A Jamestown home was heavily-damaged after a fire broke out on the city's westside early this morning. County Fire Dispatchers confirm the blaze at 205 West 7th Street was called in shortly after 7 AM. Facebook photos show smoke and fire coming out of the front of the house and side windows. An off-duty shift was called in to assist. It's unclear if anyone was in the home at the time. Due to firefighters pulling water from hydrants on West 7th and 6th Streets.... the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities says on the water west side of Jamestown moving through West Ellicott, Celoron, Lakewood, Cottage Park and North Harmony will be dicolored for the next 12-to-24 hours.
There are many more people testing negative for the COVID-19 virus in recent days in Chautauqua County... while there are no new cases over the past day. County Executive P-J Wendel says there are still 24 confirmed cases, with three others that are considered "active" and are recovering. Wendel says three people have died from the Coronavirus... while 123 others remain under quarantine or isolation orders and being monitored. There have now been 463 negative test results to date.
In addition... Wendel has extended the county’s State of Emergency for up to another 30 days due to the ongoing Pandemic. He says new protocols will go into effect for the public that visit County facilities starting this Thursday, April 16th. Wendel says "the threat of this virus is still very severe for Chautauqua County. It is necessary that Chautauqua County remain proactive and fully prepared to deal with its effects, and I ask all County citizens and visitors to venture out only for essential business." He says the new protocols will involve screening the public for any symptoms of COVID-19 before entering a county facility... and, all county employees who have direct contact with visitors will wear a cloth face covering or face shield.
Government leaders have been debating over when and how best to "reopen" the United States in the coming days. But... regardless of when and how... the novel Coronavirus will still be here. That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who says whether it's the beginning or end of May... the virus will still be with us. Reed says we won't kill it... but, we need to properly "manage" the situation until a vaccine is found and produced.
Reed says the reopening of business will be tempered with different protocols... and, setting up the nation's health care system to deal with new cases of COVID-19, as well as ramping up testing. The Corning Republican add that government will also have a role in making sure that everyone is able to deal with the new reality. Reed says the key will be "seemless" communications, and learning anything new about COVID-19 that can help mitigate it's impact. He says that will especially be critical in addressing any new hot spots over the next 12 to 18 months.
A dust-up between President Trump and the leaders of several states appears to be in the rear-view mirror of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo... and, the president himself. The president said during a press conference Monday night that he would make the call on when the country 'reopens' from the current COVID-19 Shut-down... and, Cuomo called him on it during Tuesday morning TV shows. But... during yesterday's press briefing in Albany... Cuomo said he's not looking for a fight, and wants to work together with the President to reopen the country at the best time.
Cuomo even acknowledged that he had praised the president for helping to open up the Javits Center in New York City, and bring in the USNS Comfort for temporary hospitals. During a separate press event at the White House... President Trump backed away from Monday's comments... saying that the reopening of the country would be done in coordination with the states. While the number of hospitalizations remains flat... Cuomo did say the number of deaths went back up during the past day... to 778.
Chautauqua County's two airports will receive nearly 100-thousand dollars as part of just over $411-million going to the state's airports hit hard by the Coronavirus outbreak. U-S Senator Charles Schumer announced the aid from the Cornoavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act will be available as soon as possible. Schumer and fellow New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand say... in a joint statement... that "the CARES Act provides funds to increase the federal share to 100-percent for the Airport Improvement Program and other grants already planned for fiscal year 2020." They say the additional funding and elimination of the local share will allow for critical safety and capacity projects to continue as planned. They say the Jamestown Airport will receive $69,000 while the Dunkirk Airport will get $30,000.
The Salvation Army in Jamestown is feeling the weight of the economic downturn from coronavirus. Major Kim Merchant says they've seen 'a huge increase in numbers' of people needing their services. She encourages anyone who can contribute financially to do so, as their supplies could run low because the Food Bank of Western New York can't provide everything. The address to send checks is 83 South Main Street in Jamestown. In addition, the Major encourages people to use their 'stimulus checks' wisely... especially if they might need help later once evictions and shut-off notices resume. As with others, the Salvation Army couldn't meet for worship on Easter Sunday, and Major Merchant says that was 'a difficult day'... but they dropped off goodie bags at the homes of local children.