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April 20, 2020 - 4:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, cornavirus, news, notify.

Health Department Briefing:

  • As of 2 p.m.
    • Genesee County received five new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 127 positive cases.
      • Two positive cases reside in Batavia, two reside in Elba, and one resides in Le Roy.
      • One individual is in their 20s, one individual is in their 30s, one individual is in their 40s, one individual is in their 50s, and one individual is in their 60s.
      • Three of the positive individuals were on quarantine prior to becoming symptomatic.
      • Three of the previous positive cases has recovered and has been released from mandatory isolation.
      • Three of the total active positive cases are hospitalized.
  • Orleans County received seven new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 56 positive cases
    • Seven positive cases reside in Albion.
    • One individual is in their 50s, one individual is in their 60s, two individuals are in their 70s, two individuals are in their 80s, and one individual is in the 90 and above age category.
    • One of the previous positive cases has recovered and has been released from mandatory isolation
    • Five of the total active positive cases are hospitalized.
  • Regarding the sharp increase in the Genesee County positive individuals, they are not considered community-spread as they are all detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility located in Batavia. Although the detainees are not considered residents, because the facility is housed in Genesee County they are reported as Genesee County positive cases. Any workers with direct contact with those who have tested positive at the facility for COVID-19 will be followed by their county of residence.
  • 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). 
  • Due to the current limited swabbing kits, there continue to be guidelines in place for primary care providers to order COVID-19 swabbing. This is based upon screening for high risk categories. Contact your primary care provider first to discuss symptoms and the ability to be swabbed. For information about the community testing click here or call the NYS COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 for more information. All individuals will be screened and must have an appointment. The local health departments do not have a supply of swabs for the community, call your primary care provider or the community hotline.
  • 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 of close contacts, we will send out a media announcement to help seek contacts.
  • If you are experiencing ANY COVID-19 related symptoms STAY HOME!  Do not go to work, do not go to the store, do not go anywhere, YOU are spreading the virus. STAY HOME!

covidchartapril202020.png

covidageapril202020.png

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

April 19, 2020 - 5:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments have received one more COVID-19 cases. Orleans has one new case and Genesee has zero. Contact tracing has been initiated. 

Contact tracing has been initiated and all who have had direct contact with the individuals will be notified by Health Department staff.

There is currently no further information to release on ages and location. Mapping to include the positive cases from the weekend will be updated on Monday afternoon.

April 18, 2020 - 4:49pm

There are 30 new positive tests for COVID-19 reported in Genesee County, with 29 of them among detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility. 

On Thursday, there were only 11 reported cases at the facility, with one added on Friday and one on reported by ICE this morning, but ICE has not yet released an update to include the apparent 27 additional cases (we are seeking an update from the ICE spokesman).

There have now been 122 positive tests reported in Genesee County since the start of the pandemic. The Health Department has not released an updated count for the number of current active cases and number of recovered patients.

As of this morning, ICE was reporting 20 detainees infected at the Richwood Correctional Center in Monroe, La., now the next highest number of positive cases at more than two dozen facilities in the U.S. that house immigration detainees.

This story will be updated if more information becomes available.

April 18, 2020 - 2:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

Joseph D. Harlan, 48, of Wood Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault. Harlan was arrested at 7:15 p.m. April 4 on Wood Street after an incident where he allegedly struck another person during an altercation. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released on his own recognizance. He is due back in city court May 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Peter Flanagan, assisted by Officer Adam Tucker.

O.V. Murphy, 61, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with: second-degree burglary; attempted assault in the second degree; menacing in the second degree; and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. The defendant was arrested at 9:35 p.m. on April 10 after an investigation into an incident that occurred in a residence on Highland Park. Murphy allegedly entered another person's room and threatened a person with a knife. Murphy was arraigned via Skype at Batavia City Court and put in jail. He is due to make a court appearance on May 21. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Officer Jordan McGinnis.

O.V. Murphy, 61, of Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with two counts of second-degree criminal contempt. At 3:24 a.m. on April 12, Murphy was arrested for allegedly violating two stay away orders of protection following a complaint at a residence on Highland Park. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on June 2. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jordan McGinnis, assisted by Officer Sean Wilson.

Michael L. Williams, 40, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt. Williams was arrested at midnight April 7 at an apartment on State Street. His arrest followed a domestic violence investigation. He was released on an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court and is due there May 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson.

