Local News Headlines

Cluster of COVID-19 cases directly linked to Fieldbrook Foods grows to 63...
The COVID-19 cluster of cases reported from the recent outbreak at a Dunkirk food processor has now reached 63.  That Friday from Chautauqua County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler, who addressed the situation during a press conference call with County Executive P-J Wendel.  Schulyer says 49 of the cases are directly linked to workers at Fieldbrook, and 14 others from "close contact" with a positive case.  She made an emotional plea for people to follow social distancing guidelines, and say's she's "hopeful that because of this size of an outbreak... that people are paying attention."  Earlier... Schulyer said the first case involving someone at Fieldbrook Foods was reported on Aug. 16.  However... she says they are still looking into the possibility that "two or three" large gatherings in the Dunkirk area may have also played a role.  Wendel addressed criticism that the county did not notify the public early on regarding Fieldbrook.  He says there were a lot of "moving parts..." and they wanted to make sure they got out the correct information.  Wendel and Schuyler say 393 of Fieldbrook's 650 employees were tested during a mass clinic this past Tuesday, and another is being put on by the state this weekend.  Schuyler says of those tested, only 24 positives were confirmed.  She also says they didn't see the need to close Fieldbrook because of it's stringent screening and cleaning protocols.

Eight new cases of COVID-19 reported Friday in Chautauqua County... 
The impact of the cluster of COVID-19 cases at a Dunkirk food processing plant continues to play a role in the number of new and active cases in Chautauqua County.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are now eight new cases of the virus... and, that's increased the number of active cases to 82.  Wendel says the new cases include a young female adult... a man and a woman in their 20s, a man in his 30s, a woman in her 50s, and two men and one woman in their 60s.  He says that brings the number of confirmed cases to 360... while 269 have now recovered.  Wendel says three people are hospitalized... while 304 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... and, being monitored.  He adds that 535 peope are under the "domestic traveler quarantine" after coming here from a state listed on the New York State travel advisory.  There have now been 32,584 negative test results to date.

Cuomo says colleges that see a 5-percent increase in COVID cases will have to go to remote learning for two weeks...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York will require schools and colleges to switch to remote learning for two weeks when cases surge.  Cuomo said he expects campus-based clusters now that many schools have welcomed students back for the fall semester.  Under the new guidance... if colleges have 100 cases or if the number of cases equal 5-percent of their faculty-and-student population, they must go to remote learning for two weeks.  The school's situation will be reassessed at the end of the two weeks.

Students who are also parents facing major stuggles with pandemic...
As the school year begins, parents who also are students face enormous challenges brought on by the pandemic. Student parents were already vulnerable to living in poverty and navigating time constraints, according to Mary Ann DeMario, who runs a program at Monroe Community College in Rochester to support single parent students. As the sixth month of COVID-19 shutdowns begins, she points out that job layoffs, lack of broadband access, and closed child-care centers have piled on even more pressure.  Pre-pandemic, she says they were already "at-risk" for financial poverty, and other issues.  She notes that finding affordable childcare is the most pressing issue among the 2,700 student parents at her school. Nationwide, nearly four million U-S undergraduate students are parents or guardians of children under age 18.  To help students who also are parenting, she says Congress and state lawmakers should continue to provide enhanced funding for emergency grants or other forms of cash assistance.

Roger Tory Peterson's birthday being celebrated at RTPI today...
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute is having a big party today to celebrate the day Peterson was born -- 112 years ago.  Events will run all day, until 4 p.m., at the Peterson Institute on Curtis Street, with music, beverages, a food truck and what Jane Johnson, Director of Museum Operations, calls a unique opportunity to see some of Peterson's work that's not ordinarily on display.  The institute's new Chief Executive Officer, Arthur Pearson... a voice major in college... will lead the singing of 'Happy Birthday' at noon Saturday.  There'll be reduced admission at RTPI all day.  A renowned artist and naturalist... Roger Tory Peterson was born in Jamestown on Aug. 28, 1908.

Barmore warns of DMV on-line scam... 
The Chautauqua County Department of Motor Vehicles is warning residents of several scammer websites that have popped up offering to make people an appointment at one of their DMV offices as early as the next day for a fee.  County Clerk Larry Barmore says these websites are not sanctioned by the DMV... and, they are just trying to scam you out of your money.  Barmore says if you use them you will not have an appointment, and you will have lost the money they charged you.  He says they do not charge you to make an appointment. 

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 19, 2020

Eight new cases of COVID brings Chautauqua Countys' number to more than 600... Chautauqua County has reached another milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic... with the total number of confirmed cases...

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