Weekend News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on December 31, 2021
Governor Hochul announced a few things before the beginning of the New Year. First, that all CUNY and SUNY Schools will require COVID vaccines and boosters and mandatory pre-testing for all students planning on campus attendance for the spring semester, and ongoing testing plans on all campuses. Hochul also announced a 5 point plan to combat COVID during the winter surge called winter plan 2.0. The 5 points are keep schools open, keep masking and testing, prevent severe illness and death, expand access to vaccines and boosters and work with local partners. Hochul also announced extending the State Wide Mask mandate till February 1st.
A home on West Main Street may have been caused by a furnace explosion. At around 5pm Batavia Fire received a report of a structure fire at 367 West Main Street. The fire appears to have started on the second floor. The furnace is located in the attic. When firefighters arrived they found heavy smoke and no visible flames. Son after flames began to come out of the rear of the structure. No one was in the building. Firefighters were able to get the blaze extinguished. The building suffered severe smoke and fire damage and is now uninhabitable. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
ECMC in Buffalo has announced that it is prohibiting inpatient visitation because of too many Omicron cases in the hospital. The only cases where visitation is allowed is when it is medically necessary and during end of life circumstances. The change in patient visitation guidelines began December 31 and ECMC says it is an effort to protect the medical center’s vulnerable patients and caregivers from avoidable exposure to infection. All those meeting the exceptions will be required to undergo screening and wear masks. Patients families and loved ones are urged to keep connected electronically
The Red Cross is asking western New Yorkers to step up and donate as levels of donated blood are at the lowest they’ve been in over a decade. The lack of blood has lead to slower treatment times for people who need transfusions. Anyone who has had an exposure to COVID-19, has symptoms, or a confirmed positive test should wait to donate.