Hezekiah Nathaniel Burch, 18, of Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. Burch was arrested at 4:52 p.m. on April 12 after an incident on State Street, Batavia, wherein he allegedly used a stun gun in an attempt to intimidate another person. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on May 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Christopher P. Thomas, 38, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with disorderly conduct. He was arrested at 4:52 p.m. on April 12 on State Street, Batavia, after an incident wherein Batavia Police allege they observed him engaged in a physical fight. Thomas was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court and is due there May 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

April 17, 2020 - 5:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in notify, news, covid-19, coronavirus.
Video Sponsor

With 11 new cases in two days, Genesee County has now seen a total 92 positive tests since the start of the outbreak -- and that only covers the symptomatic people who have been tested because there are certainly others who haven't been tested -- we don't have a good handle on community spread of the novel coronavirus locally.

Public Health Director Paul Pettit said today that he takes some comfort that the number of active cases in Genesee County has remained relatively flat. It's at 45 today, lower than the 50 of a few days ago but he acknowledged it's still too early to tell if we've reached our apex.

Forty-five people have recovered, there are 105 people in mandatory quarantine but four of today's five new cases were not previously under quarantine. 

That means, Pettit noted today, that community spread is still prevalent and not isolated to a few known hotspots.

This week, there has been a lot of talk about "opening up the economy" again soon, so given what we know about the spread of the disease in Genesee County, we asked Pettit his thoughts on that thorny policy question. His answer is in the video clip above. For the full briefing today, click here.

activecasesgraphapeil1720120.png

Even with 11 new cases in two days, the graph of the active case count in Genesee County has remained relatively flat.

April 16, 2020 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

covidgraphapril162020.png

Health Department Daily Briefing:

New Cases

  • As of 2 p.m. today:
    • Genesee County received seven new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 87 positive cases.
      • Five positive cases reside in Batavia, one resides in Bergen, and one resides in Darien.
      • One individual is in their 20s, three individuals are in their 30s, one individual is in their 60s, and two individuals are in their 90s.
      • Three of the positive individuals were on quarantine prior to becoming symptomatic.
      • Three of the total active positive cases are hospitalized.
  • Orleans County: One new positive case of COVID-19 for a total of 35.
    • Of the new positive cases today, one lives in Albion.
    • One individual is in their 80s.
    • Two have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Three of the total active positive cases are hospitalized.
    • Orleans County received notification of the first COVID-19 related death.
  • Due to the current limited swabbing kits, there continue to be guidelines in place for primary care providers to order COVID-19 swabbing. This is based upon screening for high risk categories. Contact your primary care provider first to discuss symptoms and ability to be swabbed.
  • 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 of close contacts, we will send out a media announcement to help seek contacts.
  • If you are experiencing ANY COVID-19 related symptoms STAY HOME! Do not go to work, do not go to the store, do not go anywhere, YOU are spreading the virus. STAY HOME!

covidchartapril162020.png

covidageapril162020.png

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

April 16, 2020 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, byron.

Clayton R. Baylor, 23, of Batavia (no address provided), is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. He was arrested after a traffic stop on Route 19 in the Town of Middlebury April 11. Baylor was driving a vehicle which had fled the scene of an attempted burglary in the Village of Warsaw. Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputies stopped it and allegedly found Baylor in possession of a "blackjack" weapon. He also allegedly performed poorly on field sobriety testing. Baylor was processed at the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office, then turned over to the Warsaw Police Department.

Mark Allen Knickerbocker, 22, West Main Street, Byron, is charged with petit larceny. At 6:48 p.m. on April 15, Knickerbocker was arrested at the Crosby's gas station and convenience store on Clinton Street Road in Batavia. It is alleged that he stole a box of candy valued at $48. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court on June 11. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings.

April 15, 2020 - 5:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Andrew Cuomo, covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • State will begin conducting antibody tests prioritizing frontline workers beginning this week -- 2,000 tests per day using a finger prick test.
  • Announces state will give 100 ventilators to Michigan and 50 ventilators to Maryland.
  • Issues Executive Order requiring nursing homes to inform family members of residents of COVID-19 cases.
  • Issues Executive Order allowing individuals sssisting with COVID-19 response to stay in a hotel in New York City for more than 28 days without becoming a tenant.
  • SUNY and CUNY colleges using 3D printers to produce personal protective equipment for frontline medical workers.
  • Confirms 11,571 additional coronavirus cases in New York State -- bringing statewide total to 213,779; new cases in 43 counties.
  • Governor Cuomo: "It's going to be a phased reopening, right. And during the phased reopening, the priority is to make sure you do no harm and keep your eye on the public health issue. That is what is key in all of this. So it's going to be a calibration of reopening based on public health safety and that infection rate because what we have done, and the reducing of the infection rate, is a pure function of what New Yorkers have done and what people across the country have done. When you relax that social distancing, you could very well see an increase in the infection rate. So it's all a calibration to the public health. But it's going to be a gradual increase of economic activity in calibration with the public health, public health standards. The single best tool to doing this gauging, right, is large-scale testing. Test, trace and isolate."
  • "Don't tell me that we can't do it because I know that we can do it. We can we build a bridge that takes us from today to 18 months? Yes. Yes, because we are bridge builders, that's what we do. We build bridges. Sometimes literally, sometimes symbolically, sometimes metaphorically, but we build bridges. That's what we do in New York and we're going to do this."

