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Coronavirus outbreak coverage

We know that trusted information is important for the health and safety of our region. We're offering free access to our essential Covid-19 coverage, supported by our subscribers.

Below you'll find our daily coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak. We know that trusted information is important for the health and safety of our region. We're offering free access to our essential Covid-19 coverage, supported by our subscribers.

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April 3

'Unacceptable': Poloncarz, local lawmakers push back on Cuomo ventilator mandate: National Guard troops will be dispatched to upstate hospitals and other health care facilities to pick up ventilators, masks and gowns from areas not yet hard-hit by the spread of the coronavirus. But they're not going to find many around here, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said today. Read more

Erie County officials are 'very worried' about more Covid-19 hospitalizations: Erie County officials Friday afternoon announced 68 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the county. The new cases brings the county's total so far to 802, although health department officials caution that limited testing does not give a full picture of the virus's spread. Read more

Niagara County adds 12 more confirmed Covid-19 cases total now 103: The Niagara County Health Department added 12 more confirmed Covid-19 cases to its map Friday, bringing the county's total to 103 cases. Read more

Lockport hospital begins sterilizing N95 masks for reuse; Buffalo hospitals have their doubts: In an effort to stretch the supply of the N95 masks that are regarded as the gold standard for protecting health care workers from the Covid-19 virus, Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport began reusing them Friday after sterilizing them with hydrogen peroxide. Read more

Staying home with a domestic abuser: For some, retreating inside their homes to avoid the new coronavirus carries another risk. They're shut in with someone who'll keep abusing them or start to do so. Read more

Drug overdoses are soaring in WNY: Overdoses on drugs of all kinds – and not just injected drugs – are on the rise across Erie County and other parts of Western New York. Read more

NFTA: Avoid unnecessary travel on Metro Bus and Rail: Metro Bus and Rail riders are being advised to stay off the buses and trains and to use public transportation only for critical trips. Read more

State OKs repoening closed nursing home for Covid-19 patients: The state Department of Health on Friday approved Catholic Health's request to open a closed Orchard Park nursing home to care for individuals with Covid-19, the department announced. Read more

Three area health insurers waiving members' Covid-19 costs: The three major health insurers serving the Buffalo Niagara region are waiving members' costs related to Covid-19. Read more

Buffalo cabs giving banned group rides for Medicaid patients ordered to stop: Thirty-one Buffalo cab companies that were giving Medicaid patients group rides to their medical appointments were ordered to cease and desist Friday by Attorney General Letitia James. Read more

What's one thing that brought you joy this week?: We've been reading (and writing) so many sad stories lately — of increasing tallies of those infected with Covid-19, deaths of loved ones, layoffs and furloughs (including some here at One News Plaza). But we want to share the happy stories, too. Read more

Sidewalk haiku becomes one teacher's outlet for creativity: Lisa Wright was not going to let April go by without coming up with a special project to celebrate National Poetry Month. Read more

$10,000 gift to Hamburg farmer sounded 'too good to be true,' but it was real: Les Draudt had heard the warnings from law enforcement about scammers taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic. So when he got a call from a stranger who had learned via social media and local broadcast outlets that his greenhouse operation was in trouble, he thought someone was trying to make him the next victim. Read more

Passover's disruption by Covid-19 brings Seder in a Box: Brenda Feldstein calls Passover "the Jewish holiday I cherish the most, the one we've always celebrated with so many family members and friends." Read more

"Am I bringing coronavirus home with my groceries?": The Discount Diva's weekly column tackles whether produce carries a risk of coronavirus. Read more

Closing on a house isn't so easy in the Covid-19 world: Even with the local housing market slowing to a crawl, it takes some creativity to close the deals that remain in the works. Read more

You may live alone during Covid-19 but need not feel isolated: Jim Nowicki is concerned about the social isolation than can grip people any time during their Golden Years, so he shared some tips with Refresh. No. 1: Don't panic. Read more

Grocery delivery service GoPuff arrives in Buffalo Niagara: Just as unprecedented demand has overwhelmed home grocery delivery services such as Instacart, Shipt and Rosie, another one has expanded its services to the Buffalo Niagara Market. Read more

Native Pride gives workers temporary pay hike: Native Pride Travel Plaza in Irving is giving its hourly workers a temporary $2 per hour pay raise, retroactive to March 16, to show gratitude for their service to truckers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Seneca Resorts and Casinos to furlough some workers: Seneca Resorts and Casinos will furlough some of its workers starting Monday, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

NCCC postpones commencement ceremony: Niagara County Community College announced Friday that it has postponed its commencement ceremony indefinitely because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

'Who knew keeping vinyl alive would be so hard?' Williamsville record store owner asks: Like so many other independent businessmen in our region and across the globe, Joe Igielinski has had no choice but to attempt to adapt to a business model that acknowledges a largely terrified populace is hunkered down at home, either working remotely or spending hours on hold while they attempt to activate their unemployment benefits. Read more

Gallon bags of margaritas, gigantic burgers among oversized items for WNY takeout: Bulk deals are one strategy restaurants and bars have deployed to entice bored potential customers to order from them. Read more

UB football puts daily operations on the back burner during a global health crisis: The day-to-day operations of the University at Buffalo football program, right now, are secondary for Lance Leipold. Maybe even tertiary. Read more

Local running, biking and outdoor shops look for creative ways to stay afloat: March was mild, which is usually a good thing for local running, biking and outdoor stores. This is the time of year when many enjoy their biggest volume of sales. But the coronavirus outbreak has changed all that. Read more

April 2

The seven deaths announced Thursday were the most of any day in Erie County so far during the Covid-19 pandemic.

And the losses are only starting to mount.

"These numbers may seem huge to us right now," Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said. "In a week's time they'll be, I can't even say, like 10, 20, 30, 100 times more than they are right now."

One of those souls recently lost was 87-year-old Don Pijanowski.

"He was just a Buffalo guy," said his son, John Pijanowski, "and really comfortable there."

The seven Erie County deaths brought the county's total to 19 and the Western New York total to 23, as of late Thursday afternoon.

Officials in Erie and Niagara counties also announced the largest one-day increases in confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Death toll rises to 19, Covid-19 cases in Erie County jump by 131: Both Erie and Niagara counties on Thursday announced the largest one-day increases in confirmed Covid-19 cases in those counties so far during the pandemic. Read more

Sean Kirst: 'A Buffalo guy' lost to Covid-19: 'He deserved a better ending': Sean Kirst shares the story of Don Pijanowski, a man who lost his life due to complications from Covid-19. Read more

Backlash from real estate agents prompts state reversal: New York State has reversed its policy toward real estate agents during the shutdown, first saying that agents could once again show houses to clients, and then clarifying that the showings must be virtual, not in person. Read more

Health care workers fear "we'll run out" of safety equipment: "The fear is, when the surge comes and the situation is dire, that we'll run out," said Patrick Weisansal, an X-ray technician participating in the rally in Niagara Square Thursday. Read more

Immunology pioneer voices great hope for Roswell's experimental Covid-19 treatment: “Nice to see Buffalo on the cutting edge,” said Andy Blidy, who grew up on the West Side and in Evans. Read more

Cuomo: New York a microcosm of U.S. as Covid-19 battle affects urban to rural: As the battle against the coronavirus continues from downstate to upstate, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that New York State provides a model for the nation. Read more

More Buffalo firefighters test positive for Covid-19: 24 firefighters in the Buffalo Fire Department have tested positive for Covid-19, and 52 others are on administrative leave as they self-quarantine "out of an abundance of caution," city officials said Thursday.

Final deals on new, coronavirus-slammed state budget come together in Albany: State lawmakers on Thursday were poised to approve a $178 billion budget that may or may not balance when the votes are cast. Read more

In Covid-19 climate, schools tread water on aid – so far: Considering New York State's very shaky finances, the amount of funding being allocated for public schools next year could be treated as a win by superintendents – if some of the money is not taken back at mid-year. Read more

Stimulus bill to bring $61.3 million to NFTA: The coronavirus crisis "has blown a giant hole in NFTA’s budget that required federal help to fix," Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, who pressed for the aid in the Senate, said on Thursday. Read more

Catholic Health converts hospital wings to Covid-19 units: Catholic Health has converted wings at all of its area hospitals into dedicated treatment areas for suspected Covid-19 patients. Read more

Closed Orchard Park nursing home to reopen as Covid-19 facility: With a surge expected in the number of novel coronavirus cases at local nursing homes, the move would reduce the risk of infection among the frail population by providing a new facility for infected residents to be transferred, according to sources. Read more

After News story, Covid-19 prompts Social Security to postpone health exams: The agency took the action after The Buffalo News reported Saturday that a group of Buffalo attorneys raised concerns about the safety of their clients. Read more

Court proceedings switch to video conference Friday in Erie County: Court proceedings going on amidst the Covid-19 pandemic will be held by video conference beginning Friday. Read more

Grocery delivery apps are overwhelmed with home delivery demand: With people told to stay home and help curb the spread of coronavirus, shoppers have created unprecedented demand for home delivery and curbside pickup of groceries and home essentials. Read more

Coming to construction projects, an expanded prevailing wage: An expansion of the state's prevailing wage to include some private development projects – a change long opposed by business advocates and developers – was part of the budget being finalized in Albany on Thursday. Read more

ECIDA signals leniency to companies that suddenly aren't meeting their job promises: Agency officials still are discussing how to apply its policies to claw back tax breaks that were awarded to companies that then fail to meet their targets for job creation or investment. Read more

'More to life than money': Restaurants wrestle with staying open: Several local restaurants – which originally attempted the takeout-and-delivery route – are choosing a different course of action after a two-week trial period. Read more

In time of crisis, day care families find a way to help each other: One family is keep their son home from day care but paying the full tuition rate so that another child can retain a spot in the center. Read more

WGR's Paul Hamilton, WKSE's DJ Anthony among Entercom radio cuts: Entercom's CEO said furloughs, layoffs and salary cuts are coming as soon as today because of the coronavirus outbreak. Read more

Gallery: Hearts light the night in the Niagara Falls skyline: Niagara Falls, usually experiencing the beginning of its tourist season, is mostly empty amid social distancing efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19. As a sign of solidarity, several hotels are lighting their empty rooms in the shape of a heart. See more

'What if I never get to sing this beautiful music with these people again?': Louis Shafer, music teacher and choral director at Frontier High School in Hamburg, minced no words when it came to the effect school closings amid the coronavirus crisis have had on him. Read more

Column: Mark Norris is making music and ‘thinking locally’ during a crisis: Norris has taken the coronavirus crisis and its attendant downtime as an opportunity to release some new music. Read more

'They're watching their kids regress': Special ed hit hard with school closures: Thousands of students across the region who receive special education services for a range of disabilities while in the classroom are now suddenly going without. Read more

Sinatra, Ellicott shutting down Elmwood Crossing construction within days: Construction work on the first phase of the Elmwood Crossing redevelopment project is expected to stop within days, in keeping with the governor's executive order. Read more

Gallery: Social distancing at the Broadway Market during the Easter season: The Easter season is usually the busiest time of year at the Broadway Market. Some shoppers were still there on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, but minding social distancing practices. See more

Taking it outside: Yard displays spread cheer, encouragement: When The News asked readers to share photos of how they have decorated the outside of their homes in an attempt to spread cheer, Western New Yorkers responded. Read more

The Editorial Board: Covid-19 raises threat of domestic abuse: The News Editorial Board writes that friends and neighbors also have a civic duty to look for signs that someone is being abused. Read more

The Editorial Board: Western New Yorkers should complete their census forms to protect the state: The News Editorial Board writes that filling out the 2020 is critical for New York State. Read more

Another Voice: Pandemic increases need for child abuse prevention: Rebecca Stevens writes that April's National Child Abuse Prevention Month takes on increased significance. Read more

My View: In our new normal, accentuating the positive: Michael Silverman writes that his family is finding happiness in small moments, such as brief opportunities to call out "good morning!" to neighbors. Read more



April 1

The apex of the pandemic – the point at which Covid-19 could fill as many as 110,000 hospital beds and put up to 75,000 people on ventilators – is projected to hit at the end of April, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo warned Wednesday.

"Which means another month of this," he said.

Those were difficult numbers and words to hear as the pandemic continued to take its toll here.

More than 700 people in the Buffalo Niagara region's eight counties have tested positive.

Critically ill Covid-19 patients in WNY start getting new experimental treatment: Critically ill Covid-19 patients at Buffalo hospitals Wednesday started receiving an experimental treatment involving an arthritis drug that showed promise bringing some patients back from the brink of death in China. Read more

Eastern Niagara is first area hospital to offer drive-up urgent care: Eastern Niagara Hospital on Thursday will begin offering drive-up urgent care outside its outpatient center on South Transit Road in Lockport. Read more

Three days after test confirmed Covid-19, Rita Faber was dead: Rita Faber was in otherwise good health for a 90-year-old. But she fell Friday in her apartment at a complex for seniors. She developed a fever in the hospital that night and was placed in isolation. Read more

Dying husband moved from his nursing home to wife's, spends last days holding her hand: Joseph Clark was delivered to his wife’s nursing home so he could die at her side. As he was wheeled into her room Friday afternoon, the first words he said were, “Hi, I love you.” Read more

Citing coronavirus outbreak, Collins seeks delay in imprisonment: Lawyers for Rep. Chris Collins on Wednesday asked a federal judge to delay his imprisonment until June 23 because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Cuomo: Models project apex of Covid-19 crisis in N.Y. at end of April: The model Cuomo cited projected that 110,000 hospital beds and 75,000 ventilators would be needed at the apex. Read more

Erie County's Covid-19 cases jump by 49; WNY death toll rises to 16 while confirmed cases pass 700: Erie County added 49 new cases as of Wednesday afternoon, bringing the county's total to 602. Read more

Niagara County adds 9 new confirmed Covid-19 cases; total now 65: Niagara County's Covid-19 caseload rose to 65 Wednesday, with nine new cases posted on the county Health Department map. Read more

Where Western New York's coronavirus cases are, county by county: As part of our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, The News is tracking the reported Covid-19 cases throughout Western New York's eight counties. Read more

State to real estate agents: OK, you're essential: Attention, real estate agents, appraisers and home inspectors: Get back to work. Read more

Budget details trickle out as talks continue. But there's an asterisk ... : The Covid-19 pandemic means cuts for an assortment of major and minor programs in the state budget. Read more

Covid-19 Q&A: Am I safe if I have a good immune system?: With more confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths come more questions from understandably worried readers. Read more

Pridgen's daughter off ventilator, recovering as family battles Covid-19: Maybe nobody else in Western New York knows and fears the dangers of the Covid-19 virus more than Darius G. Pridgen. Read more

Covid-19 rollback in EPA air, water rules will cause deaths, critics say: By all accounts, there are more than 350 Western New York companies and facilities regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Read more

Council wants to give public its say during virtual committee meetings, hearings: With its first virtual meeting since City Hall closed under its belt, the Buffalo Common Council is now looking to resume committee meetings virtually. Read more

Column: Yes, this virus discriminates, because we still do: The idea that the novel coronavirus is colorblind is no more true than is the notion that American society is colorblind, writes Rod Watson. Read more

How to have groceries delivered without a smartphone or the internet: Home grocery delivery and curbside pickup have become key services for consumers now that they've been told to stay home amid the coronavirus outbreak. Read more

Can I pay the rent? Tenants struggle, landlords worry as the rent comes due: April rent is due, and it's causing a lot of worry among tenants in the region. Read more

Small business financial help: What's available?: The federal government is taking steps to help small businesses endure. Read more

Cuomo order halts North Tonawanda street project: The City of North Tonawanda halted work on a downtown street reconstruction project because of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's order barring nonessential construction projects, the city announced Wednesday. Read more

Gallery: Thurman Thomas, Osteria 166 partner with community groups to donate 1,000 meals: Pastor James Giles with Buffalo Peacemakers and Back To Basics Outreach Ministries picked up the prepared dinners and with the help of an army of volunteers who distributed the boxed suppers to needy families. See more

Car inspection overdue? New York will give you more time: The state DMV says anyone whose vehicle inspection was due in March or later has an indefinite extension because of the Covid-19 crisis. Read more

Column: 'Bailout' is far from rescue for Western New York's restaurants: "I realized the word 'bailout' is grotesquely inaccurate. Call it 'bridge financing' instead – because not one restaurateur guessed it would make their businesses and people whole again," Andrew Galarneau writes. Read more

From battling opponents, to battling Covid-19, ex-athletes in health care lean on experience: Each day Meghan Fonfara goes into Erie County Medical Center with no idea what to expect. Read more

Jack Eichel , Jeff Skinner giving back to those affected by Covid-19 in Buffalo: JJack Eichel and Jeff Skinner of the Buffalo Sabres are using their platform to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Western New York. Read more

Gallery: Chinese Club of WNY donates masks to hospitals: The Chinese Club of WNY, a nonprofit group, raised $30,000 to buy masks from China to donate to hospitals and other organizations in need. They dropped off 2,000 surgical masks and 500 N95 masks to ECMC on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. See more

Yes, Bills' Levi Wallace gave out his phone number. Here's why: The Buffalo Bills' cornerback posted his cellphone number on Instagram at about noon Tuesday, and invited anyone who wanted to talk with him to call. Read more

Wimbledon is latest major sporting event to be canceled: Wimbledon is the latest major sporting event disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. Read more

Opinion: Cuomo's urgent plea for help is a plan for all at-risk states: The News Editorial Board writes that cooperation across the board will be needed to avoid 100,000 Covid-19 fatalities across the U.S. Read more

Opinion: Musk makes the right call in enlisting RiverBend to make ventilators: The News Editorial Board writes Elon Musk deserves credit for making use of a facility built with state money to provide a service to New Yorkers. Read more

March 31

No one knows precisely when the peak will hit.

