Social Distancing

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

As the five counties of Western New York enter Phase Four of reopening Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was again urging the public to keep respecting practices including wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing in order to prevent a new rise in COVID cases. On Monday, she was joined by experts from the Jacobs School of Medicine at the University at Buffalo who also called for continued caution.

WBFO file photo / WBFO News

Governor Andrew Cuomo released updated numbers regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in New York State.

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. 

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.

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

The U.S. could have prevented roughly 36,000 deaths from COVID-19 if broad social distancing measures had been put in place just one week earlier in March, according to an analysis from Columbia University.

Underlining the importance of aggressively responding to the coronavirus, the study found the U.S. could have avoided at least 700,000 fewer infections if actions that began on March 15 had actually started on March 8.

Office of County Executive Mark Poloncarz

Amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, there are some signs of spring - and hope - in Buffalo and Erie County. Some outdoor activities are being allowed to resume, though with COVID-19 related distancing restrictions.

Niagara County

Niagara County is reopening many of its recreational facilities, with restrictions. That includes campgrounds, marinas and the county golf course.

Frustration with stay-at-home orders is mounting in many parts of the country. In Colorado, protesters gathered Sunday afternoon on a hillside in front of the state capitol in Denver.

"I'm watching businesses close. I'm watching friends lose their incomes," protester Deesa Hurt told Colorado Public Radio. "We just want to reopen Colorado. That's all we want."

Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has extended the stay-at-home order for New York residents through May 15 and is reminding them that the requirement to wear a mask while out in public begins Friday at 8 p.m.

Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that he's issuing an executive order to require every New Yorker to wear masks in public when it’s not possible to practice social distancing, beginning Friday.

While the death toll related to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to climb, government officials are using computer models to get a better understanding of how the coronavirus will likely expand. 

President Trump asked Americans during Monday's coronavirus briefing to maintain their social distancing through the end of the month to bring the coronavirus under control.

And if people really do observe the stay-at-home orders, models suggest that the epidemic could wane by summer. There's also hope that the changing weather will help slow the spread of the virus, though that's far from certain.

But there's a problem. Even if things "get better all of a sudden," as the president suggested he hoped would happen, the virus will not have gone away.

Cabin fever is pushing people not only out for a walk but also into walking in groups, as well as encouraging some businesses which are not essential into operating. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says fines loom for businesses and individuals who are not following the rules.


Updated 8:13 p.m. ET

President Trump said on Sunday that federal guidelines urging Americans to social distance to slow the spread of the coronavirus will remain in place for another month and could last until June.

Under the recommendations, the Trump administration is imploring people to avoid restaurants, bars and other situations involving more than 10 people and restrict traveling to trips deemed essential.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Buffalo parks are open for passive use only and Mayor Byron Brown said there is a tightening of enforcement to make sure of that.