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April 8, 2020 - 4:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in live stream, video, news, covid-19, coronavirus.
Video Sponsor

Interview with Dr. Jacob Dominik, Sleep Insight Center in Batavia

April 8, 2020 - 4:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Andrew Cuomo, covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

  • Flags Will Remain Lowered While New York is on PAUSE
  • Kosciuszko Bridge, Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, Spire of One World Trade Center and LaGuardia Airport Parking Garages Will Be Lit Blue on Thursday, April 9th as Part of the #LightItBlue Campaign
  • Announces SUNY Albany President Havidan Rodriguez Will Work with State Department of Health and Northwell Health to Conduct More COVID-19 Data Research and Increase Testing in Minority Communities
  • Directs State Department of Labor to Make $600 in Additional Weekly Unemployment Benefits Available to All New Yorkers -- Extends Period Covered by Unemployment Benefits for Another 13 Weeks, for Total of 39 Weeks
  • Governor Will Issue Executive Order to Ensure New Yorkers Can Vote Absentee in the June 23rd Primary Elections
  • 2,400 Brand New BiPAP Machines Donated to the State by Mercury Medical, Flown to New York from Florida for Free by JetBlue and Transported on the Ground by Southern Glazer's
  • Announces Delta, JetBlue, and United are Offering Free Travel to New York for COVID-19 Medical Workers
  • State Has Distributed Over One Million Free Bottles of NYS Clean Hand Sanitizer Across All 62 Counties
  • Confirms 10,453 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 149,316; New Cases in 52 Counties
  • Governor Cuomo: "It's not a time to get complacent. It's not a time to do anything different than we've been doing. Remember what happened in Italy when the entire health care system became overrun. So we have to remain diligent, we have to remain disciplined going forward. There's no doubt that we are now bending the curve and there's no doubt that we can't stop doing what we're doing."
April 8, 2020 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

chartapril82020.png

Daily COVID-19 Briefing:

New Cases

  • As discussed during yesterday’s briefing, we are adding age ranges broken down by decade (except those from ages 0-20) to reiterate that any age is susceptible to COVID-19 and the complications.  Throughout the nation even young people are having serious complications that may be associated with known or unknown underlying health conditions and health behaviors such as smoking, vaping and obesity.  Tomorrow we are planning on including a cumulative breakdown of the ages.
  • As of 2:00 p.m. today:
    • Genesee County received 11 new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 54 positive cases
      • Ten of the individuals reside in the central part of the County and one individual resides in the eastern part of the county.
      • One individual is in their 20s, four individuals are in their 30s, two individuals are in their 40s, three individuals are in their 60s, and one individual is in their 70s.
  • Orleans County: 4 new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 21
    • All 4 new cases live in the central part of Orleans County.  One is in their 50’s, one in their 70’s, one in their 80’s and one in their 90’s
    • All of the Orleans positive cases were connected to a confirmed positive case and are in mandatory isolation.
  • Contact tracing has been initiated for all new cases.  Known contacts have already been placed under mandatory quarantine and will be swabbed if indicated (if symptoms become present). 
  • If a person is identified as a contact, they will be notified by the County Health Department, quarantined and if warranted, swabbed if indicated.  Limited information is provided to the public in compliance with HIPAA regulations and out of the respect of those impacted by this virus
  • When, and if, there is a situation where potential contact is made in a public location where contact tracing doesn’t have actual names we will send out a media announcement to help seek contacts.

briefingchartapril82020.png
Click here to view the Genesee and Orleans County online map of confirmed cases

OPERATIONAL UPDATES

  • Going out for essentials - recommendations.
    If you have to pick up essential items such as groceries or prescriptions, only one (1) member of the house hold should be going out. Make a list ahead of time to limit your exposure in the store. Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and other people. Do not bring in unessential items such as purses, phones, etc.
  • Because COVID-19 is circulating locally, we can’t stress enough how important social distancing is and that EVERYONE needs to take this seriously and stay home! It is your social and civic responsibility to protect yourselves and others.

Businesses and Employers

  • Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the New York State Department of Health and every business, even if essential, is strongly urged to maintain social distance to the extent possible.
  • As an employer or business, it is your responsibility to protect your workforce and to follow and understand guidance as it pertains to COVID-19. The health and safety of your employees should be your utmost concern. Below are some things to consider:
    • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
    • If an employee becomes sick while at work, they should be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home immediately. Follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting areas the sick employee visited.
    • Have conversations with employees about their concerns. Some employees may be at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.
  • The Governor has established the New York State PAUSE Enforcement Assistance Task Force where individuals can file complaints regarding the operation of non-essential businesses or gatherings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Click here to file a complaint online. You may also call 1-833-789-0470. Businesses that are not in compliance with the Governor’s executive order may be penalized. 
  • If you believe your employer is in violation of either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, please contact the New York State Attorney General’s office at
    (212) 416-8700 or mailto:[email protected]

The Use of Cloth Face Coverings

  • The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing or proper hand washing.
     