So as the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases grows, the anxiety builds.

Better brace yourself, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday.

"Calibrate yourself and your expectations," Cuomo said, "so you’re not disappointed every morning you get up."

Two more Covid-19 deaths; confirmed cases rise to 553 in biggest daily increase for Erie County: The total of Erie County cases is up to 499 after the county added 36 more cases to the list Tuesday morning. Read more

Cuomo on the apex of Covid-19 battle: 'It's not going to be soon': The toughest fight against the coronavirus has yet to come, and it is a long way off, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Read more

It's unclear if local hospitals can help relieve NYC hospital pressure: Local hospitals are preparing for a possible surge of Covid-19 patients here, their executives say, so it's unclear how they will be able to respond to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's call to relieve pressure on New York City hospitals, some of which are swamped with patients. Read more

Covid-19 spawns even more confusion for voters in NY-27: It might safely be said that few political scenarios in America are more confused than the on-again, off-again contest for New York's 27th Congressional District. Read more

17 Buffalo cops and 16 firefighters test positive for Covid-19: Seventeen Buffalo police officers have tested positive for Covid-19. So have 16 employees of the Buffalo Fire Department. Read more

Niagara County has five new Covid-19 cases, bringing total to 56: Five new cases have been confirmed in the past 24 hours. Read more

Sean Kirst: At ECMC, shaken doctor shares lessons from the 'Covid floor': Friday was Dr. Erik Jensen's first shift on ECMC’s “Covid floor,” which has existed for only about a week on the hospital's 12th floor. “I was not prepared for what I saw,” he said. Read more

Spring break canceled for many New York schools: Gov. Cuomo on March 27 issued an executive order directing schools to remain closed until April 15 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Seven Roswell Park employees test positive for Covid-19: Hospital officials did not provide details on what jobs the employees performed, how much contact they had with patients nor when they learned of the positive tests. Read more

Tesla is shipping some ventilators to New York hospitals: Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that Tesla would be giving away all of its ventilators, "whether we buy them or build them." Read more

Virtual meetings fill void for those suffering from addiction: “I felt like I was home again, seeing people’s faces and their expressions and sharing our common peril,” said Lindsey, a recovering alcoholic from the Town of Tonawanda who attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Read more

Homeowners finding more ways to spread cheer: First, rainbow decorations began brightening neighborhoods. Next came stuffed teddy bears in windows, as residents helped kids “hunt” for bears as they went on walks with their families. Read more

A full-time musician’s trials, triumphs during social distance age: “There are lots of different audiences out there that I thought I might be able to bring some joy to via live Facebook broadcasts – kids who are out of school, housebound adults with an interest in history, and, of course, music fans,” area Dave Ruch said. Read more

Bishop Timon/St. Jude ending school year Friday: The school will end its school year Friday, which is the end of its third quarter. Read more

Citing Covid-19, Chef's is closing temporarily: One of Buffalo’s iconic eating establishments – Chef’s Restaurant – will close its doors temporarily at 8 p.m. Saturday because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

New Covid-19 program helps restaurants feed health care workers: The Covid-19 crisis has given rise to a new program that provides assistance to two groups that are feeling the impact of the virus – health care workers and local restaurants. Read more

How WNY's local markets are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic: Here's a sampling of markets, which rely on local producers for at least a portion of their products. Read more

Fine-dining Buffalo takeout that makes it worth your while to leave home: Andrew Galarneau can report there are still excellent reasons to leave your house for a meal. Read more

The Buffalo News plans to furlough workers due to impact of coronavirus outbreak: The Buffalo News plans to furlough or lay off an unspecified number of workers and mandate that the company's nonunion employees and executives take furloughs or pay cuts equal to two weeks of pay between now and late June. Read more

Temporary layoffs begin for Seneca Nation workers: The Seneca Nation of Indians is temporarily laying off much of its workforce, effective next week. Read more

After soaring for years, Buffalo's housing market comes to screeching halt: After years of bustling sales and rising prices, Buffalo's housing market has ground to an abrupt halt. Read more

We asked, you answered: What do you think of 'bored shopping'?: Samantha Christmann's story about bored shoppers heading out to stores like Home Depot and Lowe's for nonessential items sparked a lot of discussion among readers. Read more

St. Joe's coach on having Covid-19: 'Loneliness of it all' was hardest part: Gabe Michael is believed to be the first head coach – amateur or professional – from an area sports team to be diagnosed with coronavirus. Read more

School districts differ on paying high school coaches during coronavirus hiatus: This is a spring season like no other in the history of Western New York high school sports. Read more

Lexington Avenue dancers highlighted on 'Today': The Lexington Avenue dancers received their minute of national fame Tuesday morning on NBC’s “Today.” Read more

Essential workers deserve respect from employers and customers: The News Editorial Board writes that, without cashiers, security officers pharmacists and fast-food workers, an already changed society would grind to a halt. Read more

With coronavirus' inevitable spread, we must stay the course: The News Editorial Board writes that Western New York has no choice but to stay vigilant in stopping the spread of Covid-19. Read more

Hand washing by hospital visitors has never been more important: Practicing hand hygiene through hand washing remains one of the simplest, cheapest and most effective measures to prevent infections, writes Dr. Edward Sutanto, MD. Read more

Cherishing connections that relieve loneliness: Marge McMillen writes that she relishes phone calls with friends and family during these days of social distancing. Read more

March 30

More than 1,200 New Yorkers have died from Covid-19, with 66,000 testing positive for the virus as of Monday.

In Western New York, with well over 500 confirmed cases in its eight counties, the death toll rose to 12, with Allegany, Chautauqua and Genesee counties each recording their first deaths.

"That's a lot of loss, that's a lot of pain, that's a lot of tears, that's a lot of grief that people all across the state are feeling," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said as he asked medical workers from around the country to come to the aid of New York.

Erie County sees eighth death from Covid-19, as cases reach 443: That's 29 new Covid-19 cases announced as of Monday afternoon. Read more

Covid-19 deaths in New York State grow beyond 1,200: There have been 1,218 deaths in the state, up from 965 deaths as of midday Sunday, the governor said. So far, there have been 414 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Erie County as of early Monday afternoon. Read more

Two 1-year-olds among Niagara County's Covid-19 cases, now at 51: The Niagara County Health Department updated its online map of cases for the first time since Friday, showing new cases across the county by municipality. Read more

Staying connected while social distancing in Western New York (gallery): Area residents are distancing themselves from others to help stop the spread of Covid-19. The Buffalo News' photography staff captured some moments in this stay-at-home time. View gallery

Erie County comptroller waives hotel tax penalties: Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw is temporarily waiving all penalties for hotel owners who were late paying their March 20 hotel bed tax, as long they request a waiver. Read more

Covid-19 concerns delay more local elections: The governor said that any village, school board or library board elections scheduled for April or May will be postponed. Read more

More Buffalo police officers test positive for Covid-19: Ten officers with the Buffalo Police Department have tested positive for Covid-19 as of Monday, said Police Capt. Jeff Rinaldo during the city's Covid-19 update. Read more

A peaceful goodbye for a hospice patient whose family wanted to be by his side: “He’s at peace and I was happy to be able to be with him,” said Elvin “Bill” Hanley's wife Miriam, who spent most of Sunday with him before he died that evening. Read more

Is it really a strike if Instacart workers aren't employees?: Workers have been pushing Instacart to provide enhanced sick pay, better pay, hand sanitizer and disinfectant, with no success. Read more

Mattel using Barbie and Fisher-Price fabric to make face shields: The masks will be distributed to hospitals and first responders later this week. Read more

On a balcony, nursing home resident finds fresh air – and family: "FaceTime is a wonderful thing, but it was like the next best thing to going up and visiting her in person. I could make that connection in person," Mary Guishard said of her recent visit with her mother, Mary Catalino, at Fox Run in Orchard Park. Read more

Fog descends on Albany as coronavirus uncertainties weigh heavily on state budget talks: With safe distancing orders underway, and lobbyists and many staffers being mandated not to enter the Capitol, the 2020 state budget process will go down in history as the most nontransparent New York has ever seen. Read more

NCAA grants waiver to spring sports athletes for extra year of eligibility: Athletes in winter sports, however, will not receive an extra year of eligibility. Read more

The Editorial Board: Don’t forget the prisoners: Too much is happening too fast for American society to respond quickly and effectively to all the demands this virus has imposed. But we can do what we can and that includes the people who are behind bars and those who supervise them. Read more

What are the rules for video meetings with NFL draft prospects?: As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, virtual face-to-face conversations are now the only kind the league will permit as clubs do their homework for the April 23-25 draft. Read more

The Editorial Board: Be prepared for a painful state budget: Like the Covid-19 pandemic, itself, this is a genuine crisis. The only immediate real wiggle room is the possibility of some short-term borrowing to offset the three-month delay we all got on paying our taxes – an appropriate option under the circumstances. Read more

Some firms are still paying furloughed workers – for now: Employers are handling their workers' situation in a variety of ways – including layoffs and pay reductions – since the effects of Covid-19 struck the region's economy with full force this month. Read more

PUSH Buffalo cancels April rent for tenants: PUSH Buffalo, the nonprofit neighborhood activist group, has canceled and forgiven April rent payments for all of its residential and commercial tenants because of the coronavirus outbreak, and is calling on other Buffalo-area landlords to follow suit. Read more

Special Covid-19 unit set up at Amherst nursing home: A 22-bed nursing home unit dedicated exclusively to Covid-19 hospital patients who require additional care when they are discharged is opening up at Elderwood at Amherst. Read more

Free 'financial checkups' available: Consumer Credit Counseling Service is offering free "financial checkups" for people concerned about financial issues amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Barrel & Brine owners move forward by giving back, with free lunch program: The free bagged lunch program from Barrel + Brine offers sustenance to any and all who might need it and comes with a “no questions asked” guarantee. Read more

Slow Roll Buffalo announces new social distance rides: Slow Roll Buffalo released five mapped routes from its 2016 season with step-by-step directions for bikers to follow. Each ride is a beginner route of about 10 miles, perfect for those new to the sport or who haven't biked in a couple of years. Read more

M&T providing 15% temporary wage hike for some employees: M&T Bank is providing a temporary 15% per hour wage increase to about one-third of its workforce, for employees who cannot work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Join Narcotics Anonymous on Zoom through Facebook: Narcotics Anonymous meetings that can no longer be held in person because of Covid-19 have moved online. Read more

Bowman Showcase off but team rosters announced: The three all-star hockey games that make up the Scotty Bowman Showcase were canceled for this year because of the coronavirus outbreak, but the rosters of players who had been chosen to play were released by the Sabres. Read more

UB epidemiologist breaks down Covid-19 and potential impact on WNY: Dr. Thomas A. Russo, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, talks with The Buffalo News about the dangers of the novel coronavirus and the mysteries that cloud saving the sickest of its victims. Read more

In Spanish-flu-stricken Buffalo of 1918, death and fear marched hand in hand: October 1918 was the month that death knocked on more than a thousand doors throughout Western New York. In Buffalo alone during those 31 days, Spanish flu sickened more than 22,000 people and killed nearly 1,800, according to a report in the University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine. Read more

Canisius' Reggie Witherspoon: 'This is happening, and it is happening very quickly': Two days after the Golden Griffins lost to Iona in a MAAC Tournament game March 10, the entire tournament and the NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. While Canisius’ season ended two days prior, the outbreak continues to impact the Griffs. Read more

Labs scrambling to test for Covid-19 face same obstacle: Not enough supplies: Clinical laboratories in Western New York racing to find new ways of testing for the novel coronavirus face the same problem many people find at the supermarket these days. A dearth of products. Read more

With schools on pause, will seniors have enough credits to graduate?: With schools shut down due to the spread of the new coronavirus, districts want to make sure students who are on track to graduate still do. But there's also acknowledgement that any extended period of school closures could, in some cases, pose problems for meeting graduation requirements. Read more

With Canada all but closed, a woman finds herself lost between two shores: Eileen Kelsey, like thousands of Western New Yorkers, loves Lake Erie. Her living arrangements have allowed her to be on it year-round – in her Angola rental from November to April, and in her longtime family cottage on Bertie Bay from May to October. But with the end of her lease approaching and the U.S.-Canadian border closed, Kelsey is unsure where she will live after April. Read more

March 29

Brace yourself, Western New York.

A "rolling apex" will see infections peak around the state, with upstate and by implication Western New York likely to follow downstate areas, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

The governor also said a less intrusive form of Covid-19 test that limits health care workers' exposure is expected to be ready next week.

In Washington, President Trump backed off from his earlier hope that the country would be back to work by Easter, saying the federal government’s guidelines for social distancing would last until April 30.

The total number of New York residents testing positive for Covid-19 reached nearly 60,000 Sunday, with the death total rising over 1,000, one-quarter of them residents in nursing homes. There have been 8,503 hospitalizations, with more than 1,700 in intensive care and 3,572 people released, 846 on Saturday alone.

Erie County counted 34 more confirmed Covid-19 cases, raising the number to 414, with one death bringing the total to seven.

Niagara County reported 10 new positive tests Sunday, nearly quadrupling its total to 38.

Cuomo predicts 'rolling apex' for N.Y., Trump extends social distancing guidelines to April 30: As Gov. Cuomo warned of a "rolling apex" of peak cases for Covid-19 in downstate, then upstate, President Trump said Sunday the federal government’s guidelines for social distancing would last until April 30. Read more

 Erie County gets shipment of protective masks, gowns and gloves from the state: The asks, face shields, gowns and gloves will go to hospitals, skilled nursing facilities,  first responders and other medical providers. Read more

Seven people have died as confirmed Covid-19 cases in Erie County soar past 400: Seven people in Erie County have now died of the novel coronavirus. Read more

10 more test positive for Covid-19 in Niagara County; total now at 38: The county said no further information about the victims was available. Read more

Most people with Covid-19 symptoms can't get tested: Faced with widespread transmission and a nationwide shortage of test supplies, New York State this week urged public health labs to restrict their tests to health care workers and certain types of high-risk patients. The protocols reflect a strategic shift occurring both in New York State and other emerging hot spots. Read more

Council President Darius Pridgen sharing his battle with coronavirus: Buffalo Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen on Sunday was the first local public official to announce he has tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more

Remember when the steel plants closed? This is twice as bad: With much of the economy shutting down because of the coronavirus outbreak, the unemployment rate across Buffalo Niagara now likely tops 20%, and it could be closer to 25% or even 30%, David Robinson writes. Read more

With big spending cuts eyed, lawmakers head back to Albany for fiscal dealmaking: A state of confusion has engulfed talks over creation of a new state budget, due this week. Read more

The 'eerily creepy' Buffalo Niagara airport, nearly silenced by Covid-19: Not since the terrorist attacks of 2001 grounded all air transportation has the Buffalo airport appeared so deserted and forlorn. Read more

A Lederman road trip packed with Canadians, comedy and memories: Gerry Lederman typically leaves Pompano, Fla., later in the spring, flying back to her Amherst home with her daughter. Her son insisted this year had to be different. Read more

How Covid-19 impacts recruiting in college sports: The NCAA moratorium limits a coaching staff’s reach in recruiting and inhibits its ability to plan recruiting classes one, two or even three years down the road. Read more

March 28

New York State is two to three weeks from its peak Covid-19 caseload, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday. As of the afternoon, 7,328 New Yorkers had been hospitalized with Covid-19 statewide, 52 of them in Erie County. More than 1,700 New Yorkers were also in intensive care, including 23 locally.

