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WJTN News Headlines for May 1, 2020

After several days with no new cases of the COVID-19 virus... there have been five new ones over the past three days in Chautauqua County.  That from County Executive P-J Wendel... who reported three new cases Thursday.  They are a woman in her 30s... and, two other women in their 60s.  Wendel says that brings the total of positive cases to 36... with seven active cases.  He says 26 people have now recovered... while 38 others are currently under quarantine or isolation orders by the Public Health Director... and, are being monitored.  So far... there have been 845 negative test results.

Speaking of testing... Chautauqua County has announced three drive-thru COVID 19 testing clinics will be held next week for essential health care workers and first-responders.  The county's Department of Health and Human Services says EMS, Corrections officers, and child care center staff are also eligible.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says this will be diagnostic testing... with results coming in 24 to 48 hours.  She says the drive-thru testing will take place at the Chautauqua Lake Central School Bus Garage on North Erie Street in Mayville.  The first will be on Tuesday, May 5th from 3 to 7 PM... then Thursday, May 7th from 11 AM to 3 PM... and, Saturday, May 9th from 8 AM to 12 PM.  You must pre-register by calling 753-4491 or 866-604-6789.  You will remain in your car during the testing process.  You will be asked to bring your driver’s license/picture ID, employer ID, and insurance card to your appointment.  Further instructions will be given when preregistering. 

New York has now ramped up daily testing of residents for the COVID-19 Virus... so it's time to take the second step in trying to reopen the state for business.  That from Governor Andrew Cuomo during his daily press briefing... who said the state has now boosted testing to 30-thousand a day.  Cuomo says the next step will be implementing a process called "contact tracing" to check on people who came in contact with each of those positive cases the previous two weeks.

Cuomo says if any of the contacts tests positive for the virus... steps would then be taken to isolate that person until they recover.  He says former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has volunteered himself and his organization to begin training a "tracing army" that will do that work.

Otherwise... Cuomo says all the key data numbers continue to drop in New York state.  However... he says there were still nearly 4,700 new positive cases in the state yesterday.  

Jamestown is one of several upstate New York locations where a rally will be held by a group called "Reopen New York..." which is calling for businesses and consumers to have the freedom to reopen and do business.  However... the organizer of the group says they want that done "wisely and responsibly."  The rally will take place at Dow Park at 3 PM today.  The City Council recently discussed the rally.  Public Safety Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon says they want people to be able to express their views... but, do it safely.

In a press release... Organizer Garrit Cain says the demonstration will be "peaceful and respectful" and abide by social distancing standards.  Cain says they are also concerned about the way the shut-down has led to a spike in drug overdoses, domestic violence, and other mental health issues.  He says this is not intended to be a political rally... and, adds participants will either remain in their cars, or walk on the sidewalks around the park while maintaining a proper distance.

The Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood is teaming up with the Chautauqua County Humane Society and the Salvation Army to provide support local families affected by the closings of schools and businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mall General Mananger Julie Bihler says their donation drive currently runs through May 16th. She says they are in need of non-perishable food items as well as essentials like pet food, paper products, school supplies and soap.

A complete donation list can be found on the mall's website.... and, all items can be placed in the designated bins outside the main entrance next to Planet Fitness daily from 9 AM to 4 PM. Bihler says they are grateful for the tremendous support they've received from donors so far. She is also encouraging residents to look to the Salvation Army and Humane Society's websites for additional information or volunteer opportunities. 

A Jamestown man faces charges for allegedly choking a woman and damaging property during a domestic dispute Wendesday afternoon. City police were called to Lafayette Street just before 4:30 PM for the incident.... and, took 41 year-old Michael Long into custody. Long is being held pending arraignment for fourth-degree criminal  mischief and criminal obstruction of breathing-blood circulation. 

Due to restrictions in New York State due to the Coronavirus outbreak... the 2020 racing season at Stateline Speedway has been postponed indefinately.  Publicist Jay Pees says the season "must be delayed until New York state lift's its restrictions that are part of "New York Pause."  The governor's order runs until May 15th... and has ordered that "all non-essential businesses statewide be closed, non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason are canceled or postponed at this time."  Pees says Stateline Speedway will continue to monitor the situation.