No one was hurt, but a pet cat perished in a fully-involved structure fire in the City of Jamestown last night. That from Fire Batallion Chief Chris Dahlgren, who says crews were called to 43 Adams Street shortly after 11 PM... and, found the home engulfed in flames. Dahlgren says the three residents living inside were able to get out safely, but the house was heavily damaged... and, may need to be demolished. Investigators are still searching for a cause, but the Chief says the blaze is believed to have started on the exterior porch. Firefighters were back in station shortly after 6 o'clock this morning.
Plans are being made by Jamestown city officials so they are ready to reopen local government when New York state gives the okay. That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who says they will begin at four-phased reopening once "New York PAUSE" has been lifted by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Right now... that date is May 15th... and, Sundquist says they're looking at a 25-percent, 50, 75, and 100-percent opening over a period of time.
Sundquist says city department heads will work out their own plans... with protocols for being able to interact with the public. He says that also includes places that will have to be disinfected, and how regularily that will have to be done. Sundquist says department heads will get back to him soon with those plans, and they'll be shared with City Council.
For the second-day in a row... there have been no new positive cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County. County Executive P-J Wendel also says more than one-thousand people tested have come up negative. Wendel says there are still 37 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus... while there are four active cases. He says 29 people have recovered from the virus... while there have been four deaths. Wendel says there are now 65 cases under quarantine or isolation orders by the Public Health Director and being monitored.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the national debate over when to reopen outbreak-ravaged economies boils down to the value placed on people's lives. The Democratic governor made the argument as political pressure intensifies to relax restrictions keeping people at home and off the job. Cuomo Tuesday also defended state's requests to include state and local aid in any new COVID-19 Relief bill.
Cuomo says states will need funding to fully implement efforts to do further diagnostic and anti-body testing... as well as "contact tracing" to locate positive cases who are "asymptomatic." The New York Democrat also blasted Republicans who contend that stuff aid is a "Blue state bail-out." Cuomo has opted for a slower approach that will allow parts of the state to phase in economic activity later this month if they meet and maintain benchmarks. Cuomo claims his plan avoids the trade-off between economic and human costs because it will be controlled by officials constantly monitoring fatalities and hospitalizations.
Chautauqua County's Republican Congressman says he has no problem with providing states with the aid they need to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. However... Corning's Tom Reed says he also wants to have the money approved for local governments, and school districts, get to them without the state's being able to get their hands on it. Reed adds it's time for the smaller counties, cities and others to get help.
A number of local mayors, town supervisors and others have expressed concern over whether they'll be receiving any kind of aid to deal with holes in their budgets. As far as school districts go... Reed says there's a good chance they will get some kind of help in one of the next COVID Relief bills... but, adds that must go directly to the schools. Public school districts are reportedly looking at state aid cuts of 20 to 50-percent this year. Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.
Mayville Mayor Ken Shearer believes tourists will come to Chautauqua County this summer, despite the cancellation of many events.
Shearer says it's important to remember people come to Chautauqua County for more than just the entertainment. He says there are two big lakes -- Chautauqua and Erie -- and there is plenty of park and forest land... and, trails to enjoy. Shearer says he's confident public health can be maintained if residents and visitors follow the appropriate protocols. He also notes that the timing of the virus outbreak has given summer businesses the opportunity to refigure their operations for 2020, saying, "We're not... all of a sudden... waking up on June 28th to find out nobody's coming."
New York state is now reporting more than 1,700 previously undisclosed deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities as the state faces scrutiny over how it's protected vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic. At least 4,813 residents with confirmed or presumed cases of COVID-19 have died at 351 of New York's 613 nursing homes since March 1st. That from Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration's new list released late Monday that includes the reported number of both confirmed and presumed deaths as of Sunday evening.