In response to the rising case numbers, state officials announced on Saturday that both the presidential primary elections and a special election in the 27th Congressional District would be postponed until June. President Trump early Saturday also suggested he was weighing a mandatory quarantine order for New York, though Cuomo said he knew no details and had not discussed the matter with the president. Trump later pulled back the quarantine proposal for New York State, and instead directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a "travel advisory" urging residents not to travel inside the country for the next two weeks unless it was essential.

In Western New York, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz urged residents to take their temperatures twice daily, even if they don’t exhibit Covid-19 symptoms.

But despite the increasingly dire warnings, there are signs some Western New Yorkers have not taken the urgency of the pandemic to heart. On Friday night, the Erie County Department of Health shut down two bars – the Swannie House in Buffalo and A.J.'s Clarence Hollow in Clarence – for operating in violation of the governor’s March 16 “PAUSE” order. People have also congregated at Western New York home improvement stores, parks and golf courses.

Covid-19 peak in New York is 2-3 weeks off, Cuomo says: Both Erie County and New York State are taking aggressive new steps against Covid-19 – but more hospital beds and ventilators are still needed, and some residents have failed to take the deadly virus seriously. Read more

Number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Erie County rises to 380: An additional 70 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus Saturday. Read more

Elections postponed as New York State continues to ramp up efforts to fight Covid-19 outbreak: New York State will push its presidential primary elections and a special election in the 27th Congressional District to June 23, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Saturday, as part of a growing slate of preparations and precautions in the state’s battle against Covid-19. Read more

Change in date for special election could alter race for NY-27: The change in the date for the special election for the 27th District means that Chris Jacobs has lost the chance at what many observers said was likely to be an upper hand in the Republican primary.  Read more

Avoid unnecessary travel for 14 days, CDC advises three states, including New York: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation Saturday night for no unnecessary travel for the next 14 days because of Covid-19 for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, following through on a request by President Trump for “a strong travel advisory.” Read more

Roswell Park VP placed on leave for anti-Trump Facebook posts: Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and a local medical research institution have each placed a top executive on leave for their Facebook bashings of President Trump's response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Read more

In time of Covid-19, cleaning people earn gratitude too long deferred: Sean Kirst writes that one of the revelations made clear by the worry is a wave of gratitude for people doing jobs that demand elemental human interaction. Read more

Those who need mental health care during Covid-19 crisis can find it: "we’re open and outpatient systems are up and running, but we’ve made changes to reduce the exposure to Covid-19 and protect both our patients and our staff,” said Dr. Michael Cummings, ECMC associate medical director, who oversees the trauma hospital’s behavioral health services. Read more

Government exposing Social Security applicants to Covid-19 risk, attorneys charge: “Our president, our governor and county executive are telling people with underlying health issues to stay home. Social Security tells them to go to a place where they may be exposed to people who are sick. It’s outrageous.” Read more

Kaleida orders staff to wear masks around all patients: Kaleida Health now requires all staff members to wear procedural/surgical masks when they are within six feet of any patient or another staff member. Read more

Erie County shuts down Swannie House, A.J.'s Clarence Hollow: The Erie County Health Department on Friday shut down a tavern in Buffalo and another in Clarence for violating the state's restrictions on how bars and restaurants can operate during the Covid-19 outbreak. Read more

The Editorial Board: Stimulus bill's largess looks necessary to steady a pandemic-ravaged economy: The News' Editorial Board writes that the Senates $2 trillion stimulus bill is a necessary rescue effort, as important to public morale as it is to the nation’s bottom line. Read more

Viewpoints: An agonizing decision: Stay in Montreal, or return (via Buffalo) to Pittsburgh?: Special to The News Cyndi Skrzycki wrote about her dilemma concerning whether she should stay in Canada, where she was living for a yearlong teaching fellowship, once the Covid-19 crisis hit. Read more

My View: Living with uncertainty in an age of coronavirus: Pamela Brunskill shares a touching story about her daughter's battle with cancer and writes that the coronavirus, like cancer, reminds us how precarious societal routines and structures are. Read more

Bird Island Pier closed over Covid-19 distancing concerns: The City of Buffalo has closed the Bird Island Pier until further notice to help limit the spread of Covid-19. Read more

Welcome to pandemic schooling: "The day to day of it has been so stressful": We're heading into Week Three of no school and trying to teach the kids from home. How's that going for you? It's been all but overwhelming for some parents. Read more

Seniors fear missing out on 'the best memories from high school': Buffalo Seminary student Sophie Fogel has wondered for years what it would be like to attend graduation with her senior class. Now she's unsure she'll find out because of Covid-19. Read more

It was Viva Las Vegas in 2019 for Canisius grad Fran Riordan, now awaiting another season: The shutdown of spring training didn't just put a sudden stop on things for players. Especially when it comes to the minor leagues, coaches and managers are all trying to push forward to make the majors someday, too. Read more

Offseason priorities shift for Jim Whitesell, UB men’s basketball: Jim Whitesell has constantly communicated with each of his players and staff members on the University at Buffalo men’s basketball team in the last two weeks. Read more

Get brunch – and mimosas – to go from these Buffalo-area restaurants: The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on the restaurant industry, so many eaters are searching for ways to support their favorites during these difficult times. Read more

Photo gallery: Adjusting to the new normal in the time of Covid-19: Western New Yorkers are still adjusting to the new normal created by social distancing restrictions due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but many are finding ways to enjoy a different way of life as the weather gets warmer. Read more

March 27

More than 360 Western New Yorkers have tested positive for Covid-19, as hospitalizations begin to increase. And another Erie County resident died, a woman in her 40s, bringing to seven the number of deaths in the region.

The number of Erie County coronavirus patients in intensive care nearly tripled to 20.

It's just the beginning.

“I think that we are still at the beginning of our uptick," said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein. "I mean, we haven’t even nearly reached our peak and we’re going to see more and more numbers. We’re going to see more people hospitalized. We’re going to unfortunately see more deaths.”

"There were 89 NEW positive cases in total today," County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted Friday night."Our total positives cases is now 310, though in good news, 27 have recovered."

Covid-19 death of Buffalo woman in her early 40s shocks friend: Louvienia "Lou Lou" Henderson of Buffalo was full of life, said her friend of 20 years, Melodie Baker of Clarence, so it came as a huge shock to Baker to learn that Henderson was the sixth person in Erie County to die from the Covid-19 virus. "She was so young and healthy. I can't believe that she died. It's unimaginable." Read more

Fewer patients showing up at ERs as hospitals prep for Covid-19 surge: The emergency departments at area hospitals will be the first to be hit with the expected surge in Covid-19 cases, so hospital officials are preparing by erecting tents in their parking lots, among other moves. So far, the surge hasn't hit. Read more

Bored shoppers crowd "essential" stores for nonessentials: It's easy to see how essential it is to keep nurses, scientists and grocery workers on the job during the coronavirus pandemic. But dog groomers? Paint mixers? Bookstore employees? That gets a little more controversial. Read more

Erie County's Covid-19 peak is still weeks away, Poloncarz says: As it has throughout the United States, the coronavirus pandemic continues to increase significantly in scope in Western New York: More cases, more deaths, more hospitalizations. Read more

Trump signs $2 trillion relief bill, clearing way for checks for Americans: President Trump on Friday signed into law the largest economic stimulus package in modern American history, backing a $2 trillion measure designed to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Nonessential construction must shut down, governor says: The construction industry in Buffalo and statewide just got the order it dreaded. Read more

Sheriff Howard says he won't oppose release of some inmates: Prisoner rights advocates have been calling for the release of as many inmates as possible from the Erie County Holding Center in downtown Buffalo and the Correctional Facility in Alden. Read more

Covid-19 won't shut down car inspections: New York has extended the deadline for renewing licenses, non-driver IDs and registrations for vehicles with an expiration date of March 1 or later.But vehicle inspections aren't exempt, even amid a pandemic, according to the New York DMV. Read more

The Editorial Board: From a teacher to foundations to two billionaires, Western New York steps up. The coalition of 18 foundations that formed the Western New York Covid-19 Community Response Fund are leading the way in doing good for our community in a perilous time. Read more

Work-from-home clothing? It's a thing: On social media, people are sharing tips for staying productive at home, including how getting showered and dressed will make one feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. Read more

Embassy Suites cuts staff; Sunny Sky closes factory: Job losses are mounting locally, as two companies have cut 43 positions in recent days, although for different reasons – one because of Covid-19 and one for other economic conditions. Read more

Lexington couple shares the love with daily balcony music: “This gives everyone a chance to step out into the fresh air, wave to their neighbors, dance a bit, and feel some joy in their day,” Nadja Piatk said. Read more

Covid-19 to keep NY schools closed until April 15: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he expects the apex of the Covid-19 spread will be in 21 days, and the state is doing all it can to increase its hospital bed and ventilator capacity by then. Read more

Cattaraugus County reports first Covid-19 case: Cattaraugus is the last of the eight counties in Western New York to report a confirmed case of the illness. Read more

Citing Covid-19, Buffalo's New Era furloughs majority of workforce: “In my 40 years at New Era, I have never experienced a series of events that have so quickly and adversely impacted our business,” said Chris Koch, New Era’s CEO. Read more

Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Niagara County rises to 28: County Public Information Officer Kevin D. Schuler said three of the 28 people confirmed to have Covid-19 have recovered. Read more

Some Buffalo area golf courses open with new Covid-19 safety measures: State officials say golf courses are allowed to maintain their grounds and open for play, as long as they follow social distancing and other safety measures meant to limit the spread of Covid-19. Read more

Niagara Falls closes all playgrounds and sports facilities: Niagara Falls Mayor Robert M. Restaino on Friday ordered the closure of all playgrounds, sports facilities and skateboard parks in the city until further notice. Read more

Third Erie County Sheriff's employee tests positive for Covid-19: The employee, who works in the Jail Management Division, is now in isolation, officials said. Read more

Code Blue homeless shelters transition to 'Code-19': The Western New York Coalition for the Homeless, which has run the Code Blue shelters for the homeless during frigid nights since 2009, is providing support related to the coronavirus pandemic starting Friday night. Read more

Area colleges donate equipment to hospitals, Erie County lab: Niagara University, UB doing what they can to help medical professionals get some much-needed supplies because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Read more

UB medical student tests positive for Covid-19: The student in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is self-isolating in the student's off-campus residence, according to Dr. Michael E. Cain, UB's vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School. Read more

Synagogues in Buffalo, Ontario plan online Shabbat service: The two synagogues are responding to the Covid-19 related closing of the U.S.-Canada border with what Myers promised would be a lively Shabbat service with plenty of music. Read more

Covid-19 or not, Western New York has serious health issues: Half of the eight counties in Western New York – including Erie and Niagara – continue to sit in the bottom 10 counties across the state when it comes to health outcomes. Read more

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for Covid-19: He is the first leader of a major Western country known to have contracted the virus. Read more

Essential indeed: Can we finally admit that retail workers are important?: Retail workers are underappreciated in the best of times. Now, they're unsung heroes, the Discount Diva writes. Read more

Social distance gatherings and the virtues of virtual beers: In a region that has never been shy about its love for a celebratory beer or three, plenty of people are finding a way to carry on traditions of good cheer while maintaining social responsibility, in what we all must finally acknowledge is “the new normal.” Read more

Child care providers down but not out, as network matches them with essential workers: A program underway – one that provides a system to match employees of essential businesses with child care programs that remain open and have vacancies – was initiated by Maria Whyte, deputy county executive, and the Resource Network. Read more

Where to turn if Covid-19 anxiety or depression get the best of you: Mental health specialists can help people reframe how someone approaches fear, anger and other emotions which can lead to bad choices that can worsen during a crisis, said Brian Costello, a counselor with Core Mental Health Counseling. Read more

Seven ways to build Covid-19 resilience and ease your anxieties: These ideas should help you gain a better sense that what unites us matters more than what scares and divides us. Read more

Russell Salvatore serenades quarantined customers via Facebook: "I'm gonna try to bring you an inspirational song every day to put a smile on your face," Salvatore, owner of Russell's Steaks, Chops & More and Salvatore's Grand Hotel in Clarence, said in one video. Read more

March 26

Three more Erie County residents died from Covid-19, bringing the county's death toll to five, County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Thursday night.

Two hundred and sixty people in Western New York's eight counties have now been diagnosed with Covid-19.

The first patients were admitted Thursday to the Covid-19 Treatment Facility at St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga, which Catholic Health has transformed into a coronavirus-only hospital.

Statewide, the number of positive cases rose to over 37,000.

And deaths jumped by 100 cases overnight to 385 across the state.

"The number of deaths is increasing," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday from Albany. "People are dying. That's the worst news you can have."

Death toll up to 5 in Erie County as confirmed Covid-19 cases across WNY swell to 260: Thirty-one people in Erie County were hospitalized as of Wednesday night. Read more

Three on SUNY Buffalo State campus test positive for Covid-19: Three members of the SUNY Buffalo State College community have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a message sent out to college students and staff Thursday. Read more

First patients admitted to St. Joseph Campus, now a Covid-19 hospital: The facility will have 55 to 60 critical care beds and 100 to 120 beds in all for Covid-19 patients. Read more

Cuomo: 385 dead from Covid-19 in New York State: An additional 100 deaths from Covid-19 were reported overnight in New York State. Read more

Niagara County confirms 5 new Covid-19 cases; one has already recovered: The new cases brought the total confirmed in the county to 19. Read more

Grandfather, veteran, neighbor, friend: Now dead from Covid-19: Walter H. Monahan of Kenmore is the second Erie County resident to die from Covid-19. Read more

Retired priests quarantined after residence worker gets Covid-19: Fourteen Catholic priests are being monitored and kept in isolation, after an employee at a home in Lackawanna for retired priests tested positive for Covid-19. Read more

Erie County's map of where Covid-19 cases are: See an interactive map of confirmed cases of Covid-19. Read more

New state budget could allow Cuomo to make large, unknown spending cuts: Everyone is going to have to deal with the reality," Gov. Cuomo said of a new, floating kind of approach to spending for the coming fiscal year. Read more

Medicaid change dropped from federal stimulus, irking Cuomo: New York State didn't get the help from Congress that its Medicaid program needed after all. Read more

Trudeau, Higgins lash out at U.S. plan for troops near Canadian border: The Trump administration is suggesting the possibility of sending troops to the Canadian border to prevent Covid-19-infected undocumented immigrants from entering. Read more

Consent waived for sharing Covid-19 test results to patients' doctors: HEALTHeLINK, which supports electronic medical record keeping, announced Wednesday that it is supporting epidemiology, surveillance and related efforts that include tracking and alert notifications to providers about both positive and negative test results as the novel coronavirus continues to spread. Read more

Buffalo teachers are grading homework while school is closed. Some suburban districts won't: Half a dozen suburban districts contacted by The Buffalo News said they either are not grading student work or haven't decided yet. Read more

Tops, Wegmans, Dash's installing plexiglass to shield workers: Grocery stores' latest weapon in the fight against coronavirus is plexiglass. Read more

Column: 98-year-old, grandson lean on – and learn from – each other during trying times: Dante Lasting has been living in the same house with his grandfather, where Lasting does what he can to help his grandfather while both men avoid outside contact as much as possible during this time of concern about Covid-19. Read more

Small Business Administration's Buffalo center is staffing up: The Small Business Administration's Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center in Buffalo is staffing up, to help small businesses suffering economic hardship from the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

'Stakes are high': Essential workers are happy to be employed, but scared for their safety: Fast-food, grocery, retail and other essential workers are finding themselves in an odd position. Read more