  • The cloth face cover should:
    • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
    • be secured with ties or ear loops
    • include multiple layers of fabric
    • allow for breathing without restriction
    • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
       
  • The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Mental Health

  • Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and having to socially distance yourself from someone you love can be difficult. Below are resources that can help you connect to a professional that can help you though these challenging times:
    • Care + Crisis Helpline is available 24/7 at 585-283-5200 or text  ‘Talk’ to 741741
    • New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling
    • Head Space:  A mindfulness app called Headspace is offering some meditations to listen to for free to ease minds in such a stressful time. The app is free to download and includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help with the varying emotions you may be feeling. The app does include in-app purchases. https://www.headspace.com/covid-19

 

April 8, 2020 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, news, NY-27, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

Chris Jacobs, the Republican nominee for New York’s 27th congressional district, is calling on Congress to add additional funding to the Paycheck Protection Program.

“The CARES Act provided small businesses with a critical $350 billion in funding, but as the COVID-19 crisis continues more small businesses will need this critical funding to ensure they can care for their employees and still be operational when this challenge is over,” Jacobs said. “I am joining Secretary Mnuchin in strongly urging Congress to add critical additional funding to the program so any small business that needs help can get it. Our Western New York economy depends on it.”

Small businesses in Western New York and around the country are currently applying for the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure they can keep employees employed and cover essential operations of their businesses.

The Paycheck Protection Program is $350 billion loan program enacted as part of the CARES Act signed by President Trump. The program, governed by the Small Business Association (SBA), provides businesses an eight-week loan of cash flow.

The loan can be forgiven if the business uses at least 75 percent of the money to cover payroll costs and the remainder is used for rent, mortgage, or utilities. For more information, click here.

April 8, 2020 - 12:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, Batavia Players, news, video.
Video Sponsor

Dorothy Gerhart reads Robert Frost -- "The Exposed Nest." Gerhart is a member of Batavia Players.

April 8, 2020 - 12:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in james catino, video, news, coronavirus, covid-19.

James Catino, a lifelong resident of Batavia, a member of the SkyCats band and the Old Hippies, is stuck in Florida during the COVID-19 pandemic. He wrote this song for the folks back home, “The Sun Will Shine Again."

April 8, 2020 - 12:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, northgate church.

fooddistributionapril82020.jpg

As many as 300 households were stocked with free food, much of it donated by local farmers, such as Star Growers, at Northgate Church's North Campus this morning.

Dozens of volunteers from United Way, Rotary, and GLOW Women Rise, were on hand to help load supplies into the trunks of cars that drove through the distribution line.

"One of the things we’re seeing in all of this is it’s not necessarily a financial need as much as it is, people are afraid," said Todd Rapp, coordinator of emergency disaster services for The Salvation Army in Batavia. "They can’t go to Tops. they can't go to Aldis. Even though they may have the financial means, they just can’t do it, so we’re helping everyone who needs it."

fooddistributionapril82020-2.jpg

fooddistributionapril82020-3.jpg

fooddistributionapril82020-4.jpg

fooddistributionapril82020-5.jpg

Mark Logan, director of operations at Northgate, with supplies donated by community members on Monday.

April 7, 2020 - 5:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, covid-19.

The state has mandated all but essential services close down during the current state of emergency to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Click here for a list of what the state has defined as essential services.

We've compared that list to our sponsor list to build this initial list of locally owned businesses that are allowed to stay open. There may be locally owned businesses that have a waiver or weren't included in that initial list that is now covered. If your business is not included, please email [email protected]

We will include any locally owned business whether a sponsor or not at no charge. If your business is included here but you decided to close during this time, please let us know and we will remove the listing. Periodically, we'll move this post back to the top of the home page with updates.

This listing is FREE to all locally owned businesses in Genesee County.

Auto Service

Batavia Automotive, 50 Liberty St., Batavia. (585) 344-7171

Batavia Starter, 282 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. (585) 343-3805

Castilone Chrysler Dodge Jeep (service only, no sales), 306 W. Main St., Batavia. (585) 343-1780

Chesley's Auto and Tire Service, 562 E. Main St., Batavia. (585) 343-8691

Crazy Cheap Cars (service only, no sales), 8 Main St., Oakfield. (585) 948-8000

Dan's Tire & Auto Service Center, 48 Batavia City Centre, (585) 343-7210

Dickinson's Auto, 4028 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. (585) 343-9800

Empire Tractor, 5072 East Main Street, Batavia. (585) 343-1822

Falleti Motors (service only, no sales), 504 Ellicott St., Batavia. (585) 343-2247

Freightliner & Western Star of Batavia, open for all heavy-duty trucking service & parts, also deliveries for any farms or businesses. 8190 State Street Road, Batavia. (585) 524-2100

Genesee Auto Body, 659 Ellicott St., Batavia, (585) 345-0432

John's Service Station, 187 Pearl St., Batavia. (585) 343-0535

Johnson Automotive, 4003 W. Main St., Batavia.(585) 343-6891

Ken Barrett Chevrolet (service only, no sales), 229 W. Main St., Batavia. (585) 300-4966

