Morning News Brief
Written by Michael Baldwin on February 12, 2021
The COVID-19 positivity rate in NYS is 3.54 percent. That’s the lowest it’s been since November 25. In addition to that, the number of people hospitalized with the virus is down to around 7,300. That’s the lowest number since the day after Christmas. The Finger Lakes Region has 345 people hospitalized with another 397 in Intensive care.
Assemblyman Steve Hawley visited the New York State Veterans’ Home in Batavia to drop-off valentines that were made by first-grade students from Jackson Primary School as part of the Assemblyman’s “Valentines for Vets” program. A veteran himself, and a member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Hawley remained outside of the facility as he left the valentines due to COVID-19 restrictions. In what has been a challenging and isolating year, Hawley said it was his pleasure to facilitate the delivery of the valentines to let the veterans know how much their service is appreciated by the young people of the community.
According to a report released by the New York Post, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers during a phone call for allegedly withholding the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19. The report claims Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa said they “froze” out of fear that the true numbers would be “used against them” by federal prosecutors. In a statement Thursday, Sen. Tom O’Mara said the report makes it clear subpoenas must be issued and a full investigation started immediately. He called it a massive cover-up.
Following a traffic stop in the Town of Stafford, State Police arrested a Corfu man. Troopers took 27-year-old Tyler Jonathan Busch into custody. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance as well as driving while ability impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol. He’ll appear in court at a later date.
Genesee County reports 20 new COVID cases. These new infections were reported in Batavia, Le Roy and 11 other communities. Twenty-four of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list. Fifteen of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. Two more COVID-related deaths were also reported. Both were over the age of 65. Health officials said one person resided at the New York State Veterans’ Home and the other resided at the Batavia VA Medical Center.
The Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund has announced that it has awarded more than $4.5 million to more than 300 nonprofit organizations in the region, bringing the total grant amount from the Fund to $13.1 million. This collaborative funding effort was convened in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 health crisis and is now administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, in partnership with The John R. Oishei Foundation, the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation.