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March 26, 2020 - 3:23pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in Meals on Wheels, coronavirus, news, Matilda's Law, elderly.

While the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc with normal life across the country, recipients of Meals on Wheels in Genesee County can rest assured their meal delivery will continue.

Paul Saskowski, director of Business Services for the Arc of Orleans and Genesee, said they have had to make adjustments, but their employees are taking things in stride, and all recipients are receiving their meals as usual.

He said for the most part they have had no trouble receiving food from their supplier, although he said the supplier has found it more difficult to get food, as the food chains are demanding more.

“The only trouble we’ve had is getting one of our whole wheat breads, but we were able to find a suitable substitute,” Saskowski said. 

He said drivers are taking extra precautions, wearing gloves, keeping their distance and using hand sanitizer after every delivery. He said Emergency Management offices in both counties have been very helpful, providing hand sanitizer they had in reserve.

Both congregate meal sites in Orleans and Genesee counties were forced to close and five people in Orleans County and 30 in Genesee County, who relied on the meal sites, were transferred to home meal delivery.

Saskowski said they have a goal to provide each Meals on Wheels recipient with extra meals, so they have a stockpile of food in their house.  

“It is our goal in Orleans County to provide each household with 10 extra meals, in case we are pulled off the road for any reason,” Saskowski said. “We are very close to that goal.”

In spite of all the adjustments, Saskowski praised his staff, saying their attitude through all of this has been wonderful.

In Genesee County, Office for the Aging Director Diana Fox and services administrator Dorian Ely weighed in on the situation.

“We are working to build emergency services here so we can provide two extra meals per recipient,” Fox said. “We are also very committed to keeping the personal contact with our clientele. Those who, for one reason or another, do not receive a meal that day get a call from us to make sure they are all right.”

Their drivers also wear masks and leave the meal just inside the door, unless the recipient needs it put in a more convenient place. Then the driver will put it where the client needs it to be, keeping his distance, Ely said.

Before starting out, volunteer drivers are encouraged to take their temperature to make sure they are all right.

Recent passing of Matilda’s Law by Albany has placed more hardship on the program, as many of their volunteers are elderly themselves, Fox and Ely added.

“The law sets a strict set of rules for the vulnerable populations, like senior citizens or people with underlying conditions,” Ely said. “Many of our volunteers fall into that category.”

Fox said Matilda’s Law* affects all seniors in Genesee County and it’s important everyone understands the law and how it pertains to them. The law states that these people must stay inside, not visit homes with multiple people and maintain six feet of distance from others.

The Arc delivers Meals on Wheels to about 120 homes in each county.

*Editor's Note: Matilda's Law, named for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's mother, was announced last week as part of the "New York on Pause" Executive Order, which took affect at 8 p.m. Sunday. It includes the following rules for vulnerable populations:

  • Remain indoors;
  • Can go outside for solitary exercise;
  • Prescreen all visitors and aides by taking their temperature and seeing if person is exhibiting other flu-like symptoms;
  • Do not visit households with multiple people;
  • Wear a mask when in the company of others;
  • To the greatest extent possible, everyone in the presence of vulnerable people should wear a mask;
  • Always stay at least six feet away from individuals; and
  • Do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary.
March 26, 2020 - 3:07pm

Press release:

EAST BETHANY -- York State’s first county forest -- Genesee County Park & Forest -- has an Environmental Education Assistant Internship position open for May – August.

The position is administered through the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and is located at Genesee County Park & Forest in East Bethany. Applicants must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED and a U.S. citizen.

Environmental Education Assistants develop, organize, plan and lead environmental education programs to audiences of all ages in a wide variety of settings under the guidance of park staff. Environmental Education Assistants also coordinate the efforts of park volunteers.

Job duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting programs for schools, summer rec groups, scouts and the general public;
  • Providing customer service to park visitors and program participants;
  • Planning volunteer and park events;
  • Writing articles for the parks seasonal newsletter;
  • Marketing of park events, programs and resources;
  • Scheduling and coordinating volunteers to assist with park events and projects;
  • Providing training and orientation to new park volunteers.

SCA interns earn a stipend of $125/week while serving and are eligible for an education award of $1,612 that may be used for student loans, tuition, classes or future college costs.

