COVID-19

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.

Facebook

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.

File Photo

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. 


Updated at 8:47 a.m. ET

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed unemployment to its highest level since the Great Depression, but the pace of layoffs has been easing. And there are now some signs that the job market could slowly start to recover.

The Labor Department says another 1.87 million people filed claims for unemployment insurance last week. That's down 249,000 from the previous week. While still very high by historical standards, the number has been declining steadily from a peak of 6.8 million the week ending March 28.

Athena Kouimanis / Curly's Restaurant

Along with the predicted summer weather, Thursday brings another example of New York opening up from the long COVID-19 quarantine. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has given the go-ahead to restaurants to serve meals outdoors, under social distancing rules. 

Genetlemen's Prestige Barbershop

Self-haircuts and “quarantine bangs” are now a thing of the past as local barbershops and hair salons opened their doors on Wednesday. This came as Western New York entered Phase Two of New York’s plan to gradually reopen.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar plans to visit Buffalo Thursday as Western New York moves into phase two of reopening. Azar has pushed strongly for more states to reopen in recent weeks and has sparred with several governors over safety guidelines.

Niagara County

Niagara County is looking to get its economy back up and running, even within the restrictions of social distancing. Legislature Chair Becky Wydysh told her daily briefing the county's economic development workers are assisting companies dealing with the complex rules for new phases of the state's reopening.

 


File photo

He joked about finally being to able to get a haircut during his Wednesday afternoon COVID briefing, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz also spoke about other elements of daily life being allowed to resume.

Twitter

Ontario has again extended the state of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The four-week extension follows another spike in coronavirus cases.


Nick Lippa/WBFO News

Western New York officially began Phase Two of reopening Tuesday, although the announcement was somewhat clouded by growing unrest and new curfews due to the killing of George Floyd.

Thomas O'Neil-White / WBFO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the mass protests in New York City and in upstate cities over the past few nights have been "counterproductive" to the cause of racial justice and may even reignite the spread of the coronavirus.


Province of Ontario

Ontario is loosening some more of its COVID-19 restrictions.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says dentists statewide can reopen Monday.

WNYC

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

 


WBFO file photo

The five counties which make up the state's Western New York economic region must continue to wait for at least a few more days, while five other regions, including the Finger Lakes, have been given the green light to proceed to Phase Two of New York Forward. In the meantime, institutions which fall under Phase Two now have guidelines by which they can prepare.

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