers through our contact tracing process, and deep cleaning our facilities using a professional cleaning company.”

Buffalo.edu

Researchers around the world are searching for a vaccine to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of those studies are happening nearby. "We are really lucky to live in an area where cutting-edge research is really pushing science to deal with this pandemic," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Two vaccine trials--for Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer-- are taking place in Rochester. "UB is beginning a clinical trial of the Regeneron monoclonal antibodies. That's what was given to the President." Nielsen encourages those interested in helping to seek out available studies. 


When voters in New York were asked two years ago what issues were at the top of their list while they prepared to head to the polls in November, they said health care, taxes, and the economy would decide their vote. That was according to a poll from Quinnipiac University, which was asking New York voters to rank which issues were important to them in that year’s race for governor.

State restricts visitors to 2 upstate prisons

Oct 22, 2020
Lucas Willard / WAMC News

Visitors will now be restricted at two upstate New York correctional facilities after recent COVID19 outbreaks among inmate populations. Effective 3 p.m. Wednesday, visitation was suspended at New York’s Greene and Elmira Correctional Facilities. Transfers in and out of the facilities have also been suspended.

ROOST

Another huge tourism attraction to the Adirondacks is a victim of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers of the Empire State Winter Games announced yesterday they’re canceling the event this winter.

Office of the Governor

With 43 states now on New York State’s banned list, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s talking to health experts about a possible testing regimen that could end the mandatory quarantine period.

Remote instruction has been a challenge for some students, and a nightmare for some parents who may not be savvy in working with computers. Literacy issues are compounding the problem. "With the pandemic and so much at-home, we have really seen where those gaps are in a lot of adult reading skills," said Amy Moritz, Literacy Coordinator for Literacy Buffalo Niagara.  She says some parents "may not understand all the instructions that teachers are sending home." 


Ontario recommends against treat-or-treating this year

Oct 20, 2020
File Photo / WBFO News

It appears there will be no trick-or-treating for millions of children in Ontario. The premier says it is a necessary measure to protect Christmas and the upcoming holiday season.

Don Emmert / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico will stay closed to nonessential travel for at least another month.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his vaccination plan for New York, released over the weekend, is preliminary and much more information is needed to finalize the distribution of the vaccine to New Yorkers when it becomes available.

Illustration by Olga W Boeva / Shutterstock

When the coronavirus pandemic first spread to Rochester, Penny Sterling wanted to know how she would be counted if she contracted the virus. The data tracking who has contracted COVID-19 is broken down by male or female. Sterling doesn’t fit that mold. She’s a transgender woman.

New York state nursing homes were permitted to reopen for visitation in July, and since then, many have limited visits to outdoors, keeping families on lawns and patios while taking advantage of the warm summer and early fall weather. 

 

But now, in mid-October, many question what will happen as the temperature drops.

 


Chautauqua County Department of Health

Chautauqua County is reporting 34 new COVID-19 cases from over the weekend. That brings the county's current active case total to 133.

Aurora Theater Faceook page

State officials announced over the weekend that movie theaters can open again for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  "Actually, we're still awaiting the guidelines. We have not seen them officially yet from New York State," said Lynn Kinsella, owner of the Aurora Theater. "We have a good idea of what they're going to be so we are starting to prep to see if we can get open this Friday."


The Cowboy / Facebook

The Erie County Comptroller is out with an analysis of COVID-19 violations since the pandemic began. It also criticizes how those violations were cited.

Ramshackle Industries

Some Southern Ontario restaurants are making the tough financial choice to bar out-of-town customers from indoor dining as COVID-19 cases surge in nearby hot spots.

County leaders in New York say they are frustrated over delays by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature to make major decisions about the state’s multibillion-dollar budget gap. They're also asking for more cooperation in carrying out key functions during the COVID-19 pandemic, like testing and tracing.

Aurora Theatre

Movie theaters in New York state can reopen beginning Friday, with restrictions on audience size and other precautions in place, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Ski resorts in New York will be allowed to open next month at half their indoor capacity with restrictions on sharing gondolas and face coverings required off the slopes, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New details emerged Sunday on how health officials in New York could administer a future vaccine for COVID-19, with essential workers and high-risk individuals slated to receive the injection first, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Counting the transgender population is tricky, as many avoid revealing their sexual orientation for fear of discrimination or worse. Transgender women of color, for example, remain the most abused and murdered group in America. So it takes a special kind of courage and compassion to dedicate your adult trans life to helping others on the same journey.

A federal judge has refused to block Gov. Andrew Cuomo's order limiting worship to as few as 10 congregants in communities seeing spikes in coronavirus infections.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

For public transit in Buffalo, there are two key items for improvement: an end to the pandemic so people will ride again and a lot more outside money, probably from Washington. Both were discussed at a public meeting Thursday evening.

Office of Brian Manktelow

Last month, New York State reduced the number of days a nursing home must be free from COVID-19 in order for families to visit from 28 days to 14, which the state Department of Health said will open up access to 500 of the state's 613 nursing homes. But a group of upstate lawmakers say there are still too many barriers in place.

Office of the Governor

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has written a letter on behalf of all the states’ governors asking President Donald Trump to form a clear plan on how to administer a COVID-19 vaccine when that day comes.

Buffalo.edu

It didn't take long. A few days after being released from the hospital, President Trump proclaimed that he was "cured" of COVID-19. "No, not at all," was what Dr. Nancy Nielsen said when asked if she agreed with President's self-diagnosis. "That's just not the way to look at this disease at all," said Nielsen, the former President of the American Medical Association. During her weekly discussion with WBFO, she offers a closer look at the President's treatment, one that is not readily available to most people.


Niagara Falls Schools

Niagara Falls residents get a chance Thursday evening to find out why the school system is re-opening Maple Avenue School after a COVID-19 case.

Niagara County Health Department

The Niagara County Health Department is dealing with another COVID-19 death and a positive case at Lockport High School.

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