This position requires 16 weeks of 40 hour/week of service from May until August. Hours are 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Flexibility is given in order to cover the prescheduled programs that are outside of the normal working hours within the 40-hour work week.

Additional benefits:

  • First Aid/AED/CPR training provided;
  • Experience and on-the-job training in environmental education and volunteer coordinating;
  • Deeper knowledge of natural history and ecology;
  • Job duties include volunteer outings (kayaking, hiking)
  • Networking with professionals in Environmental Science and Education

The application deadline is April 10.

To apply: Apply online here.

For additional information contact Shannon Lyaski, Conservation Education Program coordinator at:   [email protected]

March 26, 2020 - 2:46pm
Press release:

The Salvation Army in Genesee County in cooperation with FoodLink and Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia announce two upcoming distribution dates for a “Pop Up” Mobile Food Pantry.

We know that many in our community have relied on the once monthly Mobile Food Pantry hosted at The Salvation Army’s Main Street location. Due to current events, this will not be possible for the foreseeable future.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 27th, and again on Wednesday, April 1st, The Salvation Army will oversee the food distributions at Northgate Free Methodist Church, located at 8160 Bank Street Road.

This will be done as a “drive-thru” distribution to insure social distancing and proper hygiene.

Residents are asked to pull into the church lot and go around the back of the building via the north side. Pull up to the pallets and volunteers will load the items for you.

Do not get out of your car or attempt to help. This will continue until all the products are gone.

Items vary but always include fresh produce. We cannot guarantee any particular items or quantities of items.

There are no residency requirements or financial restrictions in order to take part in this distribution.


Please arrive no earlier than 9 o'clock as the lot will be closed. We will need time to set up and organize.

We will open the lot at 9 in the morning and begin as soon as we are set up and ready.

March 26, 2020 - 2:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in Town of Alexander, State of Emergency, news.

Public Notice

David Miller, supervisor of the Town of Alexander, declared a State of Emergency at 10 a.m.. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 and issued Emergency Orders effective at 10 a.m. March 25, 2020.

Town of Alexander Town Offices and Highway Garage are closed to the public for five  days unless rescinded earlier or renewed in five-day increments.

Taxes, dog licenses and other payments or applications may be placed in the drop box located near the front door of the Town Hall, or mailed to the Town Hall at 3350 Church Street, Alexander, New York 14005.

Receipts will be mailed to you after they have been processed.

The Alexander Town Clerk is also available by email at:   [email protected]

David Miller

Supervisor of the Town of Alexander

March 26, 2020 - 2:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, history, news, video, batavia, coronavirus.
Video Sponsor

We're talking with Genesee County Historian Michael Eula about the 1918 global flu pandemic, better known as the "Spanish Flu" and its impact on Batavia.

We had technical difficulties -- we're going to try again.

March 26, 2020 - 2:01pm

Press release:

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) is alerting consumers about scammers taking advantage of the novel coronavirus.

Scammers are using techniques that typically arise with a major global event such as: falsely claiming to be online sellers of popular goods; setting up fake charities; sending fake emails and texts that contain harmful links designed to steal your personal information; and using robocalls to pitch novel coronavirus treatments and work at home schemes.

People should be on the lookout for scammers looking to take advantage of public fears surrounding this issue.

“Unscrupulous scammers never take a break and they are now trying to cash in on the news of the novel coronavirus by trying to lure people into unknowingly providing their personal information,” said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “During this public health emergency, there are simple steps you can take to avoid novel coronavirus scams that can help protect your hard-earned money and your identity.”

“New York State’s coordinated multi-agency response to managing the novel coronavirus includes raising awareness about deceptive and dishonest attempts to take advantage of people during this outbreak,” said Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. “The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses involve proven precautions, like washing your hands, sneezing or coughing into your elbow and staying indoors when you feel sick to help prevent the spread of infection all year.”

