Jamestown Community College officials have announced that all operations are going to a remote format -- starting yesterday -- in order to keep low levels of COVID-19 infections. With recommendations from JCC's health services team, Officials say the SUNY college is suspending on-campus instruction and campus operations through Wednesday, December 23rd. Essential personnel will be allowed on campus... and, JCC Support Services including tutoring, academic advising and library services will also be available to students. College President Daniel DeMarte says "Since cases of COVID-19 are predicted to continue to climb during the holidays, we are doing all we can to protect students and employees." The SUNY Coronavirus Tracker reports JCC has administered 1,146 tests with two positive test results to date.
New York's governor said the state could receive its first deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine in the coming days as the pandemic is landing more patients into hospitals across the state, including on Staten Island. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state's eagerly awaiting a vaccine, one of which - the Pfizer vaccine - could receive federal emergency authorization as soon as Thursday. Cuomo described the vaccine as "the weapon that will win the war." Still, he said the general public won't have access to the vaccine immediately. He said the state hopes to use the initial delivery of doses to cover nursing home residents and then staffers.
A new poll shows low-income Americans overwhelmingly support government programs that could end poverty and hunger. Pollsters spoke with more than 800 adults earning less than $50,000 a year, and found those living near or below the poverty line face multiple barriers to getting ahead – barriers made worse by the economic impact of COVID-19. According to Joel Berg, C-E-O of Hunger Free America, more than half of the people polled faced three or more such barriers, and said they want to see government policies that would make it possible to thrive. Berg notes the Heroes Act would provide relief, including raising SNAP benefits. It was passed by the House in May, but hasn't yet made it to the Senate floor for consideration. U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand points out that with so many businesses closed by the coronavirus, thousands more New Yorkers are now lining up at soup kitchens and food pantries to get enough to eat. Gillibrand has joined with Representative Joseph Morelle in introducing the HOPE Act, a bill she says would modernize and streamline access to benefits and services.
The annual drive to make sure Jamestown's largest soup kitchen has enough money, food and supplies for the holiday season will be held late next week. The seventh-annual Holiday Haul for the St. Susan's Center is being put on by Northwest Arena Executive Director Keith Martin... who says he'll be at the Jamestown Cycle Shop in Brooklyn Square Thursday, December 17th through Saturday, December 19th. Martin says they'll be observing full COVID-19 protocols during the event.
Martin says they hope to do better than last year... when they raised $12,000 and 5.5 tons of food for St. Susan's. The Center's Executive Director, Bonnie Scott-Sleight, says this year's fund-raiser is even more than ever. Scott-Sleight, who is in her third-year running the center, says they are current providing 150 to 200 bagged meals a day for local people in need at St. Susan's. Martin urges people to stop by and make a donation on December 17th and 18th from 6 AM to 6 PM. On Saturday, December 19th, the hours will be 8 AM to 3 PM.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection by sneaking his way into her home on the city's southside. City police were called to a home on Broadhead Avenue about 4:30 PM Monday... and, the unidentified woman said she believed 23 year-old Joshua Verrett was inside. Jamestown officers were assisted by state Troopers, and found Verrett hiding in an attic crawl space. He was arrested for second-degree criminal contempt... and, on a warrant for another similar charge. Verrett was held pending arraignment.
Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health is requiring that travelers over the age of 11 entering Pennsylvania from locations outside the Commonwealth, as well as Pennsylvanians who are returning home from locations outside the Commonwealth, produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or place themselves in quarantine for 10 days without testing or a 7-day quarantine with a negative test on or after day 5 of quarantine. The state's Department of Health outlined the latest guidance... saying that it does not apply to those traveling to and from Pennsylvania for work... medical reasons, including individuals providing comfort and support to a patient.... and, military personnel. Returning individuals who have traveled outside of the Commonwealth for less than 24 hours are also exempt from the Order. More information is available at Health.PA.gov.
There won't be a butter sculpture at next month's annual Pennsylvania Farm Show, which had previously been converted to an all-virtual format because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers say that COVID-19 makes the event too risky for the sculptors, the Farm Show staff, and those involved in recording and broadcasting the event. State officials announced in August that the Farm Show won't be an in-person event, a disappointment for the hundreds of thousands who usually attend the weeklong fair. The January 9-15th event will be virtual, with the theme of "cultivating tomorrow." The Farm Show claims - in normal times - to be the country's largest agricultural exposition under a single roof.