Previously:

April 15, 2020 - 4:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

countycasesapril152020.png

There are three new positive tests for people in Genesee County for COVID-19, the Health Department is reporting this afternoon, bringing the total of positive cases reported in the county since the pandemic reached our community to 80.

Earlier today, the Health Department reported the county's second COVID-19-related death, a person over age 65 living in the central part of the county.

There are currently 99 people in mandatory quarantine and 37 people recovered. A total of 48 of the positive cases are among people age 50 and younger, including three under age 20.

There are now 11 positive cases at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, an increase of six since Saturday.

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the new cases are:

  • Two 21-year-old Salvadoran nationals, and a 35-year-old Dominican national;
  • A 24-year-old Indian national, a 41-year-old Haitian national, and a 30-year-old Guatemalan national;
  • A 33-year-old Guatemalan national;
  • A 62-year-old Pakistani national, a 29-year-old Somali national, a 37-year-old Honduran national and a 31-year-old Honduran national;

There are no new cases since yesterday at the Veterans Hospital in Batavia.

Contrary to some social media comments, Premier Genesee in Batavia reports no positive test cases to date.

There is one person in treatment and isolation at UMMC.

O-AT-KA Milk Products in Batavia, where some employees have expressed concern about positive cases among their coworkers, posted a statement on social media about its efforts to keep employees safe:

We applaud the recent measures taken by Governor Cuomo to stop the spread of the coronavirus and flatten the curve!

At O-AT-KA Milk Products, we are dedicated to ensuring that our employees, business partners, and community stay safe, healthy and supported. In addition to our normal strict hygiene standards, we have put in place additional safety measures in our plant and office. Despite being difficult to come by, we made it a priority to provide face masks to everyone working at O-AT-KA. As of April 13th, we have supplied every employee across our facility with face coverings.

People are at the heart of our business and it is because of them that we are able to ensure the stability of our national food supply chain.

Below is the full written briefing from the Genesee/Orleans Health Department:

  • As of 2 p.m. today:
    • Genesee County received three new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 80 positive cases.
      • The three positive cases reside in Batavia.
      • One individual is in their 20s, one individual is in their 40s, and one individual is in their 90s.
      • The positive individuals were not on quarantine prior to becoming symptomatic.
      • Two of the total active positive cases are hospitalized.
      • Genesee County received notification of the second COVID-19 related death.
  • Orleans County: Three new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 33.
    • Of the new positive cases today, one lives in Ridgeway, one lives in Gaines, and one lives in Murray.
    • The ages include 1 individual is in their 40s, one individual is in their 70s and one individual is in their 90s.
    • Two have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Three of the total active positive cases are hospitalized.
  • Due to the current limited swabbing kits, there continue to be guidelines in place for primary care providers to order COVID-19 swabbing. This is based upon screening for high risk categories. Contact your primary care provider first to discuss symptoms and the ability to be swabbed.
  • 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 of close contacts, we will send out a media announcement to help seek contacts.
  • If you are experiencing ANY COVID-19 related symptoms STAY HOME! Do not go to work, do not go to the store, do not go anywhere, YOU are spreading the virus. STAY HOME!

covidchartapril15.png

covidagespril15.png

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

April 15, 2020 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

"It is with great sadness that I am reporting the second confirmed death related to COVID-19 in Genesee County” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

The individual was over the age of 65 and resided in the central part of Genesee County.

“Due to privacy issues, I will not be releasing further information about this individual. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the patient,” Pettit said.

The Genesee County Health Department is conducting contact tracing. Close contacts have been notified of their potential exposure to COVID-19, and have been placed under mandatory quarantine to monitor for symptoms.