Some businesses are still hiring in Covid-19 pandemic: While many local businesses have been forced to close and sideline workers in response to the coronavirus pandemic, others in the community are still open and expanding their hiring during the crisis. Read more

Transit Drive-in stays closed: 'No one is going to get sick because I kept the drive-in open': "It's a nonessential business, and it's an unnecessary risk," said Rick Cohen, owner of the Transit Drive-in in Lockport. Read more

With YouTube guitar videos, county executive hopes 'music brings us together': Some among us might be surprised to see Mark Poloncarz popping up on YouTube with a guitar in his hands. Read more

FC Buffalo's traditional season canceled as NPSL suspends play due to Covid-19: For the first time in a decade, there will not be men's amateur soccer league action in Buffalo. Read more

Elma firm donates nut milk for health care workers: An Elma company delivered more than 2,000 pounds of nut milk products to Roswell Park Comprehensive Care Center Tuesday, the beginning of its initiative to help out in the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. Read more

How to do Easter, Passover and Ramadan in the midst of coronavirus: People are finding ways to make it work this year – to somehow stay connected during this time of social distancing and restricted gatherings. Read more

Millennium Buffalo Hotel rolls out welcome mat to medical workers: The nine-story hotel on Walden Avenue, across from the Walden Galleria, plans to offer "deeply-discounted room rates" for nurses, doctors and other medical personnel, both for overnight stays as well as just for day use. Read more

Erie County officials brace for financial hit, will consider short-term borrowing: Erie County stands to lose tens of millions of dollars in sales tax revenue over the next two to three months with retailers shut down and people losing jobs amid the coronavirus outbreak. Read more

Senate unanimously passes $2 trillion stimulus plan: The Senate voton Wednesday to approve a sweeping $2 trillion fiscal measure to shore up the U.S. economy as it weathers the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, advancing the largest fiscal stimulus package in modern American history. Read more

It's March and there's a pandemic. So what's going on with school budgets?: It's March, and normally school superintendents would be figuring out how to lower taxes in next year's budget, as well as checking the prospects for state aid. Instead, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they are making sure they are getting school lunches delivered to their students and figuring out how to keep in touch with children who are home – not to mention providing daycare for the children of health care workers. Read more

New Bisons GM awaits chance to play ball as pandemic throws curve: On March 9, Anthony Sprague was named general manager – just the third GM in the franchise's modern era of Triple-A baseball dating to 1985. He was at spring training in Dunedin, Fla., when the sports world shut down. No one knows when baseball will be played at Sahlen Field this season, or when Sprague can run his first season downtown. Read more

March 25

While a $2 trillion stimulus plan was being meted out in Washington on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo demanded more money for the state as he again called for more ventilators to help save the lives of the sickest Covid-19 patients. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted the temporarily shuttered solar panel factory in Buffalo "will reopen for ventilator production as soon as humanly possible."

The state has its hands on 15,000 breathing machines. That's half the anticipated need, Cuomo said, as the state's number of confirmed cases rose to over 30,000. There are roughly 360 ventilators in the Buffalo Niagara region. More will be needed, officials said, based on Covid-19 projections.

Meanwhile, a second death from Covid-19 in Erie County was announced Wednesday evening.

The Erie County Health Department, which received a new shipment for coronavirus testing, reopened a drive-thru facility in Amherst. But testing is limited to health care workers, people living in group settings, law enforcement and women about to give birth or who just gave birth and have symptoms.

The Health Department provided one hopeful figure: Four county residents have recovered from the virus.

Second person in Erie County dies from Covid-19: The county's death toll remains at one, while four people have recovered from the disease so far. Read more

Niagara County announces two new Covid-19 cases, one recovery: That brings the county's total to 14 confirmed cases. Thirteen patients are now isolated. Read more

Buffalo police officer in critical condition from Covid-19 as 3 others test positive: A Buffalo police school resource officer is in critical but stable condition after testing positive for Covid-19. Read more

A Covid-19 patient's advice to fellow millennials: Take this seriously.: A suburban woman says she wishes she had taken the threat of Covid-19 more to heart. Read more

Delaware North plans temporary leave, pay cuts for thousands of workers: The company said Wednesday afternoon that it is putting more than two-thirds of its 3,100 full-time employees on a temporary leave. Read more

Pegulas pledge $1.2 million to local Covid-19 response: Pegula Sports and Entertainment, in coordination with the Bills and Sabres team foundations, will provide financial assistance. Read more

ECMC asks the public for donations of protective masks: Erie County Medical Center foresees the possibility of running short on protective masks for its staff, the hospital reported in a Covid-19 update Wednesday. Read more

Parks are open, but some are removing recreation equipment: Across the region, officials differ on what's needed to enforce social distancing and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Read more

Covid-19 prompts NFTA to suspend rail, bus fares: Metro Bus and Rail will suspend fare collection throughout its two-county system. Read more

Stimulus to bring $40 billion to New York, but Cuomo calls it inadequate: The bill also includes a small business rescue plan that will allow such companies, as well as independent contractors and the self-employed, to access a loan and grant fund totaling more than $375 billion. Read more

Federal, state measures would aid restaurant workers, owners: As proposals that would help small businesses survive coronavirus-related closings advance in Congress and the State Legislature, restaurant owners and workers scrambled for enough details to make decisions. Read more

Retraining workers is vital now, but that focus should continue post-virus: Just as we had shortages of nurses aides before the virus hit, we had shortages of opportunity for the underskilled in all fields even when the economy was open for business, Rod Watson says. Read more

M&T puts construction of its downtown tech hub on hold: The project is expected to become a major employer in downtown, with more than 1,500 workers, and be a major tenant in the efforts to bring new tenants to the once-vacant Seneca One tower. Read more

Chalk, virtual coloring books and Google Earth: Looking for unique ways to keep the kids occupied while (mostly) avoiding physical contact with friends and other adults? Here are some social distancing ideas that will pass the time, safely. Read more

Daemen College moves commencement ceremonies to August: Another local college has postponed its spring commencement ceremonies. Read more

More than 30,000 New Yorkers test positive as rate of hospitalizations slowing: "This is a very good sign, a very positive sign," the governor said. Read more

Contractors struggle as customers cancel, delay projects: The contractors say they're still flush with workers to get their jobs done, although they're taking extra precautions to spread out laborers on job sites, wear gloves, and disinfect as often as possible. Read more

Musk says Tesla's Buffalo plant will make ventilators 'as soon as humanly possible': Tesla's temporarily shuttered solar panel factory in Buffalo "will reopen for ventilator production as soon as humanly possible," company CEO Elon Musk tweeted Wednesday. Read more

We're getting tired of our own homes. Please show us yours: We are hoping to continue this feature – perhaps with a new emphasis on how homeowners and apartment dwellers are adapting their spaces during this time of “stay at home.” How have you improvised a work-at-home space? A place for kids to do their schoolwork? Read more

Through the glass, laughter and tears in visit to 107-year-old mom at nursing home: The deadly new coronavirus proved no match for the love between a 107-year-old mother with mild dementia and her 76-year-old daughter as they blew kisses at one another through the glass door of an Amherst nursing home. Read more

Buffalo Batman delivers goodwill, nut milk on a mission, tacos for the unemployed: The City of Good Neighbors has been in full swing, which donations being made across the region. Read more

Column: Looking for reflections on a WNY-inspired Tolkien Reading Day: Sean Kirst reflects on worldwide JRR Tolkien Reading Day. Read more

Congress, White House strike deal for $2 trillion stimulus package: The legislation, which is expected to be enacted within days, is the biggest fiscal stimulus package in modern American history, aimed at delivering critical financial support to businesses forced to shut their doors and relief to American families and hospitals. Read more

Narcotics Anonymous meetings being held on Zoom: Narcotics Anonymous meetings that have been canceled because of the coronavirus crisis are now being held online. Read more

Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus: Charles, 71, had been experiencing mild symptoms for days, but has "otherwise remained in good health" and is working from home, according to a statement released by Clarence House, the prince's official residence. Read more

Local and network news ratings surge. Prime-time network viewing here? Not so much: The inability to hit double-digit ratings during what would likely be the time ratings are maximized suggests viewers are heading in large numbers to cable, pay-cable streaming sites or watching On Demand or on DVRs, Alan Pergament says. Read more

Niagara County deputies read children's books online during pandemic: Officers have posted a series of YouTube videos featuring them reading well-known children's books aloud, with the pages and illustrations projected on the screen as they do so. Read more

March 24

We must "act like it's a war," Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared Tuesday as he announced unnerving news in New York's battle against Covid-19: The rate of new infections was doubling every three days.

And in Erie County, the first person died from the novel coronavirus: a woman in her 80s. County officials said no more information about her case would be released.

In Erie County, the total number of confirmed cases passed 100, while across the state already more than 25,000 people have tested positive. County Executive Mark Poloncarz implored citizens to continue to keep their distance from each other. "Don't be a Covidiot!" he scolded.

The pandemic's economic toll continued to be felt in Western New York. The Peace Bridge, once one of the busiest crossings between the U.S. and Canada, has recorded a more than 90% drop in traffic since the two countries agreed to ban nonessential travel. With no one traveling, hotel after hotel has shut down operations.

Yet some businesses are in dire of need of more workers and are hiring – grocery stores such as Tops, Wegmans and Dash's, and, of course, Amazon.

Erie County sees first Covid-19 death: Mirroring the dramatic increases in cases that have been seen in New York City and other locations globally due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus as well as increased testing for it, Erie County has now reported 107 cases of Covid-19. Read more

Erie County to restart drive-up Covid-19 testing by appointment: The testing will be offered through the county Department of Health's epidemiology office. Read more

'Act like it's a war' to save lives and stop spread of Covid-19, Cuomo says: On Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo said while there may be a smart way to let some healthy people go back to work, it cannot be done at the expense of the lives of the people most at risk of dying from Covid-19. Read more

Assisted living resident on Weinberg Campus tests positive for Covid-19: The resident of Dosberg Manor remained hospitalized Tuesday. Read more 

As Buffalo Niagara's economy stalls, some employers are hiring: They are increasing staff at a time when many other employers have been forced to shut down and waves of people are applying for unemployment benefits. Read more

Buffalo Niagara nursing homes in desperate need of protective gear: Nursing home leaders in Erie and Niagara counties put out an urgent plea this week for surgical and N95 respirator masks, no-touch thermometers and cleaning supplies. Read more

Sean Ryan wants Tesla to make ventilators at its Buffalo factory: Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the electric vehicle maker is working on a plan to make ventilators during the coronavirus outbreak – and state Assemblyman Sean Ryan wants the company to do it at its temporarily shuttered solar panel factory. Read more

Comptroller DiNapoli has good news and bad news on state finances: “The state and the city need to prepare for the severe budgetary implications of the coronavirus crisis," Thomas DiNapoli said Tuesday. Read more

Former hospital CEO leaves retirement to lead Catholic Health staffing: Jim Millard retired in 2018 and will serve as executive leader and incident commander of the health system Staffing Center. Read more

Border traffic plummets as Covid-19 restrictions take effect: The U.S-Canada border is now closed to most travelers because of the coronavirus crisis – and it shows. Read more

More Buffalo area hotels close as travelers stay home: The Westin Buffalo, Courtyard by Marriott Canalside and three Hampton Inns in Buffalo and Cheektowaga have closed or suspended operations. Read more

Ford extends plant shutdowns across North America: Ford did not disclose a target date for reopening the facilities. Read more

Niagara County clerk closes office to the public fully: The clerk's office will close to the public completely as of 4:30 p.m. Read more

Coronavirus puts special election for NY-27 in doubt: New York’s presidential primary could be postponed and a special election in the 27th Congressional District canceled altogether. Read more

UB, Buffalo State postpone spring commencement ceremonies: Graduation ceremonies at Buffalo State had been scheduled for May 16. Read more

Adoptions soar at SPCA as staff, services are cut: Empire State Development considers about 70 enterprises "essential" during the Covid-19 pandemic. Veterinary and animal services are on that list. Read more

Foundations raise more than $4 million to help nonprofits hit by Covid-19: As Covid-19 forces nonprofits across Western New York to cut hours and staff, 18 local foundations announced Tuesday they’re banding together. Read more

Beauts' Ashley Birdsall helping Army National Guard deal with Covid-19 pandemic: The Buffalo Beauts forward spent part of the season traveling back and forth from the team’s rink in Amherst to her home state of Minnesota, where the National Women’s Hockey League player serves as a captain for a far more important team. Read more

Gold medalist Emily Regan says Olympics in 2021 will be 'bigger celebration': On Tuesday, after the Tokyo Olympics were delayed until 2021 because of the ballooning coronavirus crisis, the Buffalo native and Olympic gold medal-winning rower embraced an entirely different emotion: Relief. Read more

Amherst councilman heads to New York City for Covid-19 response: Shawn A. Lavin and 12 other members of its Fatal Search and Recovery Team were told to report to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, where he believes they will work with the city's Office of Chief Medical Examiner. Read more

Crime in Buffalo takes a holiday amid Covid-19 emergency: Buffalo police are responding to fewer service calls, and the number of arrests are down amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. Read more

UB cancels spring football game, remainder of spring practices: The University at Buffalo football team will not hold its spring football game next week, and the remainder of spring practices will not be continued. Read more

Column: I have to tell you about these WNY places to eat, while I can: Here are four places Andrew Galarneau has loved in various ways but never reviewed. Read more

Rainbows, chalk messages brighten the day around Western New York: Rainbows are springing up in Amherst and Hamburg. Families throughout Western New York are creating chalk drawings and messages on sidewalks and driveways. Read more

Column: When life slows down, 'Take a breath. Unclench the fist, just a little.': "It’s tough to put a positive spin on all of this. It’s going to get tougher," writes Jeff Miers. Read more

The Cuomo Brothers comedy show is a TV hit on CNN, Alan Pergament writes: "We all need a laugh these days and the “Cuomo Brothers Comedy Special" on CNN provided several good lines interspersed between serious talk about the governor’s much-praised handling of the coronavirus in New York State." Read more

Japan and IOC agree to postpone Summer Olympics by about a year: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he spoke with IOC President Thomas Bach on Tuesday and proposed postponing the Games. Abe said Bach agreed "100 percent." Read more

'It's always hard to say goodbye to my students. This time, it was different': "Like all of my teacher colleagues, I am navigating this new world and dealing with unexpected emotions," writes Sweet Home teacher Jessica Andriatch. "The one I can't shake is sadness." Read more

Niagara County posts takeout and delivery restaurant list: More than 100 restaurants are on the list, including some that have only started offering takeout and delivery since the pandemic began. Read more

Erie County has lowest Covid-19 testing rate of New York's urban counties: Albany County, which has one-third the residents of Erie County, recorded 8.9 tests per thousand residents. New York City, the current epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, has a testing rate of 3.9 tests per thousand residents. Erie County's rate? Less than one test per thousand residents. Read more

How one Covid-19 patient, a mother of 7, is dealing with prolonged isolation: "It is day 11 in which nobody has walked out this door. And I find that's the crucial thing that is getting us through – finding a way to like the people we love the most, every day and all day." Read more

March 23

Sobering milestones were reached Monday in Western New York's battle against the spread of Covid-19.

The region mourned its first death – a resident of a 138-bed skilled nursing home in Wyoming County.

Chautauqua County logged its first two positive cases.

Erie County's total confirmed positive cases jumped and Niagara County's cases ticked upward, bringing Western New York's total to over 100. The state's total number of cases swelled to over 20,000.

