Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Apr. 2, 2020

New York state is projected to reach the apex -- or peak -- of coronavirus cases by the end of April.  That from Governor Andrew Cuomo... who says that's what the more accurate models say.  With that... Cuomo says "social distancing" will be needed now more than ever to avoid overwhelming the state's hospital system - especially downstate.  During Wednesday's press briefing... he showed two models -- one using "minimal" social distancing... another with "high-compliance."

Cuomo adds the number of deaths in the state has more than doubled in the past three days to nearly 2,000 with 1,941 reported.  He says the state is using many of the outbreak "models" used nationally.  If there is minimal compliance... he says the number hospitalized could reach that 110,000 bed mark... and, they would need 37,000 ventilators.  The other shows far fewer cases... and, deaths.  As of Wednesday... the state had recorded 83,712 positive cases of COVID-19... with just over 12,000 people now hospitalized.  

   New York lawmakers were preparing to work late to pass a budget that is expected to cut school aid as the coronavirus outbreak roils the state's economy.  Lawmakers failed Tuesday night to pass a budget in place by Wednesday, the start of the state's fiscal year.  Several lawmakers have stressed the importance of timely passing a budget that ensures state government is working amid a crisis that's already cost the state one-billion dollars.  But many details about the magnitude of spending cuts, the governor's authority over adjusting state spending throughout the upcoming year and just what new laws will be included in the budget remain unclear. 

There have been no new cases of COVID-19 reported in Chautauqua County... so the number of positive cases remains at 10 today.  That from County Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler... who says two people have now completely recovered from coronavirus... and, have been released from mandatory quarantine.  Schuyler says one person has died... while seven others are continuing to recover under mandatory quarantine.  She says there are now 25 in mandatory quarantine... while 30 others are in precautionary quarantine.  Schulyer says 40 others are in mandatory isolation.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has placed all of the state under an order to stay at home, dramatically expanding the geographic footprint of the quarantine as state officials combat the coronavirus pandemic.  Wolf added 34 counties to his stay-home edict. That means residents of all 67 of Pennsylvania's counties must now stay home as much as possible to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  Those new counties include Warren, which had been one of the few in the region affected.  Coronavirus infections are continuing to rise dramatically in the state. 

U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on the Trump administration to release the recently approved $100-billion in aid to hospitals and other health care agencies trying to keep up with the coronavirus outbreak.  The aid is part of the $2.2-trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security -- or CARES Act.  The New York Democrat says the help is needed so health care workers can have the protections they need without having to get into "bidding wars."

With elective and other surgeries called off... Gillibrand says hospitals need the aid to stay afloat.  She adds she had written a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar... who says the money will also help hospitals prepare for the surge in cases expected over the next two weeks to 30 days. 

In the midst of busy time for everyone... Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist is reminding families of one important, little thing they need to accomplish.  Yesterday -- Wednesday, April 1st -- was 2020 Census Day.

The mayor emphasizes that a complete and accurate count helps Jamestown get it's rightful amount of support from the federal and state governments.  Sundquist says the latest figures show the city with a census response rate of 35-percent... which is higher than the state overall.  As for the COVID-19 crisis... the mayor says the city workforce remains healthy, and the populace is... in general... heeding the warnings.

To keep people from congregating, city playgrounds and basketball courts have been shutdown.  Sundquist confirms an employee of a city hall tenant was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the time after the building was closed to the public.  He adds the facility has been thoroughly cleaned and is safe for the relatively few people who need to be there.  Municipal employees are working from home whenever possible. 

Route 394 in Kennedy was closed for a few hours late Tuesday... and, residents were told to "shelter-in-place" after State Police got a report of a suicidal man barracaded in a home.  Troopers in Jamestown confirm the incident was reported shortly after 5 PM Tuesday night.  There were reports the unidentified man had a weapon.  However... police negotiators were eventually able to talk the man out of the residence safely.  Route 394 was then re-opened to traffic.  No one was hurt.