Individuals under mandatory quarantine who develop symptoms will be swabbed. The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments are following guidance provided by the NYSDOH and CDC.

“As COVID-19 continues to spread within our communities, we must do everything we can to keep each other safe,” Pettit said. “Please remain home unless you are an essential worker or need to purchase essential household items. In that case, designate one household member to do the shopping. We must work together as a community to stop the spread.”

UPDATE 12:22 p.m.: In response to questions from The Batavian, Mari Hamilton, a public information officer for the Health Department, said the victim was previously among those reported in mandatory isolation and had been hospitalized.

April 14, 2020 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Daily COVID-19 briefing:

  • As of 2 p.m. today:
    • Genesee County received one new positive case of COVID-19 for a total of 77 positive cases.
      • The individual resides in Batavia.
      • The individual is in their 30s.
      • The positive individual was not on quarantine prior to becoming symptomatic.
      • Two of the positive cases are hospitalized.
  • Orleans County: Twp new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 31
    • Of the new positive cases today, one lives in Albion and one lives in Barre
    • The ages include one individual is under 20 and one individual is in their 80s.
    • Three have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation
    • Three of the positive cases are hospitalized.
  • Mapping Update: Today we are adding Wyoming County mapping. Genesee Orleans County will not be making any statement related to Wyoming County. Please contact the Wyoming County Health Department for any inquiries.
  • Due to the current limited swabbing kits, there continue to be guidelines in place for primary care providers to order COVID-19 swabbing. This is based upon screening for high risk categories. Contact your primary care provider first to discuss symptoms and ability to be swabbed.
  • 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 of close contacts, we will send out a media announcement to help seek contacts.
  • If you are experiencing ANY COVID-19 related symptoms STAY HOME! Do not go to work, do not go to the store, do not go anywhere, YOU are spreading the virus. STAY HOME!

covid19chartapril142020.png

covidageapril142020.png

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

April 14, 2020 - 11:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

The Veterans Administration reports that two staff members at the Batavia VA hospital have tested positive for COVID-19.

Previously the VA reported two patients had also tested positive, and that number has not changed, though it's unclear when the positive tests for all four individuals were received.

Individuals associated with federal and state facilities in Genesee County who test positive are part of the Health Department's countywide count. That count is currently 76 positive cases (one more than the reported yesterday (the Health Department will release more information later today) with 50 active cases and 25 recoveries).

There is also a new case reported at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, bringing the total to eight.

The two VA staff members are in home isolation, a VA spokeswoman said in a statement.

No further information about the two staff members would be released, said the spokeswoman, citing privacy concerns.

As for the two patients who tested positive, she said, "Precautionary measures have been taken to mitigate the risk of transmission to other patients and staff, as the veterans are being cared for in respiratory isolation by staff who are specially trained on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) treatment guidelines, including the use of personal protective equipment and infection control techniques.

"(The) VA is screening veterans and staff who present with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath who meet the CDC criteria for evaluation of COVID-19 infection. Per CDC guidance and VA protocols, patients known to be at risk for a COVID-19 infection are immediately isolated to prevent potential spread to others."

Individuals entering the VA facilities in Batavia are being prescreened, according to the statement.

April 13, 2020 - 4:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Daily Health Department Briefing:

New Cases

  • As of 2 p.m. today:
    • Genesee County received two new positive case of COVID-19 for a total of 76 positive cases.
      • The two individuals reside in Batavia.
      • One of the individuals is in their 30s, one individual is in their 90s.
      • One of our positive cases has been identified as an Erie County resident. Therefore, our numbers have decreased by one.
      • None of the positive individuals were on quarantine prior to becoming symptomatic.
  • Orleans County: One new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 29.
    • Of the positive cases over the weekend, including today, we have two from Lyndonville, one from Murray, one from Albion and one from Ridgeway.
    • The ages include one individual in their 30s, two individuals in their 50s, one individual in their 60s and one individual in their 70s.
    • One more person has recovered and has been released from mandatory isolation.
    • None of the positive individuals were on quarantine prior to becoming symptomatic.
  • Mapping Update: Today we are adding the ages and the general area of where individuals who tested positive reside in the same format as our positive cases. You will now be able to see the cumulative age breakdown of the confirmed cases on the map as well as the breakdown by choosing the individual county from the upper right drop down box. Monday map updates will include the weekend data.
  • Due to the current limited swabbing kits, there continue to be guidelines in place for primary care providers to order COVID-19 swabbing. This is based upon screening for high risk categories. Contact your primary care provider first to discuss symptoms and ability to be swabbed.
  • 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 of close contacts, we will send out a media announcement to help seek contacts.
  • If you are experiencing ANY COVID-19 related symptoms STAY HOME!
  •  Do not go to work, do not go to the store, do not go anywhere, YOU are spreading the virus. STAY HOME!