L&L Transmission, 8781 Alexander Road, Batavia. (585) 343-1735

Parmenter Tire & Auto, 4531 W. Saile Drive, Batavia. (585) 343-0544

Pellegrino Auto Sales (service only, no sales), 4060 Pearl St., Batavia. (585) 344-2658

Select Collision, 5273 Clinton Street Road, Batavia. (585) 344-4945

Sheelar Automotive Repair, 149 Pearl St., Batavia, is open for business. (585) 344-2484

Sloat Tire Shop, 5257 Clinton Street Road, Batavia. (585) 343-7730

Stan's Harley-Davidson, 4425 W. Saile Drive, Batavia. Service open; parts and clothing sales closed. (585) 343-9598

Stella Collision, 8375 E. Main St., Le Roy. (585) 768-7370

Thompson Motors (service only, no sales), 11263 Route 98, Attica. (585) 591-4310

Toyota of Batavia (service only, no sales), 3899 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. (585) 344-4141

Zirbels Automotive, 149 Hutchins St., Batavia. (585) 343-6101

Medical & Dental

Batavia Foot Care Center, 3922 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. (585) 344-1677

Batavia Chiropractic Health Center -- Dr. Michael DeAngelo, 154 Pearl St., Batavia. (585) 343-4862

Dr. Michael A. Kubiniec, 180 Washington Ave., Batavia. (585) 343-5865. Open for emergencies.

GCASA -- Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, (585) 343-1124

Genesee Dental, 37 Batavia City Centre, Batavia. Closed through April 3 except for emergencies. (585) 343-1113

Licata Chiropractic and Wellness Center, 1 Court Street Plaza, Batavia. (585) 343-5311

Mazurkiewicz Family Chiropractic, PC, 184 Washington Ave., Batavia. (585) 343-9316

Oatka Family Medicine, 5762 East Main St., Batavia. (585) 201-7055

Pediatric Associates of Batavia (Dr. Idrees and Dr. Shahid), 43 Batavia City Centre, Suite A. (585) 343-7117

Pembroke Family Medicine, offices open in Alexander, Corfu and Batavia. Website. (585) 599-6446.

Rochester Regional Health Urgent Care, 16 Bank St., Batavia. (585) 815-6715

Rochester Regional Health Lab, 106 Main St., Suite 47B, Batavia. (585) 247-3500

Sleep Insights, of Batavia, for suspected sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, now via telemedicine, in-home testing and delivery of CPAP supplies. Visit online. (585) 219-4330

UMMC/Rochester Regional Health, 127 North St., Batavia. (585) 343-6030

Village Physical Therapy, Batavia and Le Roy locations open for PT; Le Roy gym is closed; encouraging patients to use telehealth. (585) 343-9496, (585) 768-4550

Elder Care

Johnson's Elderly Care, (585) 548-3206

St. Ann's Community, (585) 768-2740

Funeral Homes

Bohm-Calarco-Smith Funeral Home, (585)343-5679

Burdett & Sanford Funeral Home, (585) 948-5325

Cameron, Brady & Steuber Funeral Home, (585) 768-6800

C.B. Beach & Son Mortuary, (585) 599-4520

Gilmartin Funeral Home, (585) 343-8260

Falcone Family Funeral, (585) 768-2400

H.E. Turner & Co, (585) 343-8868

J. Leonard McAndrew Funeral Home, (585) 343-6158

Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, (585) 343-7500

Garbage Collection & Recycling

Arc Collection Services -- Curbside and Dumpster, (585) 343-4203

Arc Transfer Station & Redemption Center, 3785 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Monday/Wednesday/Saturday -- 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Customers are asked to stay in their cars. (585) 343-4203.

Haul-4-Less, (585) 813-7007

Mickel’s Nickels Redemption, 80 Lake St., Le Roy. (585) 768-9610

Electric, Plumbing, Construction, Home Repair & Maintenance

Batavia Garage Door, (585) 344-4405

Bill Fox & Son Construction, (585) 356-4992

Ben's Appliance & Kitchens, (585) 343-7033

Cassidy’s Locksmithing, (585) 755-1237

Cedar Street Sales & Rental, 111 Cedar St., Batavia. Open for rentals and repairs. Retail shopping online only. (585) 343-4899

Country Line Electric, Batavia, electric equipment and supplies. (585) 343-3448

Deep Blue Pool & Spa, (585) 343-7665

Diegelman's Plumbing, 4995 Ellicott Street Road, Batavia. (585) 356-3438

Empire Tractor, 5072 E. Main St., Batavia. Repair shop open. For parts, curbside pickup or delivery via UPS/USPS. Upon request, will show new and used equipment by maintaining social distancing. Delivery of new equipment. (585) 343-1822

Erie East Windows and Doors, (585) 757-2768

Fava Brothers Lawn Care, (585) 260-8391

Genesee Country Residential Services. Home repairs and construction services. Weekdays 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (585) 345-0076.

