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November 21, 2020 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in stuff the cruiser, law enforcement, Target, news, batavia, Le Roy.

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Sgt. Greg Kellogg, Le Roy PD, and troopers Ben Hersee, Stephanie Grimaldi and Bill Franz, show off some of the toys collected at Target today for the annual Stuff the Cruiser event.

Local law enforcement gathers for the event each year to collect donations for children who might not otherwise fund many presents under their Christmas trees. Besides Le Roy PD and State Police, participating this year were the Sheriff's Office, Batavia PD, Corfu PD, GC Probation Department, and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

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Brooke Fisher, 5, drops off a toy with Le Roy PD Officer CJ Miller and Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello, Sheriff's Office.

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Photo submitted by Greg Kellogg of the final haul of presents.

November 21, 2020 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in VA Hospital, VA, batavia, red osier, veterans, news.

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Patrick Hager, with American Legion Post 637 in Strykersville, helps deliver meals from the Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant to residents and staff at the VA Hospital in Batavia on Thursday. Veterans in Wyoming County raised $2,100 to pay for 175 meals.

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November 21, 2020 - 5:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once registered, you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
November 21, 2020 - 12:21pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, genesee county, Ways & Means Committee.

Genesee County governmental leaders have trimmed the fat from the county’s self-funded employee health benefits plan that has been hit with consecutive years of double-digit premium increases, County Manager Matt Landers said this week.

“I will say that the plan is run lean, believe it or not,” Landers said following a vote of the Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee to approve monthly rates for 2021, effective Jan. 1. “There is no healthy reserve fund balance in that fund. We are just covering our costs.”

And the costs to the county are considerable as participants pay an average of 15 percent of the total premium, with the county picking up the other 85 percent.

Genesee County has budgeted $13,994,483 for 2021 for actual claims plus administrative and ancillary costs. Approximately 680 employees of the county and Genesee Community College are enrolled in the plan, with total participation including additional family members at approximately 1,660.

Landers said that medical and prescription drug premium rates are increasing 17.6 percent in 2021, and this is on the heels of a 10-percent increase for 2020.

“While it is painful, we are increasing the premiums as little as possible,” he said. “We’re trying to be mindful of the impact it has departments, on taxpayers and on individuals that are paying these increased premiums through cost sharing.”

He said the goal is to have everyone on the plan pay 15 percent of the total premium – which will be achieved through negotiations with the county’s four unions – and that each county department has a budget for the health care costs for its employees.

“Right now, the average county employee is pretty close to paying 15 percent,” he said.

For an illustration of the cost, an employee signed up under “Family (3 or more)” in the Health and Wellness Plan will pay around $339 per month for that coverage in 2021.

With the total monthly premium set at $2,261, the county is responsible for $1,922 per month.

Landers explained that being self-insured means that all medical and prescription drug bills come directly to the county.

“We’re self-insured, so when a person goes in for a surgery or somebody has a premature baby delivered and stays in the hospital two months, we’re not sending (bills) to Blue Cross & Blue Shield, we are our own self-insured company,” he said. “So, basically the doctor or the hospital … sends a bill to Genesee County for $175,000 and we’re the ones paying that.”

Other monthly rates under the Health and Wellness Plan include Single, $696; 2 Members, $1,391; Retired, single, $696; and Retired, family 3 or more, $2,261. The county also offers dental and vision benefits for both Single and Family.

Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein said management and health plan consultants did their best to keep costs as low as possible.

“We understand that this increase in premiums is necessary, but if you go on to the market, you will see that it is right in line. So, I’m just pleased with this, considering where we are today,” she said.

November 21, 2020 - 12:00pm

View this listing: 42 Redfield Parkway, Batavia, click here.
View this listing: 40 N. Lyon St., Batavia, click here.
View this listing: 7575 S. Pearl St., Oakfield, click here.
View this listing: 6484 Route 262, Bryon, Batavia, click here.

November 21, 2020 - 9:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, alexander.

A milk truck is on its side in a ditch at Dry Bridge Road and Sandpit Road, Alexander.

The driver is out of the vehicle and reportedly uninjured.

Alexander fire is on scene.

November 20, 2020 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs, news.
Video Sponsor

At a press conference in Medina yesterday, Sen. Charles Schumer announced that the Rochester Red Wings will become an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Nationals will move their AAA affiliate from Fresno, Calif., to Rochester.

