Weekend News Briefing
Written by WBTA STAFF on March 21, 2020
One more person has been placed under mandatory quarantine in Genesee County bringing the total to 16 people.
According to Genesee & Orleans County Health Department Director Paul Petit who spoke at the public health briefing Friday evening there is still only one confirmed case in Genesee County and they remain in isolation.
Nearly 40% of those in mandatory quarantine in both Genesee and Orleans counties, are symptomatic however the health department is still awaiting results for those patients.
Private providers are continuing to perform COVID-19 tests on patients who are symptomatic but it can take up to five days to get results back and they are under doctor’s orders to self-quarantine.
There is still a shortage of test kits locally and the flu is still prevalent in the region.
According to the Health Department it’s more likely if you’re symptomatic now, you don’t have COVID-19 but you have the flu.
The same protocol of social isolation applies as much for people with the flu to help prevent spread.
Also during the briefing UMMC President Dan Ireland said as a precautionary measure the hospital will start erecting tents however there are still plenty of beds available in the hospital.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he is signing the “New York State on PAUSE” executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone.
It includes a new directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, and temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason.
Governor Cuomo also announced “Matilda’s Law” – named for the Governor’s mother – to protect New York’s most vulnerable populations, including individuals age 70 and older, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying illnesses.
The measure requires this group of New Yorkers to stay home and limit home visitation to immediate family members or close friends in need of emergency assistance.
The Governor also announced a 90-day moratorium on any residential or commercial evictions.
Two dogs perish is a State Street fire in Batavia.
City Fire crews were dispatched to a reported residential fire at 236 State Street at around quarter after 12 Friday afternoon.
The first firefighters on scene reported a working kitchen fire in the rear of the home and responding crews were able to contain the kitchen area within about 15 minutes.
There was extensive heat and smoke damage throughout the residence due to the intensity of the fire and two dogs perished inside of the home.
Investigation is on-going to determine the cause of the blaze however the fire does not appear to be incendiary in nature.
The Thruway Authority has announced emergency toll procedures will be in place effective Sunday, March 22 at approximately 8 p.m., at cash toll lanes on the Thruway’s ticketed-system.
This plan will convert the collection of cash tolls to toll billing by the license plate during the Novel Coronavirus response in New York State.
The procedures will be in place until further notice.
When non-E-ZPass customers enter the Thruway in a cash lane, they will continue through the lane without collecting a ticket, then when exiting the Thruway, they will inform the toll collector which exit they entered the Thruway and provide them their license plate information, without paying cash.
Motorists will then be sent a bill in the mail in approximately 30 days and can pay with a credit card through the Thruway Authority’s website.