Genesee Lumber Co., Batavia, Call ahead for pickup. Job site deliveries continue but social distancing protocols apply. Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. / Saturdays 8 a.m. -1 p.m. See updates here. (585) 343-0777

Falcone Electric, (585) 343-2018

Henry H. Cook, (585) 345-0915

Holland High Lift, 10033 East Road, East Bethany (585) 343-9961

Kevin Bezon Enterprises, (585) 746-0246

Kreative Design Kitchen & Bath (showroom is closed but open for construction projects), (585) 345-0012

Genesee Plumbing, (585) 343-3805

Humphrey's Electric & Security, (585) 721-3088

Toal's Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, commercial and residential, (585) 344-3839

McCabe Enterprises Electrical Contractor, (585) 762-9347

Napoleone Plumbing and Carpentry, (585) 409-9961

Northside Saw & Tool, 641 E. Main St., Batavia, (585) 219-4735

Precision Lawn Care, (585) 993-5296

Pro Seal & Paving, (585) 356-8689

R.A. Haitz Company, (585) 343-2400

Rickety Rich Home Repair / Construction, (585) 817-7071

RJN Electrical Services, (585) 343-6700

Sallome Heating & Cooling, (585) 343-8236

Terance Cranston Construction, (585)305-4254

Tri County Glass, (585) 343-0277

Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning, (585) 209-0305

Valu Home Center, 4152 W. Main St.. Batavia. Social distancing protocols apply. Curbside pickup available. (585) 344-1300

Viele Construction, (585) 343-2356

Waters Plumbing Heating and Electrical, (585) 762-8687

WTS Plumbing, (585) 993-1697

Yasses Construction, (585) 548-5014

Computers

Batavia Computer Center, 563 E. Main St., Batavia, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (585) 343-2070

Marchese Computers is open by appointment. (585) 343-2713

Millennium Computers, (585) 343-3310

Finance & Insurance

RB Adams Agency/ The Northwoods Corporation, 539 E Main St, Batavia (585) 343-0046

Allstate Insurance Agency, H. Michael Roth, 106 W. Main St., Batavia. Fax (585) 344-3542. Phone (585) 344-3514

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, 419 W. Main St., Batavia. (716) 864-0715

Insurance Center, (585) 343-2282

Marathon Insurance, 585-343-8609

Mark Lewis - State Farm Insurance, (585) 343-4959

Mathis Agency with Nationwide Insurance, (585) 768-4810

Stephen M. Hawley & Associates -- The Insurance Center, 50 Main St., Batavia. Office closed, reduced staff; can take payments in envelope if you can't pay premiums online. M-F, 9 to 5. (585) 343-2282

Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union, 10 Jefferson Square, Batavia. (585) 343-5627

Tompkins Bank of Castle (various locations). (585) 344-2898

Tompkins Insurance Agencies, 1-888-261-2688

Le Roy Federal Credit Union, 7093 W. Main Road, Le Roy. (585) 768-7207

Pets & Livestock

Attica Veterinary Associates, P.C. Lab, located in Genesee County, serving WNY, large animal practice. Scott Carrick, DVM; Diane Deleo, LVT: (585) 591-2660, FAX (585) 591-2898

Genesee Feeds, 3860 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. (585) 344-3231

Genesee Valley Farm & Pet Cremation, 3520 S. Main Street Road, Batavia. (585) 343-5878

Perry Veterinary Clinic, 3699 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Companion animal clinic hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday. Call for appointment; then call clinic from parking lot once you arrive. (585) 343-4046

State Street Animal Hospital, 7950 State Street Road, Batavia. (585) 344-4974.

Additional Businesses

Golden Coin Laundry and Dry Cleaners, 582 E. Main St., (585)  344-0040

49 Express Pit Stop, 409 Bloomingdale Road, Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Basom, (716) 542-1073

Food & Beverage

(Click here for our list of locally owned restaurants and food-related businesses with service.)

April 7, 2020 - 3:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, live stream, video.
Video Sponsor

Genesee County COVID-19 briefing for April 7, 2020

UPDATE: There are 10 new positive cases. All 10 were in quarantine at the time the positive tests came back. There is one person hospitalized. There are a total of 44 positive tests now reported in Genesee County.

UPDATE: I had audio difficulty with the stream again today. I'm not sure why but have an idea of a couple of things to try before the next Zoom conference we try to stream to see if I can fix it. There's a point when the sound goes away. That's when I plug in my headphones in anticipation of asking questions so there will be no echo. That means my desktop mic is putting up the audio and it's not coming through the computer as it should. I thought I had found the fix for this. So there's some sound dead spots in this recording and you can hear me typing at times, etc. I'll see if the county can provide us with the recording they made.