He said he continues to fight to save the Muckdogs, the Doubledays, as well as the entire New York Penn League. We asked about Congress using its power to exempt Major League Baseball from its anti-trust exemption and he didn't answer the question directly.

Support Local News. Support Community News Coverage. Support The Batavian.

November 20, 2020 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, batavia, notify.

While it's too early to say that a series of brush fires next to buildings at 29 Liberty St. in the City of Batavia were deliberately set, said Chief Stefano Napolitano, the fires do deserve closer scrutiny.

City fire and Batavia PD are working together on an investigation.

The property is a long narrow band with a trailer on it -- like a long trailer used at construction sites -- and the fires were several yards apart on the property.

"With fires at multiple locations, it warrants an extremely closer look," Napolitano said.

The investigation will also try to determine if the Liberty Street fires are linked to a dumpster fire at School and Cedar streets earlier today.

Out at the scene this evening, Napolitano was overheard talking with a police officer about the unusual number of brush fires in the area for November. We asked him about it later.

There were fires today in Alabama, Oakfield, Pavilion and Darien.

"I can't speak for other chiefs but in my 35 years (in the fire service), I don't remember a November 20th with this kind of temperature and dry conditions," Napolitano said. "Maybe when I was younger, I didn't notice it, but now I can feel it in my bones."

He said its really not a good time for one last bonfire or to burn things.

He praised the response of his team. The firefighters protected nearby buildings from the fire and got it out quickly.

Previously: Brush fire reported on Liberty Street in the city

Video by Rick Hale.

November 20, 2020 - 5:04pm
Video Sponsor

The need for COVID-19 testing sites in rural counties was the focus of a press conference by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer Thursday morning at Medina Memorial Hospital.

Schumer said Congress has approved $9 billion in funding for states and rural counties, such as Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming, but the Federal government won’t release it.

Both Schumer and hospital CEO Mark Shurtz are concerned about the amount of testing that will need to be done with the coronavirus cases exploding across the region. Schumer said Orleans seven-day average has quadrupled since Nov. 1, and yet the county has zero free COVID-19 testing sites.

Genesee and Orleans County Health Department Director Paul Pettit said there are currently no free testing sites in the three-county area, forcing residents to drive to Monroe Community College in Rochester, Niagara County Community College in Sanborn or Downtown Buffalo for a free test.

Testing is being done at Oak Orchard Health in Albion, and drive-thru testing at Orleans Community Health’s Urgent Care in Albion, but it isn’t free. 

County officials estimate thousands more tests are desperately needed immediately and with cases on the rise, there will be increased need for testing of nursing home residents, health care workers and school children, Pettit said. 

County officials project they will need at least seven to eight rapid test machines and thousands of test kits at minimum, compared to the two machines and 700 rapid test kits they have now. 

Schumer demanded the Department of Health and Human Services release the testing dollars he helped to originally secure to conduct sufficient rapid testing and tracing programs to keep residents safe from the virus. Schumer also announced his intention to fight for more of those funds for communities across Upstate New York, as the possibility of a second wave emerges and as a Covid relief deal continues to be negotiated. 

Marc Shurtz, CEO/CFO of Orleans Community Health, said every tool and resource available is needed to best protect the community and health professionals, and that certainly includes more robust testing. 

“Especially now as Covid infection and transmission rates are spiking again in Western New York, we need to increase our testing capacity – including rapid testing – to stop the spread and avoid other protective measures, like lockdowns,” Shurtz said. "If we can head off community spread with more testing, we can curb new hospitalizations, which are already up 550 percent in the Finger Lakes Region.”

November 20, 2020 - 4:37pm
posted by Press Release in news, batavia, stuff the cruiser, holiday season.

Tomorrow's “Stuff the Cruiser" event (Nov. 21st) will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the parking lot outside Target in Towne Center at Batavia on Veterans Memorial Drive.

Multiple local law enforcement agencies* as well as the Rotary Club of Batavia will be attending to collect unwrapped toys, new clothing and nonperishable food to distribute back into Genesee County families in need this holiday season.

All donations stay in Genesee County.

*Participating local law enforcement agencies are: Village of Le Roy Police Department, Genesee County Probation Department, Genesee County Sheriff's Office, and City of Batavia Police Department.