Below are tips to protect yourself from novel coronavirus scams:

  • Research online sellers before placing an order. Check out the seller by searching online for the person or company’s name, phone number and email address, plus words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” If everything checks out, pay by credit card and keep a record of your transaction.
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t knowIt could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the anti-malware and antivirus software on your computer is up to date.
  • Be aware of emails coming from unknown senders. Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts claiming to have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus in New York State, visit the New York State Department of Health website.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you see ads touting prevention, treatment, or cure claims for the novel coronavirus, ask yourself: if there’s been a medical breakthrough, would you be hearing about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch?
  • Be aware of emails asking for donations. Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding Don’t let anyone rush you into donating. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
  • Be alert of high prices on critical goods. Any New Yorker who sees excessively priced consumer goods and services that are used primarily for personal, family or household purposes to prevent or respond to novel coronavirus should file a complaint with DCP. New Yorkers can now report sudden and unexpected increases in consumer goods such as hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, or other health and sanitation related products by calling the consumer hotline toll free at 800-697-1220.
  • Hang up on illegal robocallers. If you receive a call about scam novel coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes, hang up. Don’t press any numbers. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
  • Be alert to “investment opportunities.” The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.

New York State is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus. For up to date information on the novel coronavirus, visit the New York State Department of Health website or call the Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection serves to educate, assist and empower the State’s consumers. For more consumer protection information, call the DCP Helpline at 800-697-1220, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. or visit the DCP website. The Division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook.

March 26, 2020 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in city of batavia, yard waste station, news, covid-19.

Public Notice

The opening of the City of Batavia's Yard Waste Station on Law Street has been indefinitely delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Due to the precautions related to COVID-19 all nonessential operations have been suspended for the time being.

When suspensions are lifted the City will provide additional information as to when the Yard Waste Station is opening. Normally, it opens April 15th each year and closes for the season as weather permits in late November or early December.

March 26, 2020 - 1:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in Tops, news, batavia, Le Roy.

Press release:

Beginning as early as today (March 26), Tops will be rolling our additional safety measures at all of its 162 stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. There are two Tops stores in Genesee County, in Batavia and Le Roy.

Those safety measures include installing plexiglas shields on as many of their front-end registers as possible. Where plexiglas cannot be affixed because of equipment limitations, associates will be provided with protective face shields which will also be used by Tops associates working in our pharmacy department and at our customer service desk.

This installation process will take place over the course of the next few weeks.

These safety measures are in addition to Tops existing PPE (personal protection equipment) procedures, which include providing gloves for their associates, hand sanitizer and wipes for their associates and customers respectively; and the newly instituted Comfort Zone areas at the registers providing more social distancing between customers as well as the customer and Tops associate.

Additionally there is an associate assigned at each store specifically in charge of sanitization of the front-end registers, check stands, conveyor belts, customer service desks, point-of-sale devices and other frequently touched surfaces most accessed by customers on a continual basis during operating hours.

March 26, 2020 - 1:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, live stream, coronavirus, news, kathy hochul.
Video Sponsor

Scheduled for 1:40 is a short interview with Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

March 26, 2020 - 1:09pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia Downs Gaming, Western Regional OTB.

The president and chief executive officer of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. today said he will be exploring all avenues to recoup operating revenue lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re going to take whatever steps we can to make sure the corporation is made whole,” Henry Wojtaszek said today, following a teleconference board meeting at which directors unanimously voted to pay employees of the public benefit company that oversees Batavia Downs Gaming through the pay period ending April 11.

Wojtaszek and Comptroller Jacquelyne Leach reported that WROTB has significant cash reserves to meet the April 11 payroll requirements and said they will be talking to directors regarding compensation beyond that date.

“The cash reserves enable us to make sure the employees are taken care of and we’re hoping that the stimulus bill – working with the state and federal government – makes what is intended to happen actually happen,” Wojtaszek said.

Leach said that because WROTB has had a “such a strong year thus far, which is due to the work of our employees, we are in position (to pay them) in this time of hardship.”

During the meeting, it was reported that payroll expenses for the April 11 pay period were $512,000.

Batavia Downs has been closed since March 16 due to orders mandated by New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Wojtaszek said that security, surveillance and maintenance employees continue to work on a rotating basis, and that some staff members are working from home.

“Everyone is on call here,” he stated.

He said that while he is “trying to be as frugal as possible” during the shutdown, he did authorize $1,750 in advertising to promote Batavia Bets, the corporation’s online interactive wagering platform.

The board also voted to allocated $5,000 to sponsor for the second year the “GLOW with Your Hands” career exploration event for Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming county students exploring careers in Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Skilled Trades.

Wojtaszek said WROTB has paid about a quarter of the $250,000 contracted with the artists scheduled to perform during the 2020 Summer Concert Series, which is set to begin on June 19.