Written briefing from Public Health:

New Cases

  • As of 2 p.m. today:
    • Genesee County received 10 new positive case of COVID-19 for a total of 44 positive cases
      • Seven are under the age of 65 residing in the central part of Genesee County.
      • Three are under the age of 65 residing in the eastern part of Genesee County.
      • 10 of the positive cases were under precautionary or mandatory quarantine when they became symptomatic.
  • Orleans County: 2 new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 17
    • One of the positive cases is under the age of 65 and lives in the eastern part of Orleans County
    • One of the positive cases is under 65 and resides in the central part of Orleans County
    • One of the Orleans positive cases were under precautionary or mandatory quarantine when they became symptomatic.
  • Contact tracing has been initiated for all new cases.  Known contacts have already been placed under mandatory quarantine and will be swabbed if indicated (if symptoms become present).
  • If a person is identified as a contact, they will be notified by the County Health Department, quarantined and if warranted, swabbed if indicated. Limited information is provided to the public in compliance with HIPAA regulations and out of the respect of those impacted by this virus.
  • When, and if, there is a situation where potential contact is made in a public location where contact tracing doesn’t have actual names we will send out a media announcement to help seek contacts.


Genesee Orleans County Health Departments COVID-19 Status                                                                            As of 04/07/20

County

# Positive

#Negative

Mandatory Isolation (Positive)

Mandatory Quarantine

Precautionary Quarantine

# Deaths

#Recovered

Genesee

44

291

33

38

1

1

10

Orleans

17

177

13

26

2

0

4

Total

61

468

46

64

3

1

14


Click here to view the Genesee and Orleans County online map of confirmed cases
 

OPERATIONAL UPDATES

  • Our local numbers are increasing.
    As reported last week, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments have been preparing for an increase in positive cases and COVID-19 activity within our communities.
    We are working diligently to conduct contact tracing among new positive cases as well as monitor symptoms for individuals who are under mandatory quarantine. The past two day’s jump in numbers is reflective of increasing community spread and the fact that many people are not practicing social distancing and following the guidance and recommendations. Staying home is one of your best defenses against contracting or transmitting COVID-19. By limiting contact with others, and practicing preventative health measures, we can continue to reduce the spread in our communities.
  • Going out for essentials - recommendations.
    If you have to pick up essential items such as groceries or prescriptions, only one (1) member of the house hold should be going out. Make a list ahead of time to limit your exposure in the store. Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and other people. Do not bring in unessential items such as purses, phones, etc. These items can carry germs from the store and back home with you. Wash your hands frequently and use a cloth face shield to protect yourself and others from spreading the virus.
  • Because COVID-19 is circulating locally, we can’t stress enough how important social distancing is and that EVERYONE needs to take this seriously and stay home! It is your social and civic responsibility to protect yourselves and others.

Businesses and Employers

  • Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the New York State Department of Health and every business, even if essential, is strongly urged to maintain social distance to the extent possible.
  • As an employer or business, it is your responsibility to protect your workforce and to follow and understand guidance as it pertains to COVID-19. The health and safety of your employees should be your utmost concern. Below are some things to consider:
    • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home. Develop policies that encourage sick employees to stay at home without fear of repercussions, and ensure employees are aware of these policies.  There is a lot of guidance and information available to businesses and employees in regards to coverage of wages and protections related to COVID-19
    • Provide education and training materials in an easy to understand format and in the appropriate language and literacy level for all employees, like fact sheets and posters.
    • If an employee becomes sick while at work, they should be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home immediately. Follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting areas the sick employee visited.
    • Have conversations with employees about their concerns. Some employees may be at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.
  • The Governor has established the New York State PAUSE Enforcement Assistance Task Force where individuals can file complaints regarding the operation of non-essential businesses or gatherings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Click here to file a complaint online. You may also call 1-833-789-0470. Businesses that are not in compliance with the Governor’s executive order may be penalized. This area continues to be problematic, we continually receive calls on both businesses and gatherings occurring. We all must ad hear to the guidance and limit these gatherings.  Continued intentional actions are placing folks in compromising situations and perpetuating the spread.
  • If you believe your employer is in violation of either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, please contact the New York State Attorney General’s office at (212) 416-8700 or [email protected]

The Use of Cloth Face Coverings

  • The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing or proper hand washing.
     
  • The cloth face cover should:
    • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
    • be secured with ties or ear loops
    • include multiple layers of fabric
    • allow for breathing without restriction
    • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
       
  • The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Tips to Stop the Spread in our Communities

  • Follow guidance from authorities where you live.
  • If you need to shop for food or medicine at the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Use mail-order for medications, if possible.
  • Consider a grocery delivery service.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, including when you have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store.
  • Stay at least 6 feet between yourself and others, even when you wear a face covering.
  • Avoid large and small gatherings in private places and public spaces.
  • Children should not have in-person playdates while school is out.
  • Stay connected while staying away. It is very important to stay in touch with friends and family that don’t live in your home. Call, video chat, or stay connected using social media.