November 20, 2020 - 4:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, fire, scanner.

A brush fire is reported next to a "primary care" building at 29 Liberty St. The location is between School and Ellicott streets. City fire is responding.

UPDATE 4:42 p.m.: The fire was next to an abandoned trailer. Fire is out; doing overhaul.

UPDATE 5:37 p.m.: City Fire is back in service.

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Photo by Rick Hale.

Video by Rick Hale.

November 20, 2020 - 4:19pm
posted by Press Release in news, city of batavia, city council.

Press release:

Please be advised there will be a City Council Conference Meeting scheduled for Monday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Council Board Room on the second floor of the Batavia City Centre. This meeting is open to the public. Face masks and social distancing will be required

Options for viewing the meeting:

  • Video News Service YouTube Channel and City’s Facebook (later in the evening):
  • Spectrum Cable TV Channel 1301 – Wednesday, Nov. 25th at 9 a.m. and Friday, Nov. 27th at 8 p.m.

The agenda is posted on the City website.

November 20, 2020 - 4:10pm
posted by Press Release in news, notify, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

As of 2 p.m.:

  • Genesee County received 17 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Alabama, Batavia, Darien, Elba and Le Roy. 
    • One of the new positive individuals is a resident at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Batavia.
    • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.
    • One of the individuals was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Nineteen of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
    • Eight of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Orleans County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
  • The new positive case resides in Barre.
  • The individual is in their 0-19s.
  • The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Twenty-nine of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.

Three of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.

November 20, 2020 - 3:49pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, Resurrection RC Parish, batavia.

Masses this weekend at Resurrection Parish in Batavia are cancelled due to some individuals that came to a funeral at St. Joseph's last week.

Here's a note from Rev. Ivan R. Trujillo, pastor at Resurrection RC Parish, Batavia:

I regret having to advise our parishioners that I am taking a pre-emptive measure and cancelling our weekend Masses for Nov. 21st and 22nd, as well as on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26th. Weekend and Thanksgiving Masses will be online through Facebook and our website as usual.

We have been notified by the Health Department that five members of a family attending a funeral last week have tested positive for COVID-19.

As we have been strictly following all of the recommended guidelines by the State and our Diocese -- such as wearing masks, social distancing, limiting the number of people attending, movement around the church, and disinfecting the entire interior of the church after EVERY Mass -- I believe we are doing the best we can to stay safe.

In addition, we have notified the Diocese regarding our situation. However, we cannot know for certain that everyone entering our church is healthy.

We will be temporarily closed to have some extra cleaning done and continue to disinfect every day (even though no one will be in the church).

I hope everyone will feel comfortable returning to Mass on the (Nov.) 28th.

Sincerely,

Fr. Ivan

November 20, 2020 - 3:39pm
posted by Press Release in news, notify, covid-19, health alert, coronavirus.

Health Alert

From the Genesee County Health Department:

The Genesee County Health Department has received seven positive COVID-19 tests from individuals who attended funeral service arrangements on the following dates and locations:

  • Nov. 11th -- Gilmartin Funeral Home (333 W. Main St., Batavia) between the hours of 3 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 12th -- Resurrection Roman Catholic Church (303 E. Main St., Batavia) between the hours of 9 to 10:30 a.m.
  • Nov. 12th -- Saint Joseph’s Mausoleum (Ellicott Street, Batavia) between the hour of 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Nov. 12th -- Polish Falcons of America (123 S. Swan St., Batavia) between the hours of 12 to 6 p.m.

Contact tracing is in progress; however unidentified individuals may have unknowingly been in contact with the positive cases.

We advise all individuals who were at the locations listed to monitor their symptoms for 14 days.

If symptoms of COVID-19 develop, contact your primary care provider to seek testing immediately and self-isolate until you receive your test results.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include but are not limited to: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.

For more information please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

November 20, 2020 - 3:37pm
posted by Press Release in TF Brown's.

Press release:

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, we here at T.F. Brown’s Restaurant have decided to give our staff the week of Sunday, Nov. 22 through Saturday, Nov. 28 off to enjoy their families. During this very stressful time we are most concerned for the safety and well-being of our staff and loyal customers. 

Mancuso Bowling Center will remain open for league play only at the usual times.

