WBFO Health & Wellness Desk

  

For a region to thrive, its people need to be healthy; inadequacies in health and wellness have a range of social and economic consequences that affect many members of our community. Health inequality, cancer clusters, and high rates of heart disease and obesity are all part of the fabric of WNY, as much as the world-class research and treatment providers that are becoming a growing part of the region’s economic power. WBFO is committed to providing listeners with incisive reports on all of these issues that affect their lives.

The Health & Wellness New Desk is funded by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

   

Duncan Kirkwood / Facebook

It's been a tough year for Buffalo's young people, hit with social distancing, face masks and going to school from their living room. An array of organizations held an online Youth Resilience Event Monday night to inspire youth and pump them up for what looks like a long haul.

Erie County Department of Health

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is warning schools that if they don't enforce mask rules in their buildings, they are potentially in danger of being shut down.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo provided a COVID-19 status update Wednesday, saying the highest infection rate in the state is here in the Western New York Region.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Some West Seneca students were closer to their classrooms Tuesday than they have been since buildings were closed for the COVID-19 lockdown. Parents and kids marched to protest an extended plan for getting classrooms re-opened.

New SUNY-wide COVID-19 testing mandate announced

Oct 27, 2020
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

SUNY is requiring all on-campus students to test negative for COVID-19 within 10 days of leaving for Thanksgiving break. The State University system also "strongly recommends" all faculty and staff get tested within this same period.

Chautauqua County

Chautauqua County is reporting 12 new cases of COVID-19 and investigating a new cluster in the North County linked to a private event.

Office of the Governor

With 43 states now on New York State’s banned list, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s talking to health experts about a possible testing regimen that could end the mandatory quarantine period.

Ontario recommends against treat-or-treating this year

Oct 20, 2020
File Photo / WBFO News

It appears there will be no trick-or-treating for millions of children in Ontario. The premier says it is a necessary measure to protect Christmas and the upcoming holiday season.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his vaccination plan for New York, released over the weekend, is preliminary and much more information is needed to finalize the distribution of the vaccine to New Yorkers when it becomes available.

Chautauqua County Department of Health

Chautauqua County is reporting 34 new COVID-19 cases from over the weekend. That brings the county's current active case total to 133.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Counting the transgender population is tricky, as many avoid revealing their sexual orientation for fear of discrimination or worse. Transgender women of color, for example, remain the most abused and murdered group in America. So it takes a special kind of courage and compassion to dedicate your adult trans life to helping others on the same journey.

Niagara Falls Schools

Niagara Falls residents get a chance Thursday evening to find out why the school system is re-opening Maple Avenue School after a COVID-19 case.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening to withhold state funding from schools in COVID-19 hot spot areas that are remaining open despite the governor’s closure orders. Cuomo said he will also hold back state funds from local governments that fail to adequately police the areas identified by health officials as COVID-19 clusters. 

Karen DeWitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

A small band of protesters gathered Wednesday outside the state capital to demand that Gov. Andrew Cuomo loosen restrictions for visiting residents at nursing homes. But so far, the governor shows no sign of changing the rules.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A partnership formed in the spring at the onset of the COVID pandemic is credited with reducing coronavirus deaths among Buffalo's Black community and doing so better than many other communities across the nation. They're now preparing to mobilize for flu season, and a possible second COVID wave.

NYS Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaks in Buffalo
Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) promoted new legislation she is co-sponsoring in support of military veterans during a visit to the Veterans One-Stop Center of Western New York in Buffalo Thursday.

The Nobel Prize

A local doctor who specializes in liver diseases is celebrating his mentor sharing a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work discovering the Hepatitis C virus.

Local volunteer and combination fire departments are being encouraged to apply for a second round of federal fire grants included in the CARES Act, approved in March.

Office of the Governor

Schools in coronavirus hot spots in New York City will shut down beginning Tuesday under an order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor also threatened Monday to close down religious gatherings, including large Orthodox Jewish events, in the hot spots and said the state will take over enforcement of rules, including mask wearing and social distancing. 

The number of people driving under the influence is rising rapidly in Erie County, judging by the arrest statistics so far this year.

Ian Pickus / WAMC

State officials have unveiled a free smartphone app that will be able to notify someone if they have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Pexels

New modeling for the coronavirus in Ontario suggests that new infections could reach 1,000 a day by mid-October. But the provincial government said it is not time to roll Ontario back to Stage 2.

Courtesy of Paulette Bailey / U.S. Senate

On this first day of October, WBFO concludes its series "The Toll." For the last two months, we've been telling the personal stories of Western New Yorkers who've survived COVID-19 and those who haven't.

But as WBFO's Marian Hetherly reports, another group of people has since emerged that medical experts are just beginning to understand. This group may forecast just how great a toll the coronavirus ultimately takes on our society.

Office of the Governor

Saying he does not trust the federal government, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York State will conduct its own review of any COVID-19 vaccines that are deemed to be ready for use.

Doug Ford / Twitter

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is coming. On Wednesday, Ford unveiled the first steps in his plan to prepare for it.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The long and winding road returning to the classroom in Williamsville is becoming clearer, although still long. On Wednesday, students met with Acting Superintendent John McKenna.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

Black, Indigenous and other Americans of color are getting sick, being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19 at higher rates than white Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today on The Toll, WBFO’s Kyle Mackie takes a closer look at the virus’ disproportionate impact through the experience of one Black family on Buffalo’s East Side.


Nick Lippa / WBFO News

Buffalo Common Councilmember Joel Feroleto has tested positive for COVID-19.

Sweet Home Schools

An array of student-athletes in the Sweet Home school district will be out on the practice field Saturday, after the School Board decided Monday evening to hire coaches for a group of sports.

Fredonia State

Fredonia State is ramping up its COVID-19 testing in the wake of major problems on the campus.

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