WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 16, 2020

Chautauqua County is now under a local State of Emergency, making 40 counties now in New York state doing so to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak.  

However, there have still been no one who has tested positive for the COVID 19 Virus.  That from Interim County Executive P-J Wendel, who hosted a press conference with other officials in Mayville yesterday afternoon.  While there have been no positive Coronavirus cases, Health and Human Services Commissioner Christine Schuyler says four people have now been tested.  She says three have tested negative, while the results of one other test is pending.  She still urged residents to take precautions because the threat of COVID 19 cases are likely.  She says use good handwashing, cover your cough, and if you don't feel well, stay home.  She also says people need to clean common surfaces in their homes with a good anti-bacterial soap, or sanitary wipes.  Both Schuyler and Wendel stressed the need to stay calm, noting that most of the serious cases in the state have involved the elderly, and those with serious underlying issues such as respiratory illnesses.  Wendel says the State of Emergency will be in effect for 30-days, pending changes in the outbreak's status.

County officials are also strongly recommending that ALL school districts in Chautauqua County close as of this Wednesday, March 18th, in an effort to slow the potential spread of Coronavirus.... 

However, some have already closed for the foreseeable future.  Health and Human Services Commissioner Christine Schuyler adds that during the time students will be out of school,  it's important to stay home to help prevent community spread of COVID 19.  She adds that it's important for them to avoid people who have compromised immune systems.  As of 9 PM Sunday, these schools have closed for an indefinate period of time.  They are Falconer, Frewsburg, Chautauqua Lake and Bemus Point.  In addition, the Jamestown Public Schools, and Southwestern District have closed through Monday, April 20th.  Cassadaga Valley is closed for today, but they will be evaluating their situation.  In addition, the Erie-2, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus County BOCES locations in Ashville and Fredonia are closed today.

County officials are also urging residents to be respectful and patience during this time in the wake of people buying up large amounts of supplies at local grocery stores.  

Sheriff Jim Quattrone says there is no need to panic about stores possibly running out of items such as toilet paper, sanitary wipes, and other items that have been flying off the shelves.

County Executive Wendel says they have been in contact with both Wegman's and Tops Markets, and they say they have "no gaps in their supply chains."  He says if the store happens to be out of something, they should be restocked by the following day.  Some stores -- including Tops and Wegman's -- are now closing during the overnight hours to do cleaning, and re-stocking of shelves.  As for 911, Quattrone urges people to call only if there is an emergency.  Otherwise, he says there are state and county websites with information.

Quattrone also says, during this time period, they will not be allowing visitors to have in-person contacts with inmates at the Chautauqua County Jail.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf is ordering the closure of all schools for two weeks, as the state takes sweeping measures aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus.  

Wolf also announced last Friday that, starting Saturday, he was extending a day-old shutdown order affecting Montgomery County to Delaware County, another heavily populated Philadelphia suburb.  The order affecting more than 1.7-million school children in public and private K-12 schools came as confirmed cases in the state leaped to 41 from 22, including the state's first cases west of the Susquehanna River.  Wolf a day earlier ordered all schools, day cares and other facilities closed in hard-hit Montgomery County. 


Despite concerns over the coronavirus, the show went on at Southwestern.....

All Shook Up' concluded Saturday night.  Director, Christine Beichner-Miller, knows it was a close call. Ms. Donahue is Maureen Donahue, the Southwestern Schools Superintendent.  As the final curtain fell, Beicher-Miller was relieved... saying they were thrilled to be able showcase what they had worked so hard for.  The usual 'greeting of the cast' in the Southwestern front hall was not permitted for the run of 'All Shook Up.'  Patrons were asked to leave the building as soon as the performance ended.