We, as everyone in our community, are trying to manage the safety of our dedicated staff the best we can and this planned break, we believe, is in their best interest and the best interest of the community at large.

We would like to wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving week and we will see you when we reopen Nov. 29th.  

Rick Mancuso

T.F. Brown’s Restaurant

Mancuso Bowling Center

November 20, 2020 - 3:15pm
posted by Press Release in Genesee Valley Conservancy, art, news, bergen, Pavilion, Oakfield.

Above, "Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse" by Charles Malone, of Oakfield, who uses soils from the area to color his work.

Submitted images and press release:

This week marked the opening of the "Genesee Valley 100: A Community Painting Project" of the Genesee Valley Conservancy.

The project had only two simple directives for artists: use the provided 12X12 canvas, and paint something inspired by the Genesee Valley.

Organized by Genesee Valley Conservancy, a nonprofit celebrating 30 years of protecting habitat, open space, and farmland within the Genesee Valley, this project aims to capture the beauty and undefinable essence that the organization has been working to protect.

The Genesee Valley 100 exhibit of paintings is viewable online on the Conservancy’s website and in person during regular business hours at the Silver Lake Brewing Project in Perry (Wyoming County) through the end of the year. It is located at 14 Borden Ave.

Online is where all sales take place, which benefit both the local artist and the Conservancy.

This year, three Genesee County artists participated and one close by in Attica: Charles Malone, of Oakfield; David Burke, of Bergen; Susan Kinney, of Oakfield, and Linda Fix, of Attica.

In creating such a collection of work and exhibiting them to the public, the organization hopes to inspire people to recognize the importance of the local lands and natural resources that surround and benefit us. Lands that future generations will be grateful if we properly care for them today.

Agricultural lands provide jobs and local food, supporting a large part of our rural economy. Lakes providing drinking water depend on the open spaces and forests surrounding them to naturally filter runoff so it is clean and safe to drink. Thriving habitat provides unique places to explore, recreate and enjoy fresh air while breaking from screens and devices.

A range of diverse styles are on display and artists of all levels of experiences participated. High school students and amateurs have pieces hung next to lifelong and professional painters. This is another unique part of this show. No one is juried to get in. Everyone interested is welcome to submit their painting, no questions asked.

The goal is to see what inspires people about the Genesee Valley and, in turn, present those images to the public to inspire others to recognize what a beautiful and special place we live.

While each individual piece warrants up close inspection, hung together at the brewery the collection is an impressive mosaic that is a work of art itself.

In trying to reach a broad audience for the project, the show is intentionally hung in a nontraditional space for art, that is to say, not in a gallery. The hope is people not seeking art out will be confronted by the project and be exposed to some great local artists and to images of our beautiful landscape. 

Paintings represent locations within the Genesee Valley from the headwaters of the Genesee River in Pennsylvania all the way to the shores of Lake Ontario, and everywhere in between.  

Forty-three communities are represented by painters this year. Fifty-one artists are first-time participants in the Genesee Valley 100. Thirty-four return from 2018, the first year of the project, that also featured original paintings. Eighteen artists this year are returning from last year’s project, which was oriented just to photographers, but held the same 12x12 requirement and that the work be of the Genesee Valley.

About Genesee Valley Conservancy

It is a nationally accredited nonprofit conservation organization working to protect the habitat, open space and farmland in the Genesee River watershed. Over 21,360 acres of natural habitat and productive farm and forest land have been conserved by Genesee Valley Conservancy and private landowners. The organization also owns nature preserves open to the public year-round for recreation and education.

For more information visit www.geneseevalleyconservancy.org

Below, "Bergen Swamp Trail" by David Burke, of Bergen.

Below, "Rainy Morning at Armson Farms" by Susan Kinney, of Pavilion.

Below, "Nature's Wonder" by Linda Fix, of Attica.

Below, a portion of the 12" by 12" works in this year's "Genesee Valley 100: A Community Painting Project."

November 20, 2020 - 3:05pm

U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccines to fight COVID-19 can’t come fast enough for Paul Pettit, public health director for Genesee and Orleans counties, who is worried that the two local counties are about to move into deeper levels of New York State-mandated restrictions.

“I believe we’re probably on the verge of potentially going Yellow,” Pettit said today during a Zoom videoconference for business owners and managers set up by the county Chamber of Commerce.

About 50 people logged in to the session, which lasted 45 minutes.

