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TRACKING COVID-19: Dozens of cases now confirmed in the Finger Lakes (full coverage)

Latest information, resources, and cancellations due to spread of Coronavirus

– Staff Report

Follow along with updates from officials – local, state, and federal – as the Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19 response continues around the region. Our ‘Latest News’ section will be updated around the clock. We’ll be documenting school closures, public health announcements, and more. We will have resources available for those looking for information from the Centers for Disease Control at the bottom of this story, too.

[Track COVID-19 in New York here]

Confirmed Cases By County

Cayuga: 4
Cortland: 8
Monroe: 202
Onondaga: 146
Ontario: 19
Schuyler: 1
Seneca: 0
Steuben: 18
Tompkins: 56
Wayne: 9
Yates: 0

VIDEO & REPORT: Latest from Gov. Andrew Cuomo here

Major Updates

NO NATIONAL TRAVEL BAN: President Donald Trump backed away from calling for a quarantine of coronavirus hotspots in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Instead, the CDC issued a stern travel advisory to help stem the spread of the pandemic in the U.S.

ECONOMIC RELIEF COMING: President Donal Trump signed a $2.2 trillion rescue package Friday, tossing a life preserver to a U.S. economy and health care system left flailing by the coronavirus pandemic hours after the House passed the historic legislation. The House approved the measure by a voice vote, as leaders from both parties aligned behind the massive measure.

RESIDENTS GET CHECKS: Inside that spending package, which is the largest in American history – is $1,200 for U.S. residents making less than $75,000. The one-time economic stimulus is meant to cover expenses that pile up, as the economy remains largely shut down.

BUSINESSES BENEFIT, TOO: Through the measure, small businesses will be eligible for loans, which convert to grants if they follow a short list of protocols that includes not laying off employees.

NOT ENOUGH FUNDS: The state will only receive a small percentage of federal stimulus funds, despite it seeing the greatest volume of cases by a significant margin. Cuomo chided House lawmakers, who he said needed to find greater funding.

SCHOOLS STAY CLOSED: Governor Andrew Cuomo said late this week that schools across New York would remain closed for another two weeks. Most school districts in the region had already closed through the date of the Governor’s new order. His order pushes the soonest possible restart of K-12 schools to mid-April.

FLEEING NEW YORK: States are pulling back the welcome mat for travelers from the New York area, which is the epicenter of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, but some say at least one state’s measures are unconstitutional. Governors in Texas, Florida, Maryland and South Carolina this week ordered people arriving from the New York area —including New Jersey and Connecticut — and other virus hot spots to self-quarantine for at least 14 days upon arrival.

INMATES TO BE RELEASED: As part of an effort to lower the jail population across the state to protect against COVID-19, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, or DOCCS, has ordered the release of a number of “low-level technical parole violators” from local jails. [Read more about that here]

COVID CONFIRMED AT WAYNE JAIL: Sheriff Barry Virts confirms over the weekend that a corrections officer has tested positive for COVID-19. Now, 24 of his officers are furloughed with pay. [Read more about it here]

RENT & MORTGAGE SUSPENDED: A bill in the New York State Senate would put all rental payments on hold for residential and small business tenants in specific situations. The bill, sponsored by State Senator Michael Gianaris (D, Queens), was drafted in response to financial hardships being experienced during the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. [Read More Here]

TREATING COVID IS UNIQUE: Chris Ebmeyer has helped many patients over the course of his decades-long career as an advanced practice provider in the medical field. But he says he’s never experienced anything like what the past month has brought. He’s been taking care of COVID-19 patients at Unity Hospital, where he’s worked in the ICU for 27 years. [Read More Here]

PEAK COULD COME IN WEEKS: Governor Cuomo said that the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York could come in 2-3 weeks. He says substantial work remains if the state is going to stay ahead of the virus.

CHANGES IN ALBANY: Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a series of changes that are aimed at slowing the spread, and ensuring the financial security of those who have lost their jobs as result of COVID-19 restrictions. Those restrictions remain in place at this time. Here is an outline of known changes at this point:

  • Workforce reduction of 100% for non-essential services [Here’s a list of what New York State considers essential];
  • Evictions and foreclosures paused for 90 days;
  • Medical and student debt collection halted for at least 30 days;
  • Co-pays waived for Telehealth visits across NYS;
  • Unemployment restrictions lifted to ensure more availability;
  • Wait period for unemployment also lifted;
  • School year shortened by waiving 180-day requirement;
  • Job protections for those quarantined due to COVID-19;
  • Waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship;
  • Creating a 90-day mortgage relief;
  • Preventing negative reporting to credit bureaus;
  • Allowing a grace period for loan modification;
  • Preventing late payment fees and online payment fees;
  • Postponing and suspending foreclosures; and
  • Waiving fees for overdrafts, ATMs, and credit cards.

NEW HOURS: Businesses around the region are dealing with new rules — some of which are changing by the day. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of restaurants, bars, and other businesses in the service industry that have new hours as result of the COVID-19 pandemic. [Click For More]

GROCERY STORES ADJUST: Most grocery chains in the Finger Lakes are operating under new hours. Some of them have even introduced hours for seniors to shop as well. The new hours were created when demand increased dramatically at grocery stores around the region. [Click For More]

PUBLIC NOTICES: Events are being rescheduled and cancelled. Municipalities are making moves to reduce operational hours — as well as reduce total staff. [Click For More]

FROM THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: “Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals. Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States. Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populationshand hygiene, and social distancing.  When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual. This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus.  This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.”

Other Local Headlines

Helpful Media To Understand COVID-19

An overview of what symptoms look like when a person is experiencing COVID-19 versus some other regular virus’.

Click on the fact sheet if you’d like to read both pages in full-resolution.

Information about Coronavirus from CDC (COVID-19)

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