First Covid-19 death in WNY is Wyoming County nursing home resident: A Wyoming County nursing home resident who had Covid-19 has died, the Wyoming County Community Health System announced. Read more

Community spread accounts for most of Erie County's new Covid-19 cases: Monday's totals were the largest number of cases announced in one day in Erie County to date. Read more

Niagara County adds 3 new Covid-19 cases, bringing total to 12: The newest cases are in the City of Lockport, the Town of Lockport and in Niagara Falls. Read more

Chautauqua County has first two Covid-19 cases: A woman in her 30s who lives in the Dunkirk area and a man in his 30s who lives in the Silver Creek area tested positive for Covid-19. Read more

Two Buffalo police officers test positive for Covid-19: Two Buffalo police officers in the Ferry-Fillmore District have tested positive for Covid-19, the police union confirmed Monday night. Read more

More than 20,000 people in New York State test positive for Covid-19: More than 5,700 new cases were confirmed overnight, Cuomo said Monday morning. Right now about 13% of the cases have ended up hospitalized because of the coronavirus. There are 621 intensive care unit patients. Read more

Developers moving ahead with projects in face of coronavirus: The construction industry was deemed as an "essential business" that can continue operating under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's newest executive order. Read more

Newly jobless in Western New York join claims-filing crush: The Labor Department is coping with a tidal wave of unemployment claims. Read more

Raises for grocery workers during Covid-19 aren't just nice – they're necessary, experts say: The raises are being touted as a reward for worker loyalty and dedication – and they are – but there's more to it than that. Read more

Food pantries see spike in demand as donations fall: 'I can feel the panic': With jobs cut off and mouths to feed, the economic victims of the Covid-19 virus are increasingly turning to Western New York's food pantries and free meal sites. Read more

UB, Buffalo State officers changing protocols in wake of Covid-19: University Police announced on its website that it has suspended noncriminal fingerprinting as a means to observe social distancing. Read more

Masks and goggles, from West Seneca schools to ECMC: An effort sent 1,400 school goggles and other medical equipment to Erie County Medical Center Monday. Read more

Temporary reduction in greenhouse gases, pollution is just that – temporary: Don Paul takes a look at some side effects from the current coronavirus outbreak. Read more

Erie County's pretrial inmates can get bail, with DA approval: Defendants being held pretrial in the Erie County Holding Center or Correctional Facility can ask to be released on bail and the District Attorney's office will review those applications on a case-by-case basis, DA John J. Flynn announced Monday. Jail authorities here in Buffalo and across the nation are trying to contend with the spread of Covid-19 inside correctional facilities. Read more

Critics blast city's plan to reverse water shut-offs as insufficient: A 67-year-old Vietnam veteran in South Buffalo with health issues did not have running water in his home for more than a year after the Buffalo Water Authority shut it off because of nonpayment. The utility turned the man's water back on Friday – but only after organizations like the Partnership for the Public Good, PUSH Buffalo and the Western New York Law Center began to "press" the water authority, said Steven Halpern, an attorney with the Western New York Law Center, who represents the South Buffalo man. Read more

Manufacturers group seeks donations of supplies for health care workers: The Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance, which represents area manufacturers, says it will coordinate pickup and delivery of the items. Read more

Catholic Health volunteers rush forward to help Covid-19 patients: When Catholic Health asked employees last week if they would volunteer to work with Covid-19 patients, 150 employees quickly said yes. That number jumped to 500 on Friday and rose to 700 on Saturday. Read more

Chinese Club of Western New York donating thousands of masks to local hospitals: The Chinese Club of Western New York has ordered and will distribute 14,000 masks to local doctors and hospitals due to a lack of medical supplies in the area during the coronavirus outbreak. Read more

Officials ponder options for April 28 special election amid Covid-19 concerns: Erie County officials are “seriously concerned” about safely conducting the next scheduled election on April 28. Read more

Frozen meals and warm hearts: Buffalo restaurants adapt: So you've got a big freezer, huh? Put it to work. Read more

Column: Ralph Krueger keeping hopes up, but it's clear he knows Sabres season could be over: Ralph Krueger is trying to keep his hope tank full. But it was obvious from listening to him Monday that he's started to process the reality for the Buffalo Sabres as well. Read more

Wedding worries: Hey, local couples, you're not alone: “Wedding planning is already stressful enough and this Covid-19 just adds way more stress and worries," said one bride-to-be. Read more

2020 Buffalo Marathon called off due to Covid-19 pandemic: The 20th anniversary edition of the marathon was to take place May 24. Greg Weber, executive director of the Buffalo Marathon, wrote in an email to participants that the next race weekend will be May 30, 2021. Read more

Column: If your life has been enriched by musicians, it’s time to give back: "By the time nonessential workers in our region had set up their offices at home, the musician communities had already fully embraced the idea of working remotely themselves," writes Jeff Miers. Read more

Got a court date? It's postponed at least 45 days: All criminal court and family court matters in the eight Western New York counties are adjourned or postponed for at least 45 days due to Covid-19. Read more

Remainder of winter sports high school postseason is officially cancelled: The season is officially over for 15 Section VI champions and 10 individual state-tournament qualifiers combined in boys and girls basketball, boys ice hockey and boys and girls bowling. Read more

WNY gas prices decline sharply again; national average could be headed under $2: Gasoline prices saw a second straight week of sharp declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing crude price war, according to data collected by AAA Western and Central New York. Read more

Can we really be past the worst of coronavirus in 45 days? Well ... Gov. Andrew Cuomo first referenced a “45 day” peak at a March 17 news conference. Later that afternoon, he repeated the figure during a taping of the New York Times’ podcast "The Daily," which aired a day later. It’s unclear who produced the 45-day peak projection and what variables they did or did not account for. That’s significant, said two epidemiologists, because disease models produce different peaks depending on their underlying data and assumptions. Read more

Hospital CEOs '"preparing for the worst" as coronavirus spreads: The three leaders of the region’s largest hospitals agree the regional health care community is on the brink of a larger collision with Covid-19. They and their staffs continue to update pandemic planning in a changing landscape, focus on infectious control amid worries about personal protective equipment supplies, and scramble to secure more hospital beds – especially in light of a new state mandate – as well as find the workers and medical devices they expect to need. Read more

How hospital CEOs say you can help limit the spread of the coronavirus: In separate interviews, Tom Quatroche Jr. of Erie County Medical Center, Mark Sullivan of Catholic Health and Jody Lomeo of Kaleida Health – who all carry the title of president and CEO – gave advice to  help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. Read more

"Uncharted waters" and the politics of Covid-19: Bob McCarthy's Politics Columns touches on the coronavirus' effect on the Western New York political scene. Read more

Harvey Weinstein reportedly tests positive for Covid-19 in Alden prison: The head of the state corrections officers union said that Weinstein, who is serving a prison sentence for sexual assault and rape, tested positive Sunday and has been placed in isolation, according to Reuters. Read more

Lackawanna man can't see his dying father in Canada: Douglas Cawthorn, 59, a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, has had Stage 4 brain cancer since 2017 and is dying in a palliative care unit in St. Catharines, Ont. His son, who is 25 and lives in Lackawanna, is an American citizen who drives to see his father once or twice a week. He might have seen his father for the last time Wednesday. Read more

UB wrestler Troy Keller's championship dreams cut short by coronavirus cancellations: The North Tonawanda graduate's aspiration of fulfilling his vision came to an abrupt end March 12 when the NCAA announced it canceled all of its winter and spring sports championships due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Read more


March 22

In what CEO Mark Sullivan called a "game changer," Catholic Health said Sunday it could soon be able to perform up to 800 Covid-19 tests a day if the proper testing supplies are made available as well.

The testing system produced by California company Cepheid and approved Saturday by the Food and Drug Administration is one that works only on machines that Catholic Health already owns and uses in each of its local hospitals.

In Albany, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called on the federal government to make private companies produce personal protective equipment and ventilators as the country battles the Covid-19 pandemic. He also said each hospital across the state will be required to increase the number of beds in its facility by 50% and should attempt to double its capacity.

Of the current positive cases in Erie County, 11 people have been hospitalized, three of which are in the intensive care unit, Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said.

The virus is affecting a needed medical service: blood supplies. The Red Cross and ConnectLife are urging organizations to host local blood drives and are urging donors to make appointments to donate blood locally.

Locally, residents eager to get outside congregated at area parks, considered a "sanctuary" from Covid-19. Poloncarz warned that popular parks including Chestnut Ridge in Orchard Park and Delaware Park were becoming congested and he urged those suffering from cabin fever to explore other outdoor recreation, while maintaining social distance.

As Covid-19 patients are hospitalized, Erie County struggles with testing inequity: Erie County isn't just seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases, but a rise in hospitalizations. As of Sunday afternoon, Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein reported 11 county residents have been hospitalized. Three are in intensive care. Read more

'Game changer': Catholic Health could run 800 Covid-19 tests a day with newly approved system: Catholic Health is ready to purchase a new test for Covid-19 that is able to detect the virus far faster than previous methods. Read more

As Erie County Covid-19 count rises to 64, officials expect virus is 'everywhere': "Anywhere we leave our house, we could potentially come into contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive," Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said. "People have to act accordingly." Read more

Church service ignores recommended crowd restriction, puts faith in God: About 25 congregants attended a Sunday service at an East Side Baptist church despite a government recommendation to limit crowds to under 10 due to Covid-19 concerns. Read more

Blood donations critically low amid coronavirus outbreak: Cancellations of blood drives throughout the region and nationwide have led to critical shortage of blood locally. Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz has said the region only had enough blood to last a few days, though the cancellation of elective surgeries is expected to help extend the existing supply. Read more

At home or abroad, adjusting to our new and distant lives: The week was a tough one for Anna Engle. Her moods shot high. Her moods dropped low. Read more

New York mandating hospitals increase number of beds by at least 50%: As Covid-19 continues to spread, the state is projected to need 110,000 hospital beds, but the current capacity sits at 53,000, the governor said Sunday. Read more

Federal government should compel production of essential medical supplies, Cuomo says: States are competing against each other when attempting to purchase medical supplies, including ventilators, and face price gouging, the governor said during a news conference in Albany. "In some ways, we're savaging other states," he said. Read more

U.S. Attorney names coordinator to prosecute coronavirus fraud: Assistant U.S. Attorney David Rudroff has been appointed to serve as coronavirus fraud coordinator for the Western District of New York, U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced Sunday night. Read more

This is a sanctuary: Parks offering respite from Covid-19: With recommendations to stay home, and restaurants, movie theaters and other places where people congregate closed, many Western New Yorkers are taking advantage of sunshine and almost-springlike weather and turning to public parks and trails to recharge. Read more

Two residents of Wyoming County nursing home test positive for Covid-19: According to the WCCHS, the residents have been cared for in isolation since being tested, contact tracing has begun and the source of the infection has not been determined. Read more

A spring Sunday reminds us what we'll be missing with no Opening Day this week: This is always the time of year when this corner becomes two-headed. And the calendar this month was no different. It was just three weeks ago on the way out of Arizona to Winnipeg during a Sabres road trip that a detour seemed mandatory. Read more

Baseball finds its way back to kids, Covid-19 or not (column): Not long ago, Sean Sullivan fished out gloves for Riley and Shane, his young daughter and son, and he led them into their North Buffalo yard to play some catch. In a city all but shut down by a virus, Sullivan vows that baseball – even as a solitary pastime – will continue. Read more

Health care workers on edge as CDC loosens rules for those exposed to Covid-19: The federal government says that if someone in your household tests positive for the new coronavirus, you should stay home. "Don't go to work," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance says. Unless you're a health care provider, that is. Read more

Greater Buffalo USBC Association remains remains hopeful local events can be salvaged: Just as in every other sport, the coronavirus outbreak has put bowling out of business, at least temporarily, on all levels – house leagues the professional tours, national tournament, as well as scholastic and collegiate championships. Read more

March 21

There are now more than 10,000 confirmed cases in the state – half the nation's total, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

Western New York saw more evidence of the spread March 21. Erie County reached its 56th confirmed case. Niagara County announced nine. In a troubling development, one of those Niagara cases is a 33-year-old North Tonawanda man now in an intensive care unit at a local hospital.

Making sure there are enough hospital beds for the expected crush of coronavirus patients has been a top priority for state and local authorities. There are 50,000 ICU beds in the state now. Cuomo wants to grow that to at least 70,000.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said a shipment of new Covid-19 tests was expected on Tuesday – after announcing they were down to their last 15, which were being reserved for the most dire of situations.

Nationally, President Trump declared New York a disaster area, which clears the way for federal aid.

Even with scarcity of test kits, Covid-19 cases tick upward in Erie, Niagara: Erie and Niagara counties confirmed 14 more cases of Covid-19 on Saturday as officials longed for the additional test kits that would give them a better view of the virus's spread through the region. Read more

A cyber city of Good Neighbors: Buffalo finds ways to connect, help online:  As the Covid-19 crisis deepens across the country, many have focused on the government and private-sector response. But in Facebook groups, Google Docs and text message threads across Western New York, communities are also organizing to care for their neighbors.  Read more

Squeezing in one last haircut, tattoo before businesses close:  Shutting down Carl-Jeff will deprive the neighborhood of a social hub, said barber Jerry Daniels Jr. "Sometimes people come in here even if they're not getting a haircut," he said. All barber shops, beauty salons and tattoo parlors were ordered closed at 8 p.m. Saturday. Read more

Kaleida, ECMC appeal for donations of masks: Kaleida Health and Erie County Medical Center are so worried about running out of masks amid the coronavirus crisis that on Saturday they turned to the public for help. Read more

Buffalo's essential employees to work remotely and in City Hall: Essential employees have permission to work in the City Hall building for specific purposes during limited periods of time, while practicing safe social distancing, said city spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge. Read more

'Something is missing': Painful times for those devoted to religious services on Sundays:  Hundreds of thousands of people who belong to religious organizations in Western New York are struggling to cope with the unprecedented shutdown in church services ignited by the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

A milestone moment altered by social distance: 'Meet your new grandson': As Covid-19 precautions upended plans for extended family to welcome a new baby into the world at Mercy Hospital, a South Buffalo grandfather found a way to get a glimpse – from the parking ramp – of his new grandson. Read more

Three new Covid-19 cases in Erie County: 2 in Buffalo, 1 in Clarence: There are now 50 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Erie County. Read more

DeGraff may reopen to provide more hospital beds, Kaleida announces: The health care group also said it may add more intensive care beds at all of its sites, including DeGraff, Buffalo General Medical Center, Oishei Children's Hospital, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center. Read more

St. Joseph closing ER as it prepares for Covid-19 patients: Sisters of Charity Hospital's St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga is closing its emergency room as of 7 p.m. Satras it prepares to convert to a hospital for Covid-19 patients, Catholic Health announced. Read more

33-year-old man in ICU among five new Covid-19 cases in Niagara County: Niagara County believes all five of its new cases were via community spread. Read more

Canisius High School notifying families of a Covid-19 case: The school on Saturday notified the staff, students and their families by email that  a "member of our community" tested positive for the novel coronavirus and has been in isolation at home for eight days. Read more

Erie County launches new interactive Covid-19 map: Persons can track the amount of confirmed cases, deaths, those recovered and active cases. Read more

Cuomo touts extensive Covid-19 testing as Erie County cites shortage: Cuomo on Saturday said officials have processed 45,437 Covid-19 tests statewide, nearly as many as the next two states – California and Washington state – combined. Read more

Trump declares New York a disaster area, clearing way for federal aid: Trump's move should free up millions – if not billions – in federal aid to the state with the most number of Covid-19 cases. The money can cover everything from protective measures and supplies aimed at controlling the coronavirus pandemic to crisis counseling for those traumatized by its effects. Read more

With schools closed, wide disparities in instruction for WNY students: For now, districts say they are doing the best they can as they scramble this week to pull together educational materials for students and their new teachers: the parents cooped up with their kids at home. Read more

14 Holding Center employees sent home after deputy tests positive for Covid-19: "All have been advised to stay home, self-isolate and await further instructions," said Thomas Diina, superintendent of the county's Jail Management Division. Read more

MAAC: 'Persons on or near the floor' in Canisius, Niagara men's basketball games test positive for Covid-19: A Niagara athletic department spokesperson confirmed the MAAC's announcement, but did not know if the individuals who tested positive were on-court officials or game personnel. Read more

State asks retired health professionals to enlist in a reserve corps: Officials are making the same appeal to qualified medical and nursing school students and staff. Read more

• • •

March 20

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo stopped short of ordering New York State to "shelter in place" as the governor in California did Thursday.

Instead, Cuomo put the state on "pause" to contain the novel coronavirus spread.

Employers of "nonessential businesses" were ordered to keep 100% of their workforce home.

So who's essential? The state put out a detailed list that included health care organizations, grocery stores, first responders, banks and the media.

Parties, outdoor basketball games and even play dates at playgrounds are being banned. Playgrounds and basketball courts were shut in Buffalo.