Pettit said the data and metrics of the state’s micro-cluster program featuring color-coded zones point to Genesee and Orleans at least going into the Yellow zone, and possibly to Orange.

“We’re not quite there yet that we know of,” he said. “The data and the metrics of how this is made up – I’m not saying it is secretive – but really the state is the one that is tracking all of this. It is driven by zip code and census tract and it’s based on the positivity rate within those census tracts and those zip codes.”

He said there are some areas in the City and Town of Batavia that are “probably getting close, potentially triggering that level, so we are monitoring that closely.”

Pettit went over the micro-cluster scheme, noting that the Finger Lakes Region control room, which the two counties are part of, is supposed to give the health department advance warning if the region will be placed into the Yellow category.

“We have not gotten that call yet, so I’m hopeful that means that we’re not going to be going Yellow next week. We’re still waiting to hear,” he said.

In Genesee County, designated a Tier 3 county by the state, it will be placed into the Yellow Zone if the geographic area has seven-day rolling average positivity above 3.5 percent for 10 days and the geographic area has 15 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents on seven-day average.

It will go to Orange if it has a seven-day rolling average positivity above 4.5 percent for 10 days and has 15 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents on seven-day average.

And it will move into Red if it has a seven-day rolling average positivity above 5.5 percent for 10 days and has 15 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents on seven-day average.

The criteria are similar for Orleans County, a Tier 4 county.

“I think we’re getting close to this. Our raw numbers definitely put us above three-and-a-half in Genesee (3.9 percent) and for Orleans, it’s 4 percent for Yellow and we’re definitely above that,” Pettit said. “From the numbers, we may even be in jeopardy of going into the Orange level.”

Increased spread of the coronavirus will result in more restrictions to businesses, mass gatherings, places of worship, dining establishments and schools, Pettit said, and could mean reverting to lockdown measures implemented at the outset of the pandemic in the spring.

But, there is hope, Pettit said, in the news that a vaccine is around the corner.

“That’s a big positive that we’re finally moving toward. We’re getting to the point now (where) two manufacturers (Pfizer and Moderna) that have basically completed their Phase 3 trials and have published their findings … both of those seem very promising,” he said.

“They’re both reporting over 95-percent efficacy, so that’s a great number that actually rivals some of our long-term, other standard immunizations for measles, mumps, rubella. Those are around 97- to 98-percent effective.”

Pettit said that once the companies receive emergency use authorization from the FDA they will be “pumping out … 20 million doses by the end of the year from each one, and they’re going to keep ramping them up.”

He also indicated that other manufacturers are developing vaccines, and more will be available after the first of the year.

“That’s really what we have been waiting for … so we can start getting our folks protected and moving beyond these restrictions,” he said.

Pettit said the local health department has a mass vaccination plan in place that mirrors the state’s in that the first phase will target people at the highest risk – nursing homes, vulnerable populations, health care workers – and that later phases will provide immunization to those with underlying conditions and the general public.

He spoke of “closed pods” – giving the vaccine in doses of 500 to 600, for example, at nursing homes, senior facilities and health care systems.

“Once that starts opening up, obviously, we will be utilizing our community partners – pharmacies, health care providers, us (health department) conducting public clinics – trying to get this vaccine out as quickly as we can to the public,” he said.

Pettit said businesses could be included in this process and asked owners of larger companies to let him know if they are interested in holding a “closed pod.”

The public health director’s comments on related areas:

Shout-out to the Business Community

“We know that it has been a long nine months and it doesn’t seem to be getting much better. We’re entering a new phase here, so to speak, and things seem to be getting a little more active, and we have our new micro-cluster strategy that the governor has put out there,” he said.

“Overall, you guys have done a great job. While we looked at the type of case contacting in businesses over the last five, seven, eight, nine months, it really does show that you guys have taken this seriously. You guys have put together very solid and appropriate COVID plans. I know that it has not been easy. A lot of you have struggled through this – financially and trying to stay open and delivering the services in a safe and effective way.”

He said his department is advocating on their behalf.

“We’re well aware that the governor is calling the shots on these different strategies and how he’s putting restrictions in place, but we do advocate – we try to push back locally through our state association on things that don’t make sense. Why are we doing this or why do we have to have these types of restrictions?”

