COVID

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

In Erie County alone, the tourism industry is estimated at $1.8 billion. But it has taken a big hit with the COVID pandemic. A new bill is being introduced in Albany to help the industry recover by creating a new funding source to aid related businesses.

WBFO file photo

With autumn officially arriving next Tuesday, Erie County lawmakers are proposing the use of federal CARES relief money to help establishments set up outdoor dining spaces during the winter months.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

New York State is distributing $9 million dollars to 66 organizations that host in-demand job skills training. State government representatives appeared Tuesday at Erie 1 BOCES, one of the recipients, to announce the Workforce Development Initiative funding. 

WBFO file photo

Governor Andrew Cuomo dismissed rumors Tuesday that Halloween trick-or-treating might be canceled next month due to the pandemic, declaring he has no intention of preventing kids from making their annual door-to-door quest for candy.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Continued economic uncertainty in many households has more New Yorkers relying on assistance from food pantries. That was a message relayed Friday by three elected representatives during a visit to a Cheektowaga church where needs are rising both for food handouts and volunteer assistance.

Chautauqua County leaders are urging the public to avoid large gatherings this Labor Day holiday weekend, while offering mixed news on COVID cases in two of the county's known clusters.

WBFO file photo

Overall travel dropped sharply in the spring and early summer as the result of the COVID pandemic but, according to the AAA of Western and Central New York, a wide majority of vacation travel this year has been kept within New York State and done by car. Heading into the Labor Day holiday weekend, the AAA expects this trend to continue.

Facebook/Chautauqua County

Chautauqua County leaders say more than half of the employees of a Dunkirk food production facility were tested earlier this week for COVID, with 24 results coming back positive. Officials also explained why they have deemed it unnecessary to close the plant at this time.

WBFO/Michael Mroziak

Dozens of state lawmakers were out across New York State Thursday, calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to release approximately $80 million in remaining federal relief for childcare centers.

The Fleetwood Mac Experience, used with permission

Musicians who depend on the income from live, ticketed indoor shows are urging the Cuomo Administration to lift the COVID-related ban currently keeping them from performing on stage, or telling their followers of upcoming gigs.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Buffalo School Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash says the decision Wednesday night by school board members to open the new year with an all-remote format was "extraordinary, inclusive, systematic and thoughtful." He and school board members stood outside City Hall Thursday morning to further explain the decision and field questions about other preparations.

Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

A coalition of gym and fitness center operators has submitted a reopening plan to the Cuomo Administration, along with the message that such facilities are capable of operating safely and should be allowed to resume business.

WBFO/Michael Mroziak

After serving as a COVID-only hospital since mid March, the Sister Hospital St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga resumed services over the weekend including its emergency department, acute care, and outpatient procedures, Catholic Health announced Monday.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Erie County leaders held a conference call Thursday with representatives of the Buffalo Bisons, Toronto Blue Jays and Major League Baseball to discuss ground rules for when Buffalo is scheduled to begin serving as the Blue Jays' temporary home. That meeting left local leaders feeling good about the measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Buffalo. But then a short while later, the Jays announced their weekend games were postponed.

WBFO file photo

The Ameican Red Cross WNY is calling on anyone who recently recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma, for its use to treat current patients throughout the nation.

WBFO file photo

Buffalo Bills fans, along with fans of other New York-based pro and college sports teams, won't be allowed to attend home games this season, nor are they permitted by state health guidelines to congregate outside the stadium. But what about private lots near the Bills' home stadium?

WBFO/Michael Mroziak

The City of Niagara Falls will provide funding to more than a dozen programs who requested a share of the city's Federal CARES Act dollar allocation. While a federal representative was there to help share the news, he also took aim at the federal government and what he calls their failure to help the people, medically and economically, during the COVID pandemic.

WBFO/Michael Mroziak

A young additive manufacturing company based in Tonawanda welcomed Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul to their facility Monday, to show her an operation which is making personal protective equipment that's being used by many first responders serving on the front lines of the COVID pandemic.

Kaley Donaldson / CCRN

Child care providers remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic to care for children of essential workers. 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Health care workers at Safire Rehabilitation of Northtowns protested on Friday, saying they haven’t been given adequate personal protective equipment or safety training despite the fact both they and residents are sick with COVID-19.