The increasingly stringent rules came as Erie County's health lab, like others across the country, waited anxiously for new tests. Now, Erie County has enough testing material for 15 more tests – and they're being reserved for the most serious situations.

Regardless of tests, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said everyone should assume the virus is widespread in Western New York.

Number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Erie County rises to 47: County Executive Mark Poloncarz late Friday offered updated numbers from a press conference earlier Friday. Read more

Erie County Holding Center guard tests positive for Covid-19: Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reported Friday night that his office received information that a guard at the Holding Center tested positive for Covid-19. Howard said the Sheriff’s Office is working to trace the deputy's “work path” to determine who among other employees “may have been in close contact.” Read more

ECMC employee tests positive for Covid-19: An employee at Erie County Medical Center has tested positive for Covid-19, the hospital learned Friday. The employee isn't a clinician and was wearing a mask at work because of flu season, a news release from ECMC said. Read more

Anxious wait for more tests; officials say hundreds, maybe thousands probably infected in Erie County: The Erie County Public Health Lab has enough material to conduct just 15 more Covid-19 tests, and they're being reserved for the most critical cases or for health care workers who have come into contact with multiple patients, especially elderly ones, Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein said Friday. Read more

Buffalo's playgrounds, parks closed amid reports of gatherings in large groups: The City of Buffalo's playgrounds, athletic courts and fields were closed Friday after reports of large groups of people gathering to play basketball and soccer, using  playground equipment and engaging in other activities bringing them into close physical contact with others. Read more

Effective Sunday, Thruway will stop taking cash for tolls: A new toll procedure will become effective at 8 p.m. Sunday at cash lanes along the ticketed portions of the New York State Thruway. Read more

Poloncarz: 'Go under the assumption that coronavirus is everywhere": There are now 36 confirmed positive cases of Covid-19 in Erie County as of noon Friday,  Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said. Read more

Some ways Buffalo is the City of Good Neighbors, now more than ever: How does the City of Good Neighbors combat isolation and self-quarantining in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic? By being good neighbors. Obviously. Read more

How do you keep social distance in a crowded grocery store?: If you've been in a grocery store over the past couple of weeks, you've noticed how difficult it is to maintain the six-foot distance health officials recommend people keep to curb the spread of novel coronavirus. Read more

Can WNY restaurants survive on take-out? Don't hold your breath: Asked if his restaurant can survive, Mike Andrzejewski held out his arms to show how big the problem is. Read more

Would you like toilet paper with that spaghetti?: You say you've looked everywhere for toilet paper. Well, if you haven't checked the Grapevine Restaurant in Amherst, you haven't looked everywhere. Read more

Niagara County's first Covid-19 patient is released from hospital; no new cases reported Friday: The Niagara Falls woman who became Niagara County's first confirmed Covid-19 patient has been released from Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, county Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said Friday. Read more

Cuomo calls for 100% workforce reduction; bans outdoor basketball games, parties: New York State is being put on "pause" to contain the novel coronavirus spread, with new mandates on nonessential workers and restricting the movements and behavior by the most vulnerable population to the virus. Nonessential gatherings of people will be banned. "These are legal provisions. They will be enforced,'' Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Friday morning. Read more

Total of coronavirus cases in Erie County now 31:  Two additional cases were announced during Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's news conference Friday morning. Read more

Border with Canada to close to nonessential travel at 11:59 p.m. Friday: The Canadian border will close to nonessential travel at 11:59 p.m. Friday and will remain closed until the same time on April 20 due to the coronavirus crisis, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced. Read more

The hits just keep coming for the Buffalo Niagara economy: Each wave, by itself, is painful. Taken together, they're devastating, sending the Buffalo Niagara economy into a freefall that, in a matter of days, could have pushed unemployment up to levels that rival the peak of the Great Recession more than a decade ago, David Robinson writes. Read more

Are you essential?: Here's a list of occupations that aren't part of the state's workforce reduction mandate. Read more

Lifetime Service & Solutions shifts to refurbishing medical equipment: Lifetime Service & Solutions – a division of the Advantage Company that replaced the former Stereo Advantage retail business – is shifting its sites in New York and California to "servicing and refurbishing of essential medical equipment." Read more

Developer offers Rochester medical facility to state for coronavirus treatment: William Huntress, the owner of Acquest Development in Amherst, is offering to let the state use an enormous research and medical facility in suburban Rochester free of charge either for coronavirus patients or research or both. Read more

USS Little Rock offered for service as hospital in battle against Covid-19: The decommissioned USS Little Rock at Canalside is volunteering to be a floating hospital for people testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Read more

National Guard medics from Buffalo unit help at downstate Covid-19 testing sites: National Guard medics based in Buffalo have been sent downstate to assist at Covid-19 testing sites, New York National Guard spokesman Eric Durr said Friday. Read more

Mom working from home: 'How much work am I actually going to get done?': Suddenly, working parents have had to accommodate a major shift in the family dynamic, as schools closed, and their children headed home for the foreseeable future. Read more

School boards association seeks to move May elections, recommends candidates not go door-to-door: The association said it is working with the state Education Department and governor's office to move the votes to a later date, or to find another alternative this year, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

State suspends elementary ELA and math assessments: "It is most important that during the time of closure, schools are able to continue to focus their efforts toward local school and community needs, as they have been doing, and not be concerned about state assessments," Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and interim State Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe said in a statement. Read more

Paula's Donuts' Covid-19 closing leaves hole in fan's hearts: The locally based chain that has a devoted following for its peanut sticks, giant Texas doughnuts and specialties such as chocolate chip cookie dough doughnuts said it was closing effective 3 p.m. Friday. Read more

Pegula Sports closes Harborcenter, most hospitality operations: The company temporarily is closing the LECOM Harborcenter, (716) Food and Sport, Healthy Scratch and Bakery 55. Read more

Why isn't Wegmans offering senior hours?: The grocer isn't convinced that offering seniors-only hours is the best way to serve them, and emphasized that seniors are not the only vulnerable population. Read more

Niagara County Jail reduces phone costs for inmates after banning visits: Each inmate will be allocated two free 5-minute calls per week, acting Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti announced. The new policy will last for 30 days. Read more

Niagara County agency helping parents find child care: The Niagara County Social Services Department said Friday that it is working with the Community Child Care Clearinghouse of Niagara to help parents, especially first responders and health care workers, who must work but need child care options. Read more

Local races, like Buffalo Marathon, face tough decisions in wake of coronavirus: While right now, all Buffalo Marathon events are on as scheduled, there’s a lot of wait-and-see in the running world as Covid-19 has shutdown mass gatherings across the globe. Read more

On one Tonawanda street, American flags bloom amid Covid-19 gloom: "I was just trying to show that we're unified, we're all in this together," said Joe Riccio, 70, a retired chief master sergeant with the Air National Guard. Read more

Thruway sees 30% cut in passenger vehicle traffic since virus-related shutdowns began: Traffic on the New York State Thruway is far lighter than normal, given the non-essential workers told to stay home, schools closed and businesses shutting down. Read more

Amtrak reduces Empire Service trains: While Amtrak continues to operate across the nation, we have adjusted some services due to significantly reduced demand in key markets,” the company said. Read more

Metro Bus and Rail to maintain full schedule: Metro Bus and Rail will continue its regular schedule on weekdays for the foreseeable future, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority said Friday. Read more

Free public parking in Buffalo until further notice: All public parking in the City of Buffalo is free until further notice due the Covid-19 pandemic, Mayor Byron W. Brown said Friday. Read more

State to close hair salons, barbershops, tattoo and piercing parlors: This move is part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's executive order in response to the coronavirus pandemic "as these services cannot be provided while maintaining social distance." Read more

'If we don't work, we don't get paid': WNY's beauty businesses now closed to the public: They knew it was coming. Several local salon owners knew it was only a matter of time until New York State closed them down in response to Covid-19. Read more

Under pressure, hotel operators cut staff, consider closing: The pressure on area hotels is building by the day, as lost revenue forces more operators to lay off staff, or even contemplate more drastic steps like temporary closures or at least consolidating business from multiple locations. Read more

Health Department to Hamburg High: 'Very low risk' of Covid-19 exposure on March 9: The Erie County Health Department said there was a "very low risk" of exposure to Covid-19 for those who were at Hamburg High School on March 9, according to a letter to the community by Hamburg Superintendent Michael R. Cornell. The school is among the list of places where Erie County residents who have tested positive for Covid-19 have traveled or visited. Read more

Will her mom remember who she is? The downside of NY's nursing home visitor ban: In Erie and Niagara counties, the ban impacts approximately 6,300 residents at 45 nursing homes and their families. Across the state, there are more than 600 nursing homes with beds for more than 116,000 residents. Read more

Up to $250 in Covid-19 relief available for some college students: SAGE Scholars, a private college preparation and funding organization, is pledging $100,000 in aid to students attending any of its more than 400 member colleges and universities. They include Canisius College, Daemen College, Hilbert College, Houghton College and St. Bonaventure University, according to the organization. Read more

What might warmer weather due for Covid-19 pandemic?: Don Paul explores the theory that the coronavrus pandemic might diminish as the weather gets warmer. Read more

Build your immunity and take some control with tips from wellness experts: Establishing benchmarks, and meeting several of them, can help you boost immunity, provide more energy and lower stress. So can starting and ending each day with a favorite song, positive affirmations, and a step away from the blitz of novel coronavirus developments. Read more

Black Iron Bystro owner makes a go of it alone, 'trying to keep spirits up': "I'm honored that I have a lot of people who trust me with their food, and I'm super happy with their support," chef-owner Bryan Mecozzi said. Read more

At St. Michael's, a statue calls to mind suffering and rejuvenation: How a badly beaten-up statue made its way from a demolition site to a great downtown church is a story in its own right, Erik Brady says. Read more

No-excuses exercises: Stay fit while staying inside: Catalyst Fitness co-owner Amy Bueme and three of her personal trainers demonstrated a workout routine people can do at home to continue their wellness journeys. Read more

UB Mobile Market Summit shifts gears because of coronavirus: “We’re going virtual,” said Lucia Leone, assistant professor in the UB Department of Community Health and Health Behavior. Read more

Horse racing continues even when everything else has shut down: The sport of kings rides alone in the wide world of sports. Read more

Women's Porter Cup canceled: The eighth annual Women's Porter Cup, scheduled for June 3-5 at Niagara Falls Country Club, has been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak, organizers said Friday. Read more

• • •

March 19

The coronavirus has spread everywhere, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz acknowledged Thursday.

But the county has so little testing material left that health officials are conserving the tests for high-priority cases.

County officials shared their frustrations over the shortage as the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 ticked upward across Western New York.

He blamed the federal government for not being prepared for a pandemic.

"It's not like Erie County is dropping the ball," Poloncarz said. "No one is handing the ball to us. They're not even giving us the ball."

But there were troubling questions about the tests, as a second patient told The Buffalo News that she was told her test was negative, before being told later that, in fact, it was positive.

The economic toll continued, affecting the giant corporations and small mom-and-pops.

Tesla joined other major automakers in announcing it was shutting down most operations, including at its Buffalo solar plant.

And Paula's Donuts announced it was closing until further notice.

Still, the region made a giant stride Thursday in its fight against the pandemic: Catholic Health announced that its St. Joseph Campus is being converted to care for a coronavirus patients.

"This can happen quickly and effectively," Catholic Health President & CEO Mark Sullivan announced.

Fear of the virus has changed so many facets of our lives.

Volunteer drivers for FeedMore WNY continued to deliver hot meals to seniors, but used new social distancing rules.

“I’m delivering to the door. You have to be six feet away,” said Joe Szychowski after pulling into  driveway and dialing his recipient's number on his cellphone.

It's even changed how we grieve.

Erie County can no longer test for community spread of Covid-19: The lack of testing materials for Covid-19 caught Erie County off guard, Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said Thursday. Read more

Erie County Legislature allocates $5 million to fight coronavirus pandemic: The Erie County Legislature unanimously approved a $5 million emergency allocation to respond to the coronavirus public health crisis on Thursday, though county officials acknowledged the money might not be enough. Read more

NY lawmakers want Cuomo to fast-track health care worker training: Lawmakers said those losing their jobs could also be quickly taught basic skills to help open more health care facilities to treat an expected surge of patients. Read more

YMCA opens emergency child care for health care workers, first responders: The YMCA Buffalo Niagara has opened its doors at six locations to provide care for school-age children of first responders and medical personnel. Read more

Canadian border will close to nonessential travel within two days: The U.S.-Canada border is likely to close to nonessential travel either Friday night or Saturday morning in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday. Read more

Second patient says Erie County wrongly told her she didn't have Covid-19: Grace is the second Covid-19 patient whose sense of relief was quickly dashed via an apologetic phone call from the Erie County Health Department. Read more

Covid-19 patient went to U.S. Attorney's office, not courthouse, spokeswoman says: A person in Erie County with a confirmed case of Covid-19 did not enter the federal courthouse in downtown Buffalo as earlier reported, according to a spokeswoman with the U.S. Attorney's Office. Read more

St. Joseph to become coronavirus hospital: The  St. Joseph Campus for Sisters of Charity Hospital is being converted for care for coronavirus patients, Catholic Health President and CEO Mark Sullivan announced Tuesday. Read more

Additional Erie County case of Covid-19 puts total at 28; 308 samples await testing: An individual from Amherst has tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease, officials said Thursday morning. Read more

Niagara County reports three more positive Covid-19 tests: Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said in a news release that all three of the newly diagnosed patients live in western Niagara County, defined by the county as Niagara Falls and the towns of Niagara, Lewiston and Porter. Read more

Buffalo Diocese to cut 21 jobs: The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo said 21 employees – nearly a fifth of its workforce – will lose their jobs due in part to the “anticipated financial impact” of the novel coronavirus pandemic and to two consecutive years of $1 million or more operating losses. Read more

Tesla to suspend production at Buffalo plant: Following the lead of the Big Three Detroit automakers, Tesla Inc. on Thursday said it would temporarily suspend most production and shut down its factories in Buffalo and California. Read more

As malls close, it's the end of shopping as we know it – at least for now: And you thought malls were empty before the coronavirus outbreak. Read more

Tips for home schooling: 'Don't overdo it the first week': Millions of parents across the globe are faced with the unexpected task of educating their children while schools are closed because of Covid-19. Read more

New York's workplace restrictions grow; mortgage relief ordered: Hundreds of thousands of additional New Yorkers were ordered to work from home Thursday as coronavirus cases continue to soar and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the state is requiring lenders to waive mortgage payments for 90 days if a consumer is facing a financial hardship due to the ongoing crisis. Read more

Mourning traditions upended as funeral homes face coronavirus: Funeral homes are caught in the middle of trying to serve the needs of mourners, while protecting their staffs from contracting the virus and adhering to new state directives on gathering sizes. Read more

Seneca Nation Health System facilities close after employee tests positive for Covid-19: The Seneca Nation announced Thursday that it had closed its three Seneca Nation Health System facilities after an employee, a non-Seneca who is a resident of Erie County, tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Read more

'You're not alone' – Take care of your mental health during pandemic: The CEO of Crisis Services who addressed concerns about mental health amid the pandemic gripping the globe. Read more

Gypsy Parlor owner feels prepared for rainy day that has surely come: Gabrielle Mattina says, "Now is the time where we have a social obligation to help our neighbors." Read more

Dyngus Day put on hold in response to Covid-19 concerns: Buffalo's annual Dyngus Day festival and parade has been put on hold in response to concerns about coronavirus, according to the event organizer. Read more

TV ratings may rise, but local stations are paying a price: As local television news has done an excellent public service covering the coronavirus pandemic and all the resulting cancellations and closings, Alan Pergament says they also are dealing with advertiser fallout from some – but not all – business segments. Read more

Erie County Water Authority won't shut off water for nonpayment during pandemic: The ECWA said that if water has been shut off due to nonpayment, customers can call the ECWA’s Customer Service Department at 849-8444 to have their water service turned backed on. Read more

Training center goes virtual – preparing for when jobs resume: The Buffalo Employment and Training Center was ready for the start of the hiring season with numerous job fairs scheduled for March and April. That all changed as hiring stalled amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. Read more

SBA disaster loans available for NY businesses: The U.S. Small Business Administration Thursday approved a disaster declaration for New York State in connection with the coronavirus crisis. Read more