“The concert series is still a go, subject to the rules set by New York State,” he said, adding that if it were cancelled, WROTB would take legal action, if necessary, to receive reimbursement.

March 26, 2020 - 11:51am

Information from Rochester Regional Health:

Rochester Regional Health added tents at three locations this week, including the ones at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, as an extension of primary care services.

The other tent sites are at Unity Hospital in Greece and Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic.

The sites are designed to keep patients and individuals safe while decreasing the potential of exposure to COVID-19. They are for general patient evaluation of medical issues and evaluation of potential COVID-19 patients, not just for COVID-19 testing.

Contact Primary Care Provider First

Patients, especially those who are sick or experiencing symptoms of illness, are still urged to call their primary care physicians first -- before coming to the locations. The UMMC tents are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

This is a multi-tent “drive-thru” system set up to support primary care, urgent care and the hospital system in a manner that allows for social distancing. It is designed to further protect patients, employees, and the community by decreasing the chance of exposure, therefore reducing the risk of further community spread. 

The multi-tent “drive-thru” system does not guarantee patients will be tested for COVID-19. Patients will receive an evaluation and then it will be determined if they need to be tested based on clinical criteria.

For more general information regarding COVID-19, visit rochesterregional.org/COVID19 or call 922-INFO.

March 26, 2020 - 11:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lipson Cancer Institute, UMMC, news, batavia.

When patients complete treatments at the Lipson Cancer Institute, there is a bell the patient rings inside the institute. But with social distancing restrictions, there are few people around to hear it. This morning, when Jody Breslin, who is also radiologic technology at UMMC, completed her treatments, staff lined Summit Street to ring handbells to celebrate the end of her treatment.

March 26, 2020 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCASA, news, video, live stram, covid-19, coronavirus.
Video Sponsor

We're talking with John Bennett, executive director of GCASA.

March 26, 2020 - 10:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, news, video.
Video Sponsor

On Tuesday, the Town of Stafford officially kicked off its bicentennial celebration year with a small ceremony.

March 25, 2020 - 6:55pm

The immigration court in Batavia -- at the Buffalo Detention Facility -- hasn't been slowed by coronavirus, and that is upsetting attorneys who must represent clients there, even though court personnel may already have contracted COVID-19.

Emma L. Buckthal, supervising immigration attorney for the Erie County Bar Association, contacted The Batavian to raise concerns she and other attorneys share. She said rather than suspending the court's master calendar, as all state and federal courts have done, and even some immigration courts, the immigration court in Batavia still expects attorneys and clients to show up for hearings. There are limited provisions for telephonic appearances, Buckthal noted.

She shared a letter from an attorney who said a judge directed his clerk to instruct an attorney to fly in for a court appearance, after denying a telephonic hearing, and the clerk reportedly commented that she didn't understand why people are upset about COVID-19.

"I survived Chernobyl," she reportedly said.

This seemed particularly insensitive to the attorney, she said, because she believed that an immigration judge, an attorney, and a member of court staff have all contracted coronavirus.

While the full docket is in place, Buckthal said Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) staff is denying attorneys the ability to meet with clients, which is necessary to get signatures for court papers, unless the attorneys bring their own personal protective gear (gloves, goggles, and a mask), which, she said, "we do not have and should be conserving for doctors anyway."

"We have no meaningful access to clients, so we can't adequately prepare their cases," she added. "We also can't bring witnesses to the detention center."

Telephonic appearances by attorneys can prevent newly written motions from being filed during the hearing, according to government guidelines. For example, if one attorney is present and the other isn't, and the attorney who is present files a document, then the attorney on the telephone cannot object to the document since the attorney on the phone can't review the document.

Buckthal said the court ordered one trial to go ahead with an attorney on the telephone who is quarantined and symptomatic.

"We are beyond concerned about the public health risk of this situation, and about the lack of due process for our clients," she said.

Buckthal claims that a group of detainees was transferred from the Bergen, N.J., facility to Batavia on March 12. Yesterday, ICE confirmed one detainee at the Bergen facility has tested positive for COVID-19. Today, ICE reported that a staff member at a contract facility in Elizabeth, N.J., tested positive.

