Coronavirus

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

Mike Groll/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will hold his regular COVID-19 briefing at 12:15 p.m. Monday at One World Trade Center in New York City. Watch it live here.

Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will hold his regular COVID-19 briefing at 3 p.m. Wednesday in New York City. Watch it live here.

Mike Groll/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will hold a regular COVID-19 briefing at 11:30 a.m. Monday in Wantagh. Watch it live here.

Kevin P. Coughlin (Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will hold a COVID-19 briefing at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Watch it live here.

Zackary Drucker / The Gender Spectrum Collection

On Wednesday, new guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were put into action by New York State, allowing vaccinated individuals to access some public spaces without masking. But many have asked: what does this mean for immunocompromised individuals and people with disabilities?

Kevin P. Coughlin (Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York will adopt the new CDC guidelines on masks on Wednesday. Fully vaccinated people will no longer have to wear masks outdoors or indoors, and won’t have to socially distance.

  

Erie County

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz held his regular COVID-19 briefing at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Watch it live here.

Kevin P. Coughlin (Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will hold his regular COVID-19 briefing at 11:30 a.m. Monday in New York City. Watch it live here.

Buffalo.edu

As COVID-related restrictions are eased in New York State and across the country, health officials are watching the alarming numbers of young people infected by the virus. Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, reviewed the data during her weekly conversation with WBFO. At the start of the pandemic, children made up 3% of the cases; now, that number has risen to 22%.


Erie County

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz will hold his regular COVID-19 briefing Tuesday at 2 p.m. Watch it live here.

Darren McGee- Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will hold his regular COVID-19 briefing Monday at 11:30 a.m. Watch it live here.

Darren McGee/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended his handling of nursing home data while speaking in Buffalo Thursday, as more details emerged about his alleged cover-up of the true death toll.

 

  

Bill de Blasio / Twitter

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, facing resistance to lingering COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, says the virus is not yet conquered, and is urging caution on reopening up society too quickly.

Buffalo.edu

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz calls it the "Shot and Chaser" program. In conjunction with some local breweries, clinics will be set up where patrons who receive COVID vaccinations will earn a free beer. Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, endorses the spirit behind the effort.


Darren McGee/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo held his regular COVID-19 briefing Wednesday afternoon in Yonkers. Watch it here.

Erie County

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz will hold his regular COVID-19 briefing at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Watch it here.

Darren McGee/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will hold a COVID-19 briefing at 11:30 a.m. Monday. Watch it here. 

Buffalo.edu

In the week ending April 1, nearly 64,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported among children. According to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, that accounted for 18 percent of the new cases in the United States.

Kevin P. Coughlin (Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will hold a COVID-19 update at 2 p.m. Tuesday in New York City. Watch it live here.

Erie County

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz will give his regular COVID-19 briefing at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Watch it live here.

A blue cloth face mask is pictured on a white table.
Douglas Levere / University at Buffalo / University at Buffalo

On Wednesday, the University at Buffalo announced some good news for those who might be having a bad week.

Researchers at the university are looking for people who just got diagnosed with COVID-19 to participate in an outpatient treatment study. 


Buffalo.edu

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials have been encouraging the wearing of masks to slow the spread of the virus. Now, many people who have been vaccinated are wondering if they can ditch their masks. "Absolutely not," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Tom Dinki/WBFO file photo

Nursing home finances have come under scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the New York State Legislature is considering a measure to limit how much nursing homes can profit, which proponents say will mean better care for residents and opponents say will just harm the industry.

 

 

  

Erie County

The number of New Yorkers able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is about to dramatically increase, as those 30 and older became eligible Tuesday and those 16 and older will be eligible starting next week. Luckily for Erie County, it’s about to receive its largest weekly vaccine allocation yet.


Buffalo.edu

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Nancy Nielsen has been providing updates and analysis on a weekly basis to WBFO. Despite the increased distribution of COVID vaccines in the community, the Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is growing concerned. "There has been an uptick in the cases locally and the hospitalizations." In monitoring the local trends, Nielsen sees valuable lessons in what is happening in parts of Europe where the UK COVID variant may be accelerating the spread of the virus.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Parents rallied Tuesday to demand Erie County ease social distancing rules in schools and allow students to attend full time, while county officials maintained the decision is out of their hands.

Schofield Adult Day Health Care

New York state has allowed doctor’s offices to remain open during the pandemic and reopened day programs for the developmentally disabled. It’s even loosened visitor restrictions at nursing homes.

 

Yet Adult Day Health Care, which provides medical services and socialization for disabled adults of all ages, has remained closed since the pandemic began. This week marked one year since the state ordered the programs to close, and now families are speaking out.


Buffalo.edu

In November, health officials in the United Kingdom identified a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19, and it quickly became known as the "UK variant."  And it has quickly become a problem for Americans. According to Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the "UK variant" is likely to become the dominant variant in the United States by early April. "A paper published in the British Medical Journal just this past week proves this variant is associated with about a 64-percent higher risk of dying," Nielsen said in her weekly conversation with WBFO. Its spread in this country, Nielsen asserts, underscores the need to get as many people vaccinated as soon as possible.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Erie County’s COVID-19 infection rate has been falling since January and about a quarter of county residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine. So Republicans in the county Legislature are questioning why County Executive Mark Poloncarz still has emergency powers.

 

  

Buffalo.edu

According to a new survey, most doctors are feeling fatigue after a year of dealing with Covid-19 while nearly as many say the vaccine rollout is negatively affecting their mental health. The poll was conducted by the Canadian Medical Association, but Dr. Nancy Nielsen is finding a similar impact among local health care professionals.

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