BMHA taking new measures due to the coronavirus: The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority's offices are closed until further notice as a precaution because of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Read more

Holding Center, Correctional Facility lobbies closed to public: The Erie County Holding Center and Correctional Facility lobbies were closed to the public starting Thursday, except for bail operations, the Sheriff’s Office announced. Read more

Niagara Falls closes City Hall to public, will hold spectator-free Council meeting: "With the first identified case of coronavirus here in the western region of Niagara County, these measures are being taken for the health and welfare of our residents and our city employees," City Administrator Anthony J. Restaino said. Read more

Canisius College campus on 'academic continuance' through end of semester: In the coming days, President John J. Hurley said, he and other administrators at the college will decide whether commencement ceremonies will proceed as planned. Read more

Relieve stress in your garden, as pressures from pandemic increase: Gardeners through the ages have written of the benefits of gardening, which have proven to be much more than sentimental and emotional. Science validates that gardening is good for the human body, mind and spirit. Read more

Pediatrician in Amherst sewing cotton surgical masks, urging others to help: An Amherst pediatrician, concerned over the critical shortage of surgical masks now worn by many people to help slow the spread of Covid-19, has taken matters into her own hands. Dr. Martina Puzanov is making them – one by one – on her sewing machine with the help of her 12-year-old daughter, Veronika. Read more

Officials: Niagara County woman with Covid-19 'did not have any community contact': The 42-year-old woman from the western portion of Niagara County started showing symptoms on March 8, when she "immediately began quarantining herself," according to a Thursday morning statement by Niagara County Legislature Chairwoman Becky Wydysh. Read more

Volunteers wheel in meals, but in coronavirus era, staying for coffee is out: In this new normal, volunteers can't do coffee. Read more

At most shelters, the homeless are still welcome but not volunteers: Most local shelters are still welcoming the homeless inside – but not volunteers. And the meals are takeout. The coronavirus pandemic has prompted agencies in the Buffalo Niagara region to cut back programs and reduce contact with the homeless. Read more

GM Tonawanda plant shutdown to start Friday: General Motors' Town of Tonawanda engine plant will temporarily halt production after its second shift Friday, the automaker said. Read more

Buffalo's Corporate Challenge postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic: The latest major event to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic is one of the biggest annual events in Buffalo. Read more

Some bank branches going drive-thru only: Banks are starting to temporarily restrict their branch service to drive-thru windows, hoping to limit the spread of Covid-19. Read more

Dash's Markets offers special hours for seniors, expectant mothers: The grocer said it will provide exclusive hours for senior citizens and expectant mothers to shop from 6 to 7 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays beginning March 20. Read more

Culturally speaking, you can still enjoy what Western New York has to offer – digitally: Just because you can't visit museums, galleries and music halls that have temporarily closed and postponed events doesn't mean you can't enjoy the local cultural scene. Read more

WNED to broadcast archived BPO concerts: Starting Tuesday, you'll be able to listen to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from your home. Read more

Love in the time of coronavirus: When 'I do' becomes 'What do we do?': Planning a wedding can be stressful enough. Doing so in these uncertain times can be an overwhelming challenge for couples who planned to get married in the next few weeks or months. Read more

Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour: 'It's tough for everyone': Buffalo Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour said Thursday he's like most every NHL player. He doesn't have much to do other than sit and wait. Read more

Bills' Mitch Morse and wife donate $100,000 to FeedMore WNY: As with so many others, Mitch Morse and his wife, Caitlin, have been spending considerable time at home lately. Much of it has been devoted to self-reflection. Read more

WNY's Olympic athletes fear cancellation of 2020 Tokyo Games amid coronavirus pandemic: The Tokyo Games are scheduled for July 24 to Aug. 9, but with major sporting events halted around the globe, and the pandemic worsening, there’s a growing sentiment that the Olympics will be canceled or postponed. Read more

How hockey's hiatus amid pandemic impacts Sabres' prospects, other leagues: The hockey world may never be the same, and players in levels below the NHL are losing important opportunities to develop and, in some cases, earn more money. Read more

Greg Paulus emphasizes communication for Niagara basketball during shutdown: Paulus, Niagara's first-year coach, says he has been in touch with each of his players for the past week, whether it’s been through text messages, phone calls or FaceTime. Read more

March 18

The border is about to be shut down for "nonessential" travel between the U.S. and Canada. General Motors and Ford are temporarily closing all of their factories, including GM's two area plants – in the Town of Tonawanda and Lockport – and Ford's stamped parts plant in Hamburg which together employ about 4,000 people.

Malls across the state, along with those in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania were all ordered closed. So were bowling alleys. Cops began answering some nonemergency 911 calls by phone.

In Buffalo, across the nation and much of the globe, people continued to do everything they could to distance themselves from a virus that's spreading.

But for now, forget about more testing for the virus in Erie County.

"We don't have the ability to test any more," said County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said the county lab has only enough swabs and chemicals to test the specimens that have already been collected.

Positive cases were confirmed at institutions familiar to Western New York: Two patients at Roswell Park Comprehensive Care Center. A member of the University at Buffalo community. A worker from the NFTA's yard shop.

New York State added another 1,000 positive cases of Covid-19 overnight, bringing the total to more than 2,300. Worldwide, coronavirus cases hit a grim milestone – 200,000 cases.

The dramatic measures aimed at cutting off contact were having repercussions, some of them heartbreaking. The family of a dying Niagara County man was facing the possibility of not being able to visit him. But arrangements were eventually made to allow him into a hospice facility that allowed visits.

There was some hope for bars and restaurants as patrons began phoning in takeout orders for their favorite meals – and cocktails.

"The whole street was filled with cars pulling up, popping their trunks, receiving their orders without any contact, then quickly pulling away," said chef-owner of the Grange Community Kitchen, describing the scene outside his Hamburg restaurant Tuesday. "We want to see the whole community of restaurants survive this."

Poloncarz on Covid-19: 'We don't have the ability to test any more': Erie County has run out of materials to conduct any more Covid-19 tests, which are critical to mapping the spread of the disease. Read more

Where those with Covid-19 visited, traveled in recent weeks: Erie County announced Wednesday evening new dates and places where residents with confirmed Covid-19 have been. Read more

Covid-19 patient: 'It's made me feel like I'm some sort of a typhoid Mary': Kevin Lippes of Amherst has a nasty cough, a fever and a story to tell. Read more

Dying man moved from nursing home so his family can visit him: A dying Niagara County man was moved Wednesday from a nursing home that wouldn't let his immediate family visit him because of Covid-19 precautions. Read more

Erie County's Covid-19 cases by town, gender, age, date: Here are lists of the cases of Covid-19 in Erie County. Read more

Kaleida Health confirms second coronavirus case: The individual was described as a 71-year-old female who is an inpatient at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. Read more

UB announces its first positive Covid-19 case: The University at Buffalo announced Wednesday that a "community member" has tested positive for Covid-19. Read more

'Somber and uncertain' on WNY's mostly empty college campuses: College campuses are among the communities most radically affected in the early days of the Covid-19 crisis in Western New York. Read more

What to do if you feel sick and think it's Covid-19: Keep an eye out for the symptoms and monitor your temperature. Read more

Grab some pinot grigio and stay home: Liquor stores are swamped: The prospect of spending weeks isolated at home have caused a rush at liquor stores in recent days, boosting store sales by as much as 300% from a year ago. Read more

'You almost feel stuck': How parents are coping with kids doing schoolwork at home: Here's a look at how six local families are coping as they struggle with the new normal of daily life. Read more

Ken West school shut down after student visitor shows Covid-19 symptoms: The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District said the student visited the school on Highland Parkway between 10:42 and 10:48 a.m. Tuesday to retrieve school supplies. Read more

NFTA announces employee has Covid-19; man was not customer facing: The male employee is not customer-facing, works in the yard shop for the Metro Rail system, and became ill while on vacation out of state, the NFTA said. Read more

Niagara County's first case of Covid-19 is one of community spread: "It's important that people realize that we believe that there are a number of positive cases throughout Niagara County and New York State that have yet to be identified," Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said. Read more

ECMC, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center ban most visitors for patients: Local hospitals are cracking down on visitors. Read more

Column: The other threats when fighting coronavirus: secrecy, budgetary opportunism: Rod Watson weighs in on Erie County officials' response to the Covid-19 crisis. Read more

Why the coronavirus outbreak is putting the Buffalo Niagara economy at great risk: Across the Buffalo Niagara region, the ripples from the coronavirus outbreak are spreading, bringing major portions of the local economy to either a screeching halt or a noticeable slowdown. Read more

Senate passes, president signs bill with Medicaid money for NY: A coronavirus relief bill with more than $6 billion in additional Medicaid funding to New York State, including $50 million for Erie and Niagara counties, became law Wednesday. Read more

Covid-19 outbreak hits sacred spaces, upending religious traditions: As the growing threat of the novel coronavirus upends every aspect of daily life, religious institutions also are adapting to this new reality. Read more

New York businesses ordered to further reduce employees in workplaces: Businesses across New York are being ordered to keep at least 50% of their employees at home in a desperate attempt by officials to try to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. Read more

Column: Can a million laid-off restaurant workers make their voices heard?: News Food Editor Andrew Galarneau writes: "To all the dish dogs and line cooks and barbacks whose jobs just got imploded: I’m sorry this happened." Read more

'Overwhelmed with emotion': Hamburg restaurants appreciate community support: Main and Buffalo streets in Hamburg are closed off to parking with the exception of customers ordering takeout from a village small business. Read more

Restaurants showing interest in Buffalo's 'on-street drive-thru': Buffalo's drive-thru program provides spots on-site that allow patrons to pick up to-go orders and for restaurants to load food into delivery vehicles. Read more

New normal at regional hospitals includes screening before you enter: Life for patients and staff at hospitals across Western New York continued to change Wednesday morning as Covid-19 showed its growing force in the region. Read more

U.S., Canada closing border to nonessential travel: The move will mean that shoppers and tourists can no longer cross the border. Sources said U.S. and Canadian officials were negotiating the final details, which will fully define what "nonessential travel" is. Read more

Some police departments handling low-priority calls over phone because of Covid-19: Several local law enforcement agencies have said they will not send an officer or deputy to nonemergency situations to limit first responders' potential exposure to Covid-19. Read more

Lockport closes City Hall to public, cuts workers hours in half: Lockport Mayor Michelle M. Roman posted a notice on the city website Tuesday, closing City Hall to the public and barring spectators from Common Council meetings because of Covid-19 fears. Read more

Niagara County home delivered meals to use drop-and-dash system: Workers in Niagara County's home-delivered meal program for seniors will do their best to avoid contact with the recipients because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Read more

Buffalo temporarily waives some alternate-side parking rules: Alternate-side parking regulations are no longer in effect for vehicles located in places where parking was normally prohibited from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Read more

GM and Ford plan to close auto plants due to outbreak: Detroit's three automakers agreed late Tuesday to partially shut down plants to reduce contact between workers and allow for more time for cleaning between shifts. Read more 

Strapped consumers starting to miss payments: The financial squeeze caused by the reactions to the coronavirus pandemic is starting to hit consumers in their pocketbook – especially those whose wallets were particularly thin to begin with. Read more

West Herr lays off 55 employees as coronavirus outbreak hurts business: "While these decisions are never easy, we have attempted to be fair to each employee, including providing severance packages to all those impacted," said Scott Bieler, the dealer group's president and CEO. Read more

What's open: A list of local restaurants open for takeout and delivery: If you call, these places will do just about anything they can to safely get food into your hands. Read more

Cantina Loco's 'Crisis Abatement' plan supports medical personnel, hospitality workers: While several businesses have long offered discounts to first responders, military and medical professionals, others have elevated their offers during the Covid-19-induced shutdown of dining and taprooms. Read more

State to close malls, theme parks and bowling alleys: New York's shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys will temporarily close effective Thursday evening. Read more

Buffalo rolling out 'on-street drive-thru' for restaurant takeout: The spots will allow patrons to pick up to-go orders and for restaurants to load food into delivery vehicles, said Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer. Read more

Tops offers seniors-only shopping hours: Starting Thursday, Tops will begin offering special shopping hours open solely to seniors ages 60 and older. Read more

New concert dates at Riviera, season cancellations for Buffalo theaters: With the large number of postponements and cancellations announced for the next month – and beyond –  there are too many changes to list. Read more

From Netflix to Disney+ and beyond: 6 diverse shows to binge watch: With movie theaters, bars and restaurants and pretty much every other entertainment option temporarily closing, it's like we're being given permission to binge-watch to our heart's content. Read more

Mayor's comment about Tom Brady at coronavirus news conference goes viral: What Mayor Byron W. Brown said Tuesday about the now former-New England Patriots quarterback taking up with a new team became contagious among national news outlets. Read more

March 17

Two recent Roswell Park inpatients test positive for Covid-19: Both acquired the disease through community contact, hospital officials said in a statement. Read more

Nine new Covid-19 cases confirmed Tuesday evening bring Erie County total to 20: Health department officials said that, as with other cases, epidemiologists have notified the individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus and have placed them in mandatory isolation. Read more

As Covid-19 cases grow, region faces 'daunting' shortage of hospital beds: Surveying the state's number of available hospital beds amid the coronavirus crisis, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday that "the numbers are daunting." They're daunting in Western New York, too. Read more

Erie County running out of Covid-19 testing supplies: The county may run out of the chemicals and swabs needed to test for the new coronavirus in a day or two, said County Executive Mark Poloncarz. Read more

Woman hospitalized with Covid-19 at Millard Fillmore Suburban: A woman who is a manager with the Visiting Nursing Association of WNY was hospitalized at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Kaleida Health officials said Tuesday night. Read more

Erie County reports first Covid-19 hospitalization, first case of community spread: The number had been seven as of Sunday night; all seven previous cases, county officials said, involved people who had traveled outside Erie County. Read more

Niagara County reports first positive test for coronavirus: Niagara County confirmed its first positive test for Covid-19 late Tuesday, according to Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton. Read more

Poloncarz to creator of fake WGRZ coronavirus tweet: 'You are committing a crime': Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz saw red Tuesday morning when he saw a fake Twitter post that falsely stated an employee at a Blasdell supermarket tested positive for Covid-19. Read more

Covid-19 prompts Buffalo, suburban towns to shut offices, reduce services: The City of Buffalo is still open for business, but City Hall is not. And lots of operations have changed. Read more

Buffalo Niagara's economy is falling fast – and businesses are scrambling: The coronavirus pandemic is testing the resilience of Elmwood Village business owners in ways they never could have imagined. Read more

'Severe shortage of blood' for WNY hospitals, donors sought: There's less than a five-day supply of blood in the region, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. Read more

Monroe County confirms first death related to Covid-19: The Monroe County Health Department has confirmed its first death related to Covid-19, according to a fact sheet released by its communications department Tuesday. Read more

First Covid-19 case confirmed in Genesee County: The Genesee County Health Department Tuesday confirmed its first case of coronavirus, prompting a State of Emergency to be declared in Batavia. Read more

Wyoming County confirms its first case of coronavirus: Wyoming County confirmed its first case of Covid-19 Tuesday, becoming the third county after Erie and Allegany counties in Western New York with confirmed cases of the virus. Read more

So many people are filing for unemployment, the state's website can't keep up: The department is now asking people to file for unemployment claims over the phone or online using an alphabetical system. Read more

Health insurers waive copays, deductibles for Covid-19 medical care: BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Independent Health Association and Univera Healthcare all issued new guidance for members that is posted on their websites regarding medical care for Covid-19. Read more

Buffalo area hospitals start screening workers, patients for Covid-19, postpone surgeries: Hospitals across the Buffalo Niagara region continue to tighten their grip on visitation, have begun to cancel elective surgeries and, starting as early as today, will soon screen everyone who arrives for work or treatment. Read more

Day care dilemma: Stay open for families or close for the community?: School closings here and across the state meant to ease the Covid-19 outbreak have left working parents scrambling to find care for young children. Read more

Schools are out through April. What happens to the rest of academic year?: Have students seen their last days in the classroom this year? No one knows. Read more

Sean Kirst: Right now, best way to be a community is to live in isolation: Roswell patient Kevan Busa's hard experience provides a deep insight on a pandemic. Read more