Providing Current COVID Numbers

“Obviously, our numbers have been increasing significantly, locally, and we continue to share those on a daily basis,” he said. “In Genesee County, we’re averaging close to 20 cases per day.”

Pettit said there were 281 positive cases in the county on Sept. 1; 311 on Oct. 1; 375 on Nov. 1; and 635 as of yesterday.

“From October 1st to now we’ve doubled our positive cases, and from November 1st – less than three weeks -- we have over 250 cases in Genesee County alone,” he said. “Orleans’ data tracks very similarly – a little less, but proportionately about the same.”

In Genesee County, almost 700 people are in mandatory quarantine with over 130 active cases – the highest numbers since the pandemic took hold.

“With that, our cases and our case investigations are identifying 10, 15, 20, 25 exposures per positive case, which is really driving a lot of these quarantine numbers,” he reported.

Driven by Two Types of Situations

-- Social gatherings, such as parties, birthday parties, gatherings after Halloween, based on actual data.

“Social distancing, masking is not being adhered to on the private side of life,” Pettit said. “You guys on the business side have to follow your safety plans and are required to make sure people wear masks when they come into the store, employees are masked and social distanced, but that’s not the case, obviously, when some folks go home or are having gatherings.”

-- Workplace exposures, primarily driven by employees working symptomatic.

“It’s difficult this time of year when we’re in our traditional flu season and other types of colds and viruses are circulating – everybody has sniffles and a little scratchy throat, but unfortunately, these are all COVID symptoms,” he said. “What we’ve been seeing over the past month and a half is related to workers coming to work and having mild symptoms, but they work anyways, and depending on the practice in the work environment around masking and distancing, it has led toward fairly significant transition and spread between coworkers. They take it home to their families, share it with their loved ones and there goes the cycle.”

Pettit mentioned the latest restrictions mandating bars, restaurants, gyms and bowling centers to close at 10 p.m. and the “controversial” decision to limit private gatherings to 10 or less.

“Obviously, that’s (the 10 person limit) is impossible to enforce and there is no local push for that. It’s more educational on our side … encouraging folks to think about their exposure and risk,” he said.

Data from the Finger Lakes Region

Pettit reported that in the Finger Lakes Region, which includes Monroe County, the seven-day rolling average is 343 positive cases. In Genesee County, the seven-day rolling average is hovering around 5 percent and in Orleans County, it is more than 6 percent.

The hospitalization rate has jumped from .6 per 100,000 in October to 2.35 per 100,000 now, a cause for concern as flu season approaches, he said, adding that more and more testing is being done each week.

The average age of a person testing positive in the region is 39, with 1 percent of the population reporting COVID-like symptoms on a daily basis. In schools, there have been 604 positive cases involving students and 279 involving teachers.

Options for Those to Get Tested

Pettit talked about traveling out of state and the testing that needs to be done upon return, but said many are hampered due to a shortage of testing sites and the likelihood that these optional test won’t be covered by insurance.

“Testing continues to be limited in Genesee and Orleans counties,” he said. “Sen. (Charles) Schumer was out yesterday (in Medina) talking about rural testing and trying to increase capacity for all rural counties. Bottom line, it still is symptomatic testing. We are working on partnering with UMMC and Oak Orchard Health to try to increase rapid testing in our communities, but we don’t have a lot of access to the test kits.”

He said free testing sites run by the state are at Monroe Community College, Niagara County Community College and at the Buffalo Sabres’ parking lot in Downtown Buffalo. They are open seven days a week and appointments are required.

“I encourage folks to utilize that as needed especially for travel-related or screening -- for maybe going to a nursing home to visit a loved one or (to go to) school, whatever the need may be,” he said.

For more information, go to https://forward.ny.gov/

November 20, 2020 - 1:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, Darien, scanner.

A large field that is spreading fast, according to a deputy on the scene, is reported at 644 Reynolds Road. It's next to a house.

Darien Fire Department is responding and mutual aid from Corfu is requested.

The first field is at the corner of Reynolds and Fargo roads.

UPDATE 2 p.m.: Command reports the fire is about two acres in size.

UPDATE 2:15 p.m.: UTVs are requested from East Pembroke and Alexander fire departments.

UPDATE 2:36 p.m.: The UTVs were not needed and put back in service. The fire is out.

UPDATE 3:22: Fire responders back in service.

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