Mental Health

  • Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and having to socially distance yourself from someone you love can be difficult. Below are resources that can help you connect to a professional that can help you though these challenging times:
    • Care + Crisis Helpline is available 24/7 at 585-283-5200 or text "Talk" to 741741
    • New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling
    • Head Space: https://www.headspace.com/covid-19

Public Health Week

  • Public Health is often in the background working to educate and protect our residents and visitors who live work and plan in our communities. However, during this time of COVID-19, we are on the frontlines working collaboratively with our partners to address what is going on in our communities.
  • During Public Health Week (April 6-12) we are reminded that we as a community are public health. What each of us chooses to do regarding the orders and guidance of our government leaders will impact how long we will be shut down and can impact the number of lives saved or lost. 
  • We encourage you and your family to take this week to consider what truly is necessary each time you walk out your door. Can you still help an older family member while protecting them through social distancing by adding their grocery list to yours? Can you teach your children how to prepare healthy meals, keep their surroundings clean? Can you seek emotional support by phone or Facetime? Can you encourage and support your children in their studies? Can you learn about a new culture or a new language online? Can you be kind to others by respecting what they are doing is to help protect you, your family and your neighbors?
     
  • We are all Public Health and as Public Health professionals we appreciate you!
April 7, 2020 - 2:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, masks, coronavirus, news.

These are the people who have contacted us to say they are available to make masks for their fellow Genesee County residents.  We haven't asked what, if anything, they're charging.  

If you are available to sew cloth masks for other people and would like to be listed, email [email protected]Here is a link to the CDC guidelines (pdf).

April 7, 2020 - 2:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, Batavia Players, news, video.
Video Sponsor

Jane Burk reads Dylan Thomas "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." Burk is a member of Batavia Players.

If you would like to read a poem, please send a video of you reading a favorite poem to:   [email protected]

April 7, 2020 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, UMMC, notify.

Video provided by Rochester Regional Health.

Norma Longrod is from Orleans County. She was brought into the emergency room at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia following a fall. Doctors found she was running a high fever and was presenting other symptoms of COVID-19 so she was immediately placed in isolation.

While not attributing her recovery specifically to hydroxychloroquine, a doctor in the video does say she was treated with the drug, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo said more than a week ago said would be used on a trial basis in New York to treat patients with COVID-19.

April 7, 2020 - 10:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in live stream, video, YWCA, news, covid-19, coronavirus.
Video Sponsor

This morning, we're talking with Millie Tomidy-Pepper, director of the YWCA. 

April 6, 2020 - 6:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

There are 46 people in mandatory quarantine in Genesee County, many of them, according to the Health Department, because an employee of a local business went to work while ill and later tested positive for COVID-19.

In keeping with privacy laws, the Health Department is releasing no further information about the person or where that person worked.

The department received reports from state labs over Saturday, Sunday and Monday, of 10 more local residents testing positive for the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. 

There has been a total of 32 positive cases in Genesee County since the first positive test locally, reported on March 17. There are currently 23 people in mandatory isolation because they tested positive, eight people have recovered, and there has been one death.

Four of the people with positive test results over the weekend were previously on mandatory quarantine.

Of the 10 new cases, all 10 are under age 65. We tried to find out how many were under age 40 and under age 30 and a spokesperson for the department declined to releases that information citing privacy concerns.

There are currently no local residents hospitalized because of the coronavirus.

Public Health Director Paul Pettit, in light of the fact a person who later tested positive went to work sick, reiterated the need for people to pay attention to warnings about COVID-19.

“When you are sick, stay home from work,” stated Pettit, “A significant increase in the number of mandatory quarantines being reported today is due to a symptomatic person going to work at a local business. Also, if you are part of gatherings and even one person tests positive everyone in close contact to the positive will be placed on mandatory quarantine. We’re all in this together, we need to make sacrifices in the short term to get us through this challenging time.”

The health department indicates the sick person only had close contact with fellow workers and, besides the ones already identified and placed in mandatory quarantine, the department is working with the company to identify further individuals who might need to go into quarantine.

April 6, 2020 - 5:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, Andrew Cuomo.

Press release:

  • Directs Schools and Nonessential Businesses to Stay Closed for Additional Two Weeks Through April 29th
  • Increases Maximum Fine for Violations of the State's Social Distancing Protocol from $500 to $1,000
  • Requests Use of USNS Comfort Hospital Ship for Only COVID-19 Patients
  • 802 Ventilators Have Been Distributed Downstate Through the State's "Surge and Flex" System
  • Establishes First Responders Fund to Be Used for Expenses Associated with COVID-19 First Responders -- Blackstone is Making Anchor $10 Million Donation
  • State is Partnering with Headspace to Offer Free Meditation and Mindfulness Content for all New Yorkers
  • South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island & Brooklyn Center Temporary Hospital at 170 Buffalo Avenue Will Open This Week Specifically for COVID-19 Patients
  • Confirms 8,658 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State -- Bringing Statewide Total to 130,689; New Cases in 48 Counties
  • Governor Cuomo: "One of the reasons the rate of infection is going down is because social distancing is working. We have to continue the social distancing. Schools and non-essential businesses will stay closed until April 29. I know that's a negative for many, many reasons. I know what it does to the economy. But as I said from day one I'm not going to choose between public health and economic activity because in either event public health still demands that we stay on pause with businesses closed and schools closed."
  • Cuomo: "I'm going to call the president this afternoon and ask him to shift the Comfort from non-COVID to COVID. ... That is the only way we sustain this level of intensity in the hospital system. I understand what the original plan was with the Comfort, but I understand that there is no preordained strategy here. You have to feel it out day to day and you have to adjust with the facts. We do not need the Comfort for non-COVID cases. We need it for COVID."

