Morning News Brief

Written by on December 24, 2021

12 cases of the Omicron Variant of COVID 19 have been identified in Monroe County and several more have been reported in Erie County.  The Omicron variant is thought to have overtaken the Delta variant as the most dominant form of COVID in the US.  This suggests that there are many more cases than are being reported with most cases being asymptomatic and those which have symptoms being mild and most likely not being reported or tested for.  Omicron is up to 70 times as contagious as Delta, which was twice as contagious as COVID 19.  Dr Robert Mayo of Rochester Regional Health says that those who are vaccinated will still likely contract Omicron.

Governor Hochul has signed legislation that declares Racism a public health crisis in New York State.  It also establishes a working group to promote racial equity throughout the Empire State.  She also signed the Hate Crimes Analysis and Review Act which makes it so data is collected about the demographics of victims and perpetrators in any hate crimes.  At the same time Hochul also signed environmental protection legislation which forbids Hotels from using single use plastic bottles for shampoo and other personal care products and also prohibits summer and day camps from using pesticides.  

The Batavia Area’s unemployment rate has dropped, mainly because the number of people in the workforce has dropped.  The unemployment rate was at 3.3 percent in November.  Last year at the same time it was 4.9 percent.  The number of people in the laborforce is down by roughly a thousand people.  There are actually 500 less people with jobs than a year ago.  There are 900 people in the labor force who are currently unemployed, down from 1,400 a year ago, and down by 100 from last month.

The Aquarium of Niagara is holding a post Christmas promotion giving patrons 5 dollars off the entry ticket if they donate a winter accessory for Western New Yorkers in Need.  Yule Tide days include Ice formation and melt demonstrations, Visit by Santa and Mrs Claus to the Penguin Coast, Sea lion Shows, An activity time with the Snow Queen and Snow Princess from Frozen along with a Siberian Husky presentation, Scavenger hunts and Hot Cocoa and Cookies.  YuleTIDE Days will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. between December 26 and December 31.


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