covidchartapril132020.png

covidageapri1320202.png

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

OPERATIONAL UPDATES

State of Emergency To Be Extended

  • Due to the Governor’s Executive Order Dated April 12 extending the Disaster Emergency through May 12, both counties are extending the State of Emergency for the same time period.
  • 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.
    • If you must shop for essentials, such as food, necessary household supplies or prescriptions, shop solo! Wear a face covering and wash or sanitize your hands frequently.
  • Using cloth face coverings are recommended to protect others from you. Remember to wear one when you are out in public. You will need to be careful removing them from your face so as not to be exposed to any germs from the outside. Once removed, make sure you wash them in hot water, if able, and dry in a hot dryer. Wash your hands immediately after removing the mask. For more information about masks go to reliable sights such as the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

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 through 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.
April 13, 2020 - 2:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, news, Darien, batavia, crime, notify.

Jordin Michael Schultz, 22, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with third-degree menacing and reckless endangerment in the second degree. It is alleged that Schultz spit at a nurse and public health official at 5:39 p.m. April 2 at a location in the 6200 block of Main Road in Stafford. The defendant is due to appear in Stafford Town Court at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Brock Cummins, assisted by Kyle Krzemien.

Ronald M. Refermat, 35, of Broadway Road, Darien, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. At 11:30 a.m. on April 11, Genesee County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a residence on Route 20 in Darien for a reported domestic incident. An investigation allegedly reveal that the defendant endangered the welfare of a child. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released. The case was handled by Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Luis J. Santiago, 31, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. The arrested follows an investigation of a domestic incident that occurred on Edward Street in the City of Batavia at 2:49 p.m. on March 28. Santiago was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on May 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson, assisted by Officer Jordan McGinnis.

April 13, 2020 - 12:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, notify.

wrightdevon.jpg

Batavia PD is asking the public's assistance in locating Devon Wright, a person of interest in a car vs. pedestrian collision on Highland Park on Wednesday night.

The department has previously said this is being treated as a criminal investigation.

Anyone with information in reference to his whereabouts may contact Detective Matt Wojtaszczyk at 585-345-6357 or the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370.

PreviouslyPedestrian reportedly hit by car on Highland Park

April 13, 2020 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Le Roy, pembroke, notify.

nat_grid_truck.jpg

Three people, including a Le Roy resident, were injured when a National Grid line repair truck and a box truck collided at 3:40 a.m. at Brick House Corners in Pembroke.

The Sheriff's Office reports that a 2011 Freightliner box truck driven by Kimaly Satchel-el, 33, of Lafayette Avenue, Syracuse, was southbound on Route 77. Luis H. Welch, 32, of West Main Street, Le Roy, was driving eastbound on Route 5 in a 2014 Freightliner utility truck. 

Satchel-el allegedly failed to yield the right-of-way at the intersection of Route 5 and Route 77 and struck the utility truck.

Upon impact, the box truck rotated counterclockwise and came to rest facing north off of the north should of Route 5.  

The utility truck traveled off the southeast corner of the intersection, coming to rest facing southeast.

Satchel-el was extricated from the truck by volunteer firefighters. He was unconscious at the time of the extrication and sustained multiple injuries and was transported by Mercy EMS to ECMC. His passenger, Candace R. Keith, 21, of Brooklyn, was also transported to ECMC for treatment of injuries.

Welch was taken to UMMC for evaluation of a shoulder injury.

Pembroke, Indian Falls, East Pembroke, along with Mercy EMS responded to the scene. The investigation is continuing and is being conducted by Deputy Nicholas Chamoun, and Crash Management Team members Sgt. Jason Saile and Deputy Kyle Krzemein.

Photos and additional reporting by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service​.

box_truck.jpg

April 12, 2020 - 5:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments have received three more COVID-19 cases. Orleans has two new cases and Genesee has one.  Contact tracing has been initiated.  There is currently no further information to release on ages and location.

Mapping to include the positive cases from the weekend will be updated on Monday afternoon.

We encourage everyone to continue social distancing and staying home. If you need to go out, for essential needs, only one person should be running those errands so as not to risk further exposure.

This is not a time for gatherings or play dates or date night. The life you save may be you or a loved one. We can do this together -- we are one day closer to this being a memory.