Earlier today, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced all NYS on Pause functions will be extended for an additional two weeks. The Governor also directed schools and nonessential businesses to stay closed for an additional two weeks through April 29th. The state will re-evaluate after this additional two-week period.

Governor Cuomo also announced the state is increasing the maximum fine for violations of the state's social distancing protocol from $500 to $1,000 to help address the lack of adherence to social distancing protocols. The Governor reminded localities that they have the authority to enforce the protocols.

The Governor today is asking the federal government to allow the USNS Comfort hospital ship to be used for COVID-19 patients. President Trump has already granted the Governor's request for the Javits temporary hospital facility to be used for only COVID-19 positive patients, and the addition of the USNS Comfort would help relieve pressure on the state's hospital system with an addition of 1,000 beds for COVID-19 patients.

The Governor also announced that 802 ventilators have been distributed downstate through the state's "surge and flex" system where all hospital systems are working together as one and sharing supplies, equipment and staff. Of the 802 ventilators, 38 were deployed to Rockland County, 36 were deployed to Westchester County, 505 were deployed to New York City and 223 were deployed to Long Island.

 Governor Cuomo also announced the creation of the First Responders Fund to assist COVID-19 health care workers and first responders with expenses and costs, including child care. The State Department of Health is accepting donations for the fund, and Blackstone is making an anchor $10 million contribution to the fund. Donations can be made electronically at or by check sent to below address. Donors should specify the donation is for "COVID-19 NYS Emergency Response."

Health Research, Inc.
150 Broadway
Suite 560
Menands, NY 12204

The Governor also announced that the state is partnering with Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, to offer free meditation and mindfulness content for all New Yorkers as a mental health resource for residents coping with the unprecedented public health crisis. New Yorkers can access a collection of science-backed, evidence-based guided meditations, along with at-home mindful workouts, sleep and kids content to help address rising stress and anxiety at www.headspace.com/ny

The Governor also announced that the South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island and the Brooklyn Center Temporary Hospital at 170 Buffalo Avenue will open this week and will be used specifically for COVID-19 patients.

April 6, 2020 - 4:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

The Center for Disease Control has reversed course on the general public wearing face masks to help protect themselves and others (mostly others) from the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus currently running through our nation and our community.

While masks are no substitute for social distancing and hand washing, they could help flatten the curve.

Today, the CDC issued guidelines for wearing and making masks. Click here for the guidelines.

We previously offered to start a list of people in the community willing to make masks for others and so far have received one response. If there are others, email your name and contact information to [email protected]

Our list:

Previously: It may be a good idea to wear face masks (just don't buy masks needed by medical professionals)

Also, here's a video on how to properly wash your hands.

April 6, 2020 - 4:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

COVID-19 Briefing as of 2 p.m. today

New Cases

  • Genesee County received 10 new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 32 positive cases:
    • All of the positive cases are under mandatory isolation at home;
    • Four of the positive cases were under mandatory quarantine and are now under mandatory isolation;
    • Ten are under the age of 65 residing in the central part of Genesee County;
  • Orleans County: Six new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 15:
    • One of the positive cases is under the age of 65 and lives in the eastern part of Orleans County;
    • One of the positive cases is 65 and over and resides in the western part of Orleans County;
    • Four of the positive cases are 65 and older and reside in the central part of Orleans County;
    • One of the six is under isolation at the hospital and the other five are under mandatory isolation at home;
    • Two of the Orleans positive cases were under precautionary or mandatory quarantine when they became symptomatic.
  • Contact tracing has been initiated for all new cases. Known contacts have already been placed under mandatory quarantine and will be swabbed if indicated (if symptoms become present).
  • If a person is identified as a contact, they will be notified by the County Health Department, quarantined and if warranted, swabbed if indicated. Limited information is provided to the public in compliance with HIPAA regulations and out of the respect of those impacted by this virus.
  • When, and if, there is a situation where potential contact is made in a public location where contact tracing doesn’t have actual names we will send out a media announcement to help seek contacts
  • We are asking that people be respectful and accommodating of health care workers and responders. They are doing their job to protect you and our community. 
  • Be Responsible -- Because COVID-19 is circulating locally, we can’t stress enough how important social distancing is and that EVERYONE needs to take this seriously and stay home! It is your social and civic responsibility to protect yourselves and others.
    • Today’s jump in numbers are reflective of increasing community spread and the fact so many are still out and about, taking the family grocery shopping, going to work sick, and having gatherings at home. Keep in mind as you disregard the Governor’s orders and related guidance, you are risking exposure to yourself and your family members…and are perpetuating the spread of COVID-19 for everyone in our communities
    • When you are sick, stay home from work! A significant increase in the number of mandatory quarantines being reported today is due to a symptomatic person going to work at a local business. If you are part of gatherings and even one person tests positive everyone in close contact to the positive will be placed on mandatory quarantine. We’re all in this together, we need to make sacrifices in the short term to get us through this challenging time. 
  • Click here to view the Genesee and Orleans County online map of confirmed cases.