The National Association of Immigration Judges, a labor union, along with groups representing prosecutors and defense attorneys, has called on the DOJ to close all immigration courts

The court is supervised by the Department of Justice. Asked for a comment, a DOJ spokesman provided the following statement:

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has been carefully reviewing the information available from local, state, regional, and federal officials related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency continues to evaluate the dynamic situation nationwide and will make decisions for each location as more information becomes available.  Through April 10, 2020, immigration courts have postponed all non-detained hearings, and some immigration courts are closed.

Updates to the operational status of the immigration courts will be announced via Twitter (@DOJ_EOIR) and Facebook (Executive Office for Immigration Review) and on our website.

Please also see EOIR’s policy memoranda: 20-10: Immigration Court Practices During the Declared National Emergency Concerning the COVID-19 Outbreak, and the 20-10 addendum, and the standing order on telephonic appearances pertaining to the Batavia Immigration Court.

We continue to urge our employees and stakeholders to follow CDC guidance regarding hygiene practices.

The detention facility and the court do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Genesee County Health Department.

March 25, 2020 - 4:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, east pembroke.

A possible brush fire is reported at 2349 Main Road (Route 5), just east of Indian Falls Road, in East Pembroke. East Pembroke Fire Department is responding.

March 25, 2020 - 4:41pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Village Physical Therapy, Village Fitness, Le Roy.

From Patrick S. Privatera, MS, PT, ATC, president, Village Physical Therapy & Village Fitness, 3 West Ave., Le Roy.

To our valued patients:

Like most other businesses, organizations, and government agencies, we at Village Physical Therapy and Village Fitness continue to monitor the developing situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). I’d like to take this opportunity to provide some updates.

Our physical therapy operations, deemed “essential services” by New York State, are continuing. We want our patients to know that we are still here for them now — and always — during this crisis and beyond. However, we have made some adjustments intended to protect our staff, patients, and communities.

Although our offices remain open on a limited basis and with enhanced measures in place to reduce the risk of infection, we’re encouraging our patients to transition to telehealth services so that they can remain safe at home. You can initiate a telehealth appointment by:

We’re using a teleconferencing app, called Zoom, which can connect with a computer, tablet, smartphone, or other audio/visual-capable device. You can connect at home, at work, or anywhere else you have access to the internet. To initiate a connection, we will simply send out an email containing a secure link from Zoom; you click on the link, and then we’re automatically connected.

If you are unable to connect this way, we can also connect by phone. Most insurance companies have waived co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance for telehealth visits while the state of emergency is in place.

Behind the scenes, the local healthcare systems have begun making emergency preparations for a large influx of critically ill patients. Many are cancelling routine visits, elective surgeries, and nonemergency tests and procedures so that they can deploy their staff and resources to the “front lines” of the crisis where they are needed most. We, as physical therapists, stand ready to fill that void. You can see a physical therapist without a physician’s prescription for up to 30 days in most cases, so please don’t hesitate to call upon us if we may be of assistance.

We at Village Physical Therapy and Village Fitness will continue to strive to meet our clients’ needs while mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

March 25, 2020 - 4:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Arc of Genesee Orleans, news, covid-19, coronavirus, video, live stream.
Video Sponsor

We're talking with Donna Saskowski, executive director of Arc of Genesee Orleans.

March 25, 2020 - 4:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, news, notify, coronavirus.

A person under the age of 65 from the central part of Genesee County has tested positive for COVID-19, according to information just released by the Health Department, and is in isolation recovering at home.

There are now two positive cases in Genesee County with the other person, who tested positive nearly a week ago, also recovering at home.

Contact tracing has been initiated on the new case. Known contacts are already under mandatory quarantine.

The press release says that if the known contacts are symptomatic they will be tested for COVID-19 but does not indicate if any of them are symptomatic.

A total of 16 people are under mandatory quarantine in Genesee County, down from 21 yesterday, and 18 people are under precautionary quarantine.

Since the onset of testing, there have been 49 negative test results in Genesee County.

State rules require that a person placed under mandatory quarantine who was symptomatic must have two negative swab tests before being released from quarantine.

There have been people in Genesee County who were symptomatic but were released from mandatory quarantine after negative test results.

Health Department officials continue to ask people who are feeling ill to stay home. Besides COVID-19, the flu is still prevalent in the community.

