COVID-19

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U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Tuesday called on Congress to include a proposal for a $50 billion fund in the next coronavirus relief package in an effort to combat an “unprecedented day care crisis.”

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Regal Cinemas has announced plans for the reopening of their theaters starting Friday, July 10.

WBFO/Michael Mroziak

With Phase Three of reopening underway in Western New York, some are calling to Governor Cuomo to include indoor shopping centers including malls to the list of businesses eligible to resume their services. The plea to reopen malls was presented outside Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga.

Catholic Health

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says visitors will now be allowed for patients at hospitals and residents of group homes for the developmentally disabled. But nursing home visits remain off limits, for now.


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Ontario's Niagara Region is included in areas of Ontario that will move on to Phase Two of the province's economic reopening plan this Friday. They will join the 24 regions that moved to Phase Two last Friday, which allow hair salons, malls, restaurant outdoor patios and other amenities to reopen. But singing is another story.

Mary O'Brien

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing increasing pressure to relax a ban on nursing home visits. The ban is intended to protect residents of long-term care facilities from coronavirus infections, but many feel the policy endangers senior citizens in another way.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

If you looked carefully Monday at the casually dressed people sitting at a bright yellow table outside Tappo restaurant on Chandler Street in Buffalo, you may have recognized the woman in the red blazer and sunglasses. It was Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and husband Bill enjoying the outdoor dining on the last day before Phase Three begins.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

The University at Buffalo announced plans Monday for a “modified in-person” fall semester that will combine in-person and online instruction from August 31 through Thanksgiving break.

Flickr/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made it official during his Monday morning briefing: the Western New York economic region will advance to the next phase of reopening Tuesday, with entry into Phase Three.

New York State Comptroller's Office

Among the budget pressures facing local governments is a sharp drop in sales tax revenue related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Office of the Governor

There have been 25,000 complaints statewide about large gatherings, a lack of social distancing and no face masks as New York continues to reopen from the coronavirus pandemic.

WBFO/Michael Mroziak

Governor Andrew Cuomo, this week, gave local governments clearance to reopen playgrounds and pools once proper plans are in place. But several area department heads admit they're scrambling to form a strategy, and at least one feels the window of opportunity to open pools for the summer season may have already closed.

Ryan Zunner / WBFO News

The City of Buffalo is taking a new approach to increase outdoor seating at local restaurants.

Rochester Regional Health

Researchers in Rochester have begun a trial of a potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus. Phase one of the three-phase trial is testing the vaccine on about 40 people, said Dr. Edward Walsh, the infectious disease physician who's leading the trial.

Province of Ontario

Beginning Friday, more restrictions put in place in Ontario because of COVID-19 will begin to be relaxed. The province's premier has also announced a cautious restart of family visits to long-term care and retirement homes.

Ontario enters Phase 2 of reopening, except for the GTA

Jun 12, 2020

Ontario is finally entering Phase 2 of its reopening plan, meaning more businesses can open and the limit on gatherings is doubled. But the Toronto area will have to wait.


WBFO/Michael Mroziak

Five of New York State's economic regions will enter Phase Three of reopening Friday, including the Finger Lakes and Central New York regions. Western New York could be eligible as early as next Tuesday. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul visited Niagara County Thursday, bringing a message of hope but also continued calls to honor social distancing and wearing of masks in public.

The pain in the job market continues as an additional 1.5 million sought jobless benefits for the first time last week, down 355,000 from the prior week. Continued claims fell by 339,000 to 20.9 million, a sign that more people are returning to work as the economy reopens after pandemic lockdowns.

More than 44 million first-time claims have been filed in the past 12 weeks.

Niagara County

The total number of COVID-19 cases is dropping across New York State and in Niagara County, where there are only nine new cases reported Wednesday.

The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency board has created what it is calling HELP, or the Hospitality Emergency Loan Program. It is designed to offer short-term, low-interest loans to hotels in Niagara Falls and across Niagara County that have been impacted by a loss of business, especially tourist-related, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sorogrit Wongsa / Unsplash

Governments have been urging us to shelter at home to stop the spread of COVID-19. For the most vulnerable people that’s a challenge. But it's also an opportunity for human sex traffickers.


Nursing homes are asking New York regulators to ease up on a twice-weekly coronavirus testing mandate for their employees.

Jenny Gold / Kaiser Health News

New York State has unveiled guidelines for the pending Phase Three of reopening the economy.

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News

For those whose books-to-be-read pile has shrunk to nothing during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is good news. The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library is reopening.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Erie County is continuing to see the gradual slide downwards in COVID-19 cases and deaths, and may have emerged unscathed from people over Memorial Day weekend who shed social distancing rules for sun and heat. County Executive Mark Poloncarz said this means the county is continuing on a path to a Phase Three re-opening, which would allow indoor operations in bars and restaurants, potentially as early as Tuesday.

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As the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to affect all in Western New York, the news regarding flattening of the curve, the number of hospitalizations and fatalities has been hopeful and given us reason to be cautiously optimistic. That optimism extends to the film industry in Western New York, as Buffalo Niagara Film Commissioner Tim Clark explains to WBFO’s Pat Feldballe.

The new normal in the courts, as they begin to reopen

Jun 5, 2020
Marian Hetherly / WBFO News

After two-and-a-half months, New York State courts are beginning to reopen, including those in Western New York. But just like every other place since the COVID-19 pandemic began, litigants are returning to a new normal.

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As Erie County struggles with the fiscal fallout from the coronavirus crisis, a major change in the way the county operates is high on the list of proposals to balance the budget.

Ryan Zunner / WBFO News

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar visited both Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Buffalo General Hospital, Thursday, for a tour of the work the facilities are doing in both treatment and research on COVID-19. He also participated in a roundtable discussion with local business leaders on what they're doing to ensure safe re-openings.

Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging the thousands of New Yorkers who are participating in social justice protests to get tested for the coronavirus to help prevent another potential outbreak. 


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