covidbriefingapril6.png

OPERATIONAL UPDATES

  • Connect together by celebrating apart. We understand that Easter is a time many families gather to celebrate the holiday with spring time traditions such as Easter egg hunts and large family dinners. We are asking our communities to think of fun and clever ways in which you can still virtually connect with your loved ones while keeping everyone safe and healthy.
  • Going out for essentials: If you have to pick up essential items such as groceries or prescriptions, only one member of the house hold should be going out. Make a list ahead of time to limit your exposure in the store. Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and other people. Do not bring in unessential items such as purses, phones, etc. These items can carry germs from the store and back home with you. Wash your hands frequently.
  • Practice social distancing everywhere, including outdoors. As the weather begins to warm up it is important to understand that you must continue to practice social distancing. This means maintaining 6 feet of distance between you and other people. DO NOT play or participate in sports or activities that bring people together. If you are walking, jogging, or biking outside, make sure you pass people at a minimum of 6 feet apart. Being outdoors will not protect you from contracting the virus. Remember this is only temporary. The more we practice social distancing the sooner we can get back to normal.
  • Please stay home if you are sick. DO NOT go to work if you are sick, symptomatic, or feel unwell. If you develop symptoms while at work, go home immediately.
  • Medical Concerns: If you feel you may have COVID-19, call your primary care provider or healthcare facility ahead of time. DO NOT GO DIRECTLY THERE, CALL AHEAD TO GET GUIDANCE.
April 6, 2020 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in social distancing, news, covid-19, coronavirus.

mobilitydataapril62020.png

Genesee County residents are now getting a failing grade in social distancing according to least one metric -- GPS data gathered through apps that users install on their mobile phones.

A private company, Unacast, that makes the software used by many mobile apps that rely on location from smartphones is aggregating people's movements across the nation and producing a social distancing scoreboard that is frequently updated.

The grade also takes into account the number of positive cases reported in an area and in Genesee County, there are 22 reported positive cases of COVID-19.

The data doesn't tell us, however, whether the travel could be related to essential services and work.

April 6, 2020 - 1:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $1.93, down 7 cents since last week. One year ago, the price was $2.74. The New York State average is $2.30 – down 4 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.76.

AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia - $2.38 (down 4 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo - $2.33 (down 4 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca - $2.32 (down 9 cents since last week)
  • Rochester - $2.27 (down 6 cents since last week)
  • Rome - $2.29 (down 5 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse - $2.24 (down 4 cents since last week)
  • Watertown - $2.29 (down 4 cents since last week)

Today, most states have gas price averages under $2 per gallon. New York State prices have dropped; however, the state remains in the top eight highest-priced states across the country.

The image in this link demonstrates gas prices across the United States. Typically, New York prices are higher than the national average and prices are slower to drop compared to most other states.

Pump prices continue to decline around the country as oil prices have decreased significantly in response to the increasing public health, financial and economic impact of COVID-19.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released data that shows gas demand has decreased significantly. According to EIA’s historical gas demand data, demand has not been this low since 1993.

As more Americans practice social distancing, gas demand is likely to continue decreasing and push pump prices even lower.

From GasBuddy:

"The national average continues to fall as every state has seen yet another decline in average gas prices over the last week as overall oil demand remains constrained due to COVID-19," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

"The decline has been most significant thus far in the Great Lakes, due to the region being landlocked and challenging to ship gasoline out of, prices have been depressed significantly, driving these states to some of the lowest prices in the country. In fact, Wisconsin yesterday saw its lowest state average for gasoline in nearly 6,300 days -- they haven't been lower since 2003.

"For those not in the Great Lakes, there's still good news: average prices will continue to play catch up for the next few weeks or longer. Do keep an eye on this week's potential meeting between major oil producers Russia and Saudi Arabia, however.

On hopes of a production cut, oil rallied nearly $7 per barrel last week, but tomorrow's meeting was postponed. If there is an oil production cut, it may establish a floor to oil prices, but motorists need not worry -- if there is a cut, it is highly unlikely to cause a surge in gas prices, as retail prices have not come close to matching the declines in wholesale prices to this point."

April 5, 2020 - 11:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in coronavirus, news, covid-19, video, notify.
Video Sponsor

Genesee County came together today to remind ourselves we are a community, to thank those who work hard to keep our economy going in these tough times, and raise money for Crossroads House.

More than 160 truckers met at Scofield Roll-Off in Stafford for the Corona Convoy, an event organized by Bruce Scofield and friends.

The video contains shots from members of the community throughout Genesee County who stood roadside to wave and honor the men and women who keep the economy rolling.

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