Morning News Briefing
Written by Michael Baldwin on December 31, 2020
COVID cases are soaring across the local area. On Wednesday, health officials reported 142 new positive cases in Genesee County alone. The new infections involved residents from Batavia, Le Roy, Oakfield and ten other communities. Twenty of the new positive cases are residents at LeRoy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility. Eight are residents at the New York State Veterans Home – At Batavia while another two involve residents of Genesee Senior Living. Premier Genesee Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation and the Batavia VA Medical Center each reported one new case. Three more deaths were reported, as well.
Orleans County on Wednesday reported 40 new COVID cases with a total of twenty-one people hospitalized. In Wyoming County, twenty-seven new cases have been confirmed and health officials say they are managing a total of 104 active cases with people in quarantine.
The Batavia Town Board has called for a “timeout” as it attempts to keep up with the changing landscape of the solar farm industry. During a special meeting, the board passed a resolution to hold a public hearing to consider Local Law No. 1 of 2021, Establishing a Town of Batavia Moratorium on Solar Energy Systems. The public hearing is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at Batavia Town Hall on West Main Street Road.
New York State has temporarily suspended visitation at all state prisons due to rising COVID-19 cases among the incarcerated population, staff and the surrounding communities. The suspension continues until further notice. According to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision website, non-contact legal visits will still be allowed to continue under previously announced protocols.
To maximize access to COVID-19 vaccines for all Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced partnerships with large chain pharmacies and networks that represent independent pharmacies and regional chains. Tops Friendly Markets pharmacies are proud to be participants in this program. Both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have developed COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA. Each vaccine is a two dose series. Once Phase 2 of the vaccine distribution begins and it is made available to retail pharmacies, Tops will follow the guidelines set forth by state and federal governments. No official timeframe has been given on when that will be. The CDC’s goal is for every adult who wants a vaccine to have it by the end of 2021.
When the Bills hit the field for their first playoff game, they’ll have fans watching over them in the stands. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday the state and the team reached an agreement on a pilot program allowing for some fans to be present at the game. The state and the Bills had been working together recently in an attempt to broker an agreement. Under the pilot program, about 6,700 season ticketholders will be allowed in the stadium. Masks and distancing will be required. Tests will be conducted before fans enter the stadium, and contact tracing work will take place as they leave.