April 11, 2020 - 4:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments have received six more COVID-19 cases. Orleans has two new cases and Genesee has four. Contact tracing has been initiated.

There is currently no further information to release on ages and locations. Mapping to include the positive cases from the weekend will be updated on Monday afternoon.

We encourage everyone to continue social distancing and staying home. If you need to go out, for essential needs, only one person should be running those errands so as not to risk further exposure. This is not a time for gatherings or date night.

The life you save may be you or a loved one. We can do this together…we are one day closer to this being a memory.

The Health Department does not released further information until Monday afternoon.

April 11, 2020 - 11:30am

An additional three detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia have tested positive for COVID-19.

That brings the number of detainees who have tested positive at the facility to seven.

The Batavian reported on the first four cases on Friday. In the original story, we said detainees who tested positive were not included in the countywide count based on information obtained from the Health Department. The Health Department has since corrected that previous statement and said detainees, as well as COVID patients at other federal and state facilities in the county, are included in the county's numbers.

As of this morning, the County is reporting 70 positive cases locally, and 49 active cases, 20 recoveries, and one death. It's not known at this time if the three new ICE cases are yet included in the county's count.

We've requested from an ICE spokesman more information about the three new cases.

So far, ICE has not reported any employees at the facility as positive.

UPDATE 12:46 p.m.:  More information from ICE:

  • Two 21-year-old Salvadorian nationals, and a 35-year-old Dominican national in ICE custody at Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, New York, tested positive for COVID-19.

Consistent with CDC guidelines, those who have come in contact with these individuals have been cohorted and are being monitored for symptoms.

April 10, 2020 - 10:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in coronavirus, news, batavia, O-AT-KA Milk Products, covid-19, notify.

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Employees, and their family members, of O-AT-KA Milk Products have been expressing concern this week about how the company has responded to the outbreak of COVID-19 in our community.

In emails to The Batavian and in social media posts, both employees and family members have accused the company of making employees work even though they might have been exposed to a person who tested positive for the coronavirus.

In the past week, Genesee County has gone from 17 confirmed cases to 70 people who have tested positive for COVID-19. In that same period, surrounding rural counties have not seen a similar spike.

It's unclear how much of the more than 400-percent increase in positive cases are connected with O-AT-KA but sources have indicated as many as 20 people who work at the facility have tested positive.

O-AT-KA CEO William Schreiber declined today to answer a question about how many employees have been infected.

At the beginning of the week, the Health Department reported the first sharp increase in cases -- 10 new cases -- and the department press release said many of the cases, including a big jump in mandatory quarantines, could be attributed to one employee going to work while symptomatic.

At that time, Public Health Director Paul Pettit said, "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."

Pettit declined to name the company then nor discuss now specific complaints from employees about O-AT-KA.

Since Monday, the Health Department has indicated that several of the people who were on mandatory quarantine as of Monday have since tested positive.

Two sources said there were two confirmed COVID-19 cases at O-AT-KA on Monday.

The specific complaints sent to The Batavian about O-AT-KA:

  • Employees with direct contact with infected coworkers have been told to report to work until they develop a fever;
  • Employees with a fever are required to produce a doctor's note for an approved absence from work;
  • Employees are told to wear masks but masks are not issued to employees;
  • Employees are encouraged to remain six feet apart but some job duties, such as training new coworkers, make that impossible.

One of the features of the virus SARS-CoV-2 is that people can be infectious before becoming symptomatic, and perhaps remain asymptomatic, and a fever is not necessarily the first symptom of illness.

During a phone call today, we asked Schreiber repeatedly to respond to these specific allegations and he declined.

He did read a prepared statement:

We have taken every precaution to protect our employees. We have followed the guidelines of every regulatory agency involved since the start of the pandemic and most importantly, as part of our response, our leadership team has worked to ensure our employees are safe and that they have the tools and resources needed to be successful.

O-AT-KA is not the only local company under scrutiny from employees. The Batavian has received emails about two other local employers, deemed essential businesses by the State of New York, that say their bosses are not taking coronavirus precautions seriously. 

One employee, who said the employees' complaints have gone to the Attorney General's Office, was specific about lack of sanitizer, personal protection gear, and inattention to social distancing.

The employee said, "With the number of people that come to work at this plant from outside counties and cities, it is only a matter of time before someone infected comes to work and it will spread like wildfire. We should be closed right now. We should be home, safe with our families until our government deems it that we are safe to go back to work."

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