Here is the county press release:


  • As of 2 p.m. today Genesee County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
  • The positive case is under the age of 65 and resides in the central part of Genesee County. The individual is under mandatory isolation and is recovering at home.
  • Contact tracing has been initiated for the new case. Known contacts have already been placed under mandatory quarantine and will be swabbed if indicated (if symptoms present). If a person is identified as a contact, they will be notified by the Genesee County Health Department.
  • Since the onset of testing, Genesee County has received 49 negative test results and Orleans, 52 negative test results for COVID-19.
  • Orleans County: Six people are under precautionary quarantine; seven people are under mandatory quarantine; and three people are under mandatory isolation, one of whom is hospitalized and two are recovering at home.
  • Genesee County: 18 people are under precautionary quarantine; 16 people are under mandatory quarantine; and two people are under mandatory isolation at home where they are recovering.
  • As we receive more test results, local contact tracing will continue within our departments for any positive results. The cases and stories are being built and documented. Contact tracing is initiated based on the day the identified positive case became symptomatic. Identified contacts are notified by the local health department, quarantined and if warranted, swabbed as indicated.
  • Currently, NYS clearance criteria require two negative COVID-19 swabbing results prior to being released. Swabbing through the Health Departments is warranted as part of our quarantine/isolation protocol for those who become symptomatic. We are not providing community testing at this time.
  • Please remain home if ill, with all of the directives regarding social distancing that are still be in place, especially if a person has a negative COVID-19 result it is important to limit physical contact. The flu and COVID-19 are still transmittable and people should continue to remain home and limiting contact with others. Do not be afraid of people because they may be coughing or sneezing, they may have allergies, but continue to keep your distance (at least 6 feet away).


  • 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. Swabbing will be based on those who are at higher risk categories – elderly and immune-compromised and those with underlying health issues.
  • Swab sample results are coming back slower than expected. With more testing, we expect this will continue. Whenever anyone is swabbed for potential COVID-19, self-isolation is strongly encouraged until the test result is received.


  • Due to the number of positive cases in New York State, there are stricter guidelines in place and may be different from your winter address. All large gatherings have been canceled or postponed. We strongly encourage anyone over 65 or those with underlying health issues to consider self-quarantine which means to limit contact with others as much as possible. Stay at home as much as possible as this age group is one of the higher-risk groups. This includes visiting the grocery store to limit exposure to any respiratory virus. Check with your grocery store/pharmacy to see if they have special considerations for seniors and those with underlying health issues such as special hours, curbside pickup or delivery. Monitor your symptoms and if you develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your primary care provider immediately.
  • If you are in need of household essentials such as groceries or prescriptions, ask a family member, neighbor, someone in your social support network for assistance. They may be able to shop for your needs and leave the items outside your door so they do not have any physical contact with you.

UPDATE: An additional press release from the health department:

“Today the Genesee County Health Department received confirmation of a second positive case of COVID-19 in Genesee County” stated Paul Pettit, Director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “The individual is in mandatory isolation where they are recovering.” The individual is under the age of 65 and resides in the central part of Genesee County.

“Public health nurses and our epidemiology team have notified the individual who tested positive for coronavirus and has placed them in mandatory isolation,” Pettit explained. “Contact tracing has been underway to notify individuals who may have had close contact with the positive case. Close contact is defined as 6 feet in proximity.” The County Health Department is placing close contacts in mandatory quarantine to monitor them for COVID-19 symptoms, which include fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath.

While our community is understandably anxious, please know the Health Department is working diligently to complete these investigations as quickly as possible. If you have questions in regard to travel or symptoms, please contact the New York State Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065.

March 25, 2020 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, covid-19, coronavirus.


Unacast, a company that provides location tracking software to developers of mobile games and other mobile software, is using an aggregate count of people's movements to determine how could communities throughout the United States are doing when it comes to social distancing.

While the State of New York gets an overall A grade, Genesee County is marked down to a C grade, based on reducing travel by only about 21 percent.

Unacast’s location data comes from games, shopping and utility apps that tens of millions of Americans have installed on mobile devices.

Our county is ranked in the bottom five counties in the state for social distracting, but at least we're not getting the F grade handed out to the entire State of Wyoming.

View the Social Distancing scoreboard here.

Wyoming County gets an A, while Livingston and Orleans counties get B grades. The other surrounding counties are As.

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