Sparse crowds on trains, buses as NFTA considers cutting Saturday service: The first thing hitting commuters in Metro Rail's LaSalle Station Tuesday was the sweet aroma of disinfectant. The second was the sounds – or lack of sounds. Read more

Link job sectors to support struggling workers: The News' editorial board calls on elected officials to figure out a way to help restaurant, bar owners and gig workers band together to serve the community and protect themselves. Read more

Directed spending during pandemic can help local businesses survive: The News' Editorial Board weighs in on how we can help local businesses during the coronavirus outbreak. Read more

New York suspends its collections of medical, student debts: The New York State Attorney General’s Office is suspending its collection of medical and student debt. Read more

NYSEG suspending late-payment charges during Covid-19 pandemic: NYSEG announced Tuesday that – effective immediately – the utility company is suspending late-payment charges, among several measures it said were aimed at protecting both its customers and employees during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Erie County clerk closing auto bureaus, suspending passport and pistol permit services through March 31: Effective Wednesday, Erie County will close its auto bureau at the Eastern Hills Mall because of the coronavirus crisis, and the remaining facilities will close effective 5 p.m. Friday. Read more

How the coronavirus outbreak is changing the way we work: Employees across Buffalo Niagara are learning how to work in different ways because of the coronavirus crisis. Read more

Service workers brace for layoffs, cut hours: 'It's super scary out there': Economic turmoil has swept the country in the wake of the novel coronavirus. Now Western New York is beginning to feel it. Read more

Inside SLA's new guidance on alcohol sales for breweries, restaurants & more: The New York State Liquor Authority has finalized detailed instructions for its license holders in response to the closure of restaurants and taprooms across the state that became effective Monday night. Read more

Buffalo Grand shuts down, Ellicott lays off staff as hospitality industry gets hammered: The Buffalo Grand Hotel became the biggest victim of the coronavirus outbreak's crippling impact on the travel industry. Read more

Wegmans, Tops shorten store hours in face of Covid-19: Starting Wednesday, all Tops stores will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Wegmans will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Read more

How stores are reacting after being exposed to Covid-19: As people crowded grocery and drugstores last week to prepare for Covid-19, some of them put themselves directly in the virus' path. Read more

As coronavirus scare builds, Elmwood Village falls quiet: On a typical weeknight, the Elmwood Village is a lively place at the end of the working day. But these aren't typical days. Read more

Malls change hours, despite escaping Covid-19 rules: The government has imposed strict rules of operation for bars and restaurants, but shopping centers and stores have so far gone untouched. Still, shopping malls and merchants have begun shortening their hours, and many stores inside the malls have closed all together. Read more

Tony Walker & Co. closes its Amherst stores: 'Retail is dead': Tony Walker & Co. abruptly closed its stores in its namesake Amherst plaza, leaving 37 employees without jobs. Read more

DMV offices closed in Niagara County, services from clerk's office curtailed: Many services run by the Niagara County Clerk's Office are either closed or curtailed due to the spread of Covid-19. Read more

Local Social Security offices closed to public, offering services by phone: Starting today, local Social Security Administration offices are closed to the public for in-person services due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Read more

Thruway electronic signs: "Stop the spread. Save lives": The Thruway website lists the messages for all signs throughout the Thruway system. Read more

Sabres: Person who tested positive for Covid-19 attended March 5 game: A relative of a Buffalo Sabres employee recently tested positive for Covid-19 after attending a Sabres home game March 5. Read more

Bona's Mark Schmidt: 'Your concern is about keeping those guys healthy': Five days after college basketball season ended in one of the most sudden and shocking ways, St. Bonaventure University coach Mark Schmidt was still trying to fathom how it all came to a hurried stop. Read more

Kentucky Derby rescheduled for September: It’s been 75 years since the Kentucky Derby wasn’t held on the first Saturday in May. Read more

Taping of NPR's 'Wait, Wait' quiz show at Shea's postponed: Public radio officials here had worked for years to bring the program to Buffalo for the first time. Read more

Rolling Stones postpone June 6 concert at New Era Field: The Stones canceled their entire "No Filter" North American tour. Read more

Virtual concert series helps bring music to audience in wake of club closings: Soundman and lighting designer Dave Guilford and Buffalo.FM proprietor Marc Odien have launched Band Together Buffalo, a virtual concert series that will allow bands to perform for digital audiences. Read more

With loss of audiences, cultural institutions steady for uncertain future: Arts organizations hope containment efforts will be successful and a return to normalcy will occur sooner than later, but there's no crystal ball to predict when that will be. Read more

March 16

ECC suspends classes for 2 weeks, continues labs and clinical sessions under state rules:  Erie Community College on Monday suspended regular classes for two weeks and will start them up again March 30 in distance learning formats, college officials announced. Read more

Winter skiing, riding at Holiday Valley to be suspended Tuesday: Winter skiing and riding operations at Holiday Valley will be suspended as of 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dennis Eshbaugh, the president of the Ellicottville ski resort announced Monday, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Non-essential functions of Amherst and Williamsville courts postponed until further notice: All non-essential functions of the Amherst and Williamsville courts have been postponed until further notice in response to public safety concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement released Monday by the Amherst Emergency Operations Center. Read more

Erie County swamped trying to track positive Covid-19 cases:  Public health officials acknowledged Monday that it has already become impossible to trace everyone who may have been exposed to Covid-19 from the seven confirmed cases so far in Erie County. Read more

New Covid-19 numbers unavailable due to glitch: The Erie County Department of Health was unable to give its nightly Covid-19 update Monday due to a technical glitch that affected lab testing, it said. Read more

"We're really in the dark": WNY restaurants face an uncertain future: Forced to close dining rooms, restaurateurs must decide a question that would affect everyone around them. Try to operate in some form, or close altogether and pick up the pieces in less uncertain times? Read more

Bars, restaurants and other businesses get the bad news as virus spread:  The novel coronavirus, continuing its march across New York State, led officials to impose a statewide closure order on all schools, restaurants, movie theaters, bars, casinos, gyms and any gathering – from anniversary parties to funerals – that attracts more than 50 people. Read more

State Restaurant Association appeals to governor's office with delayed sales tax request: The New York State Restaurant Association has urged Gov.. Cuomo's office to consider several suggestions it says could keep restaurants throughout the state in business, including extending the deadline to pay quarterly sales tax payment by 90 days. Read more.

Ammo flying off shelves at local stores, triggered by Covid-19 fears: Toilet paper is not the only thing people are hoarding because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Read more.

Lunch is served: Districts giving grab-and-go-meals while schools are closed: School districts – shut down for at least a month amid concerns of spreading the new coronavirus – will roll out grab-and-go meals starting Tuesday to ensure that those students who rely on school lunches and breakfasts are still getting them. Read more

How to collect unemployment benefits - and what to expect: The coronavirus pandemic is leading to a wave of business closures and cutbacks that are sure to trigger unemployment claims by affected workers. Read more

Coronavirus altering WNY campaigns, raising questions about election dates: Candidates in the 27th Congressional District GOP primary scheduled for June 23 are rescheduling fund-raisers, and questions are surfacing about whether the April 28 special election to fill that seat could be delayed. Read more

Village elections postponed to April 28: Gov. Cuomo has postponed village elections, which were scheduled for Wednesday, until April 28.  Read more

Additional Covid-19 cases in Amherst, Elma, Orchard Park, Buffalo: The four most recent cases of coronavirus disease in Erie County involve people who live in Amherst, Elma, Orchard Park and Buffalo. Read more

Where those with Covid-19 visited, traveled in recent weeks: The Erie County Department of Health advised any individuals who were present at the following places and times monitor themselves daily for symptoms of Covid-19. Read more

Trump says Cuomo needs to 'do more,' like find scarce ventilators:  President Trump Monday absolved himself of the responsibility to increase the nation's supply of ventilators to respond to the coronavirus crisis, instead placing that burden on the nation's governors. "Cuomo of New York has to do more," Trump tweeted. Read more

Hospitals continue to shift planning, visitation with expected hike in coronavirus cases: Officials at most hospital systems were meeting Monday morning to lay plans for what comes next. Read more

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center restricts visitors: All visitors will be asked to sign in and undergo a medical screening. Read more 

All Buffalo & Erie County Central Library locations to close Tuesday: The downtown Central Library and all Erie County branches will be closed Tuesday, library officials announced Monday.  Read more

Seneca Nation to close three casinos: Leaders of the Seneca Nation announced its casinos in Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca will close effective 8 p.m. Monday until further notice. Read more

Americans are exempt from closing of Canadian border: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday afternoon that its borders will be closed to non-citizens and non-permanent residents, but his order does not affect Americans. Read more

As Niagara County government cuts staff, manager says: Call ahead: Niagara County Manager Richard E. Updegrove said the county will do its best, starting Tuesday, to implement the 50% local government personnel cut Gov. Cuomo ordered. Read more

North Tonawanda bans spectators at Council meetings, closes senior center: The meetings and workshops, held on Tuesday evenings, will be streamed live on Facebook and the city website, where comments can be posted, Mayor Arthur G. Pappas said. Read more

Region's fitness centers brace for closure: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced late Monday morning that fitness centers across the state would need to close by 8 p.m., as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Read more

National Fuel closes customer assistance centers: National Fuel Gas Co. is shutting its customer assistance centers beginning Tuesday in Buffalo, Cheektowaga and Jamestown as part of its efforts to limit exposure to the coronavirus outbreak. Read more

Buffalo Raceway cancels racing for 45 days: Buffalo Raceway has canceled live harness racing for 45 days because of the coronavirus outbreak, track officials announced Monday. The expected restart date is May 2. Read more

Editorial: School closures were inevitable, but we need exceptions for health care employees: "The effects of shutting down schools through April 20 will ripple through the lives of thousands of families, including those of health care workers. That is one segment of the workforce we cannot afford to be without as Covid-19 cases multiply in Western New York." Read more

Rules relaxed for requesting Covid-19 testing: Any area physician who believes they have a patient with symptoms associated with Covid-19 may now request testing. Read more

Heart, Love & Soul food pantry switches to bagged lunches, expands hours: Heart, Love & Soul food pantry and dining room in Niagara Falls will suspend its service of hot meals and switch to bagged lunches. Read more

Judge calls off Joseph Belstadt trial over coronavirus fears: Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon postponed the murder trial of Joseph H. Belstadt Monday. Read more

State, county, local courts postpone most proceedings because of Covid-19: Only criminal or civil trials already underway will continue in state, county and local courts. Read more

First look at how coronavirus is hitting N.Y. manufacturers paints grim picture: The coronavirus outbreak has sent New York's manufacturers into a tailspin. Read more

'Project Olive' will have to wait; hearing on Amazon project canceled: Town Supervisor John Whitney on Monday issued the order, joining numerous other communities, intended to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Read more

NHL permits players to return home, prepares for extended hiatus: Players are permitted to return home, including outside the North America, and must self-quarantine through March 27. Read more

Gas prices see sharp declines nationally, locally in wake of Covid-19: The national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.26, down 12 cents from last week, while Buffalo's average price dipped six cents this week to $2.45, which marks a decline of 11 cents over the past month. Read more

How Buffalo restaurants, bars are adjusting to NY's dining room closures: Here are several ways local food-and-drink businesses have adapted to the new reality. Read more

Bars, restaurants, casinos to close at 8 p.m. in NY, NJ, Connecticut: Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined governors from New Jersey and Connecticut Monday morning on a conference call to announce joint restrictions. Read more

Local company on front lines of ‘very important fight’ against Covid-19: The novel coronavirus that's shaking the world arrived in Buffalo earlier this week in the safest form possible: in a vial encased in dry ice. Read more

Where meals will be available for Buffalo Public Schools students: Starting Tuesday, breakfast and lunch meals will be available for pickup. Read more

M&T Bank says employee has Covid-19: The M&T employee works in a role that's "non-customer facing" at M&T Plaza, a company spokesperson said. Read more

Tops confirms a Covid-19 case at its corporate office in Amherst: The company said in a release Monday that it learned late Saturday that an associate who works out of the office on Wehrle Drive had tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease. Read more

The local job market is sick, and the coronavirus will make it sicker: The Buffalo Niagara job market was in rough shape before the coronavirus scare. Now it's only going to get worse, David Robinson writes in his analysis. Read more

Eric Spina's life prepared him to lead. Now he's leading the University of Dayton through heartbreak: Erik Brady shares the story of Buffalo native Eric Spina, president of the University of Dayton, whose men's basketball team would have been a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament for the first time. Read more

March 15

County, Buffalo declare states of emergency; schools close; more cases found: Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz on Sunday beseeched the public to do its part to not spread germs as he declared a state of emergency to help the county prevent the spread of Covid-19. Poloncarz announced the action to use expanded emergency powers as a total of seven county residents tested positive for the novel coronavirus by Sunday night. "We don't want to become like Italy," Poloncarz said. "We don't want to have to shut down the community."

Erie County coronavirus patient total stands at 7; Allegany County reports 2 cases: Erie County Health Department did not say where the four newly diagnosed people live in Erie County, but says all seven appear to have contracted the virus either while traveling to New York City or out of state. The first three to be diagnosed live in Buffalo, Clarence and on Grand Island.

All schools in Erie and Niagara counties announce closings: Schools in Erie and Niagara counties will be closed for more than a month in an emergency bid to ward off the spread of the novel coronavirus, as officials Sunday announced a sweeping decision that temporarily upends life for tens of thousands of students, parents, teachers and staff in the region's largest school districts.

Public Masses canceled until further notice in Buffalo Diocese: Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger said late Sunday, “Churches may remain open, as locally feasible, and the faithful are encouraged to continue to visit and pray while maintaining a prudent distance from one another.” He also said while funerals will still be conducted, only the immediate family will be permitted to attend.

Crackdown on bar crowd size could be followed by pulling liquor licenses: Police were going door to door at bars on West Chippewa in Buffalo Sunday to enforce Erie County's reduced capacity standards imposed due to the novel coronavirus threat. Every bar "should go under the assumption someone might stop by," Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.

Williamsville assemblywoman ordered to quarantine; "I'm fine," McMahon saysAssemblywoman Karen McMahon, a Williamsville Democrat, started her day Sunday with a mandatory order from Erie County health officials to quarantine in her home – and then had the order dropped by Sunday night. McMahon's whirlwind Sunday came a day after two members of the state Assembly tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Casino Niagara, Fallsview suspend operations as coronavirus spreads: The two casinos on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls will temporarily shut down by order of provincial authorities as a "precautionary measure" to combat the spread of Covid-19.

ECMC, Roswell Park limit who can enter hospital facilities for a week: The ban covers volunteers, vendors and medical and nursing students, but not medical residents.

Covid-19 claims third life in state, Cuomo says: A 79-year-old woman who died in a New York City hospital and suffered from a number of "major underlying health problems" became the third person in New York to die of Covid-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday, saying 729 New Yorkers have tested positive for the virus.

Section VI winter athletes, teams hang on to hope while wondering what could have been: Student-athletes or teams that expected to play in New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournaments only to wind up wondering what might have been if not for the coronavirus epidemic prematurely ending their postseason runs.

Niagara County closes schools until further notice, posts state of emergency: The announcements, made Sunday afternoon by County Legislature Chairwoman Rebecca J. Wydysh, came even though Niagara County still has no confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus. "We're not waiting for a positive case to dictate what we do," county Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said at a news conference in Lockport.

Governments need to find a solution to the lack of paid days off for millions of American workers: The News Editorial Board weighs in on the current coronavirus situation.

Use military to help contain coronavirus, Cuomo urges Trump: The military needs to be mobilized to help quickly build more hospital capacity to handle the novel coronavirus spread, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo urged in an op-ed piece this morning directed at President Trump.

Poloncarz uses state of emergency to close schools, allocate resources and money: Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz declared a state of emergency Sunday as three county residents tested positive for Covid-19. He also warned bars to keep their establishments at half-capacity, asked people to stop panic buying and announced that all schools are to be closed to students on Monday as districts make preparations for long-term, distance learning.

What a state of emergency is – and what it's not: Some residents may be imagining lockdowns and curfews similar to what has been seen in other countries with a large outbreak of Covid-19 cases. But a state of emergency is actually just a declaration that gives governments the authority to set aside certain rules, laws or constitutional provisions to protect the health and welfare of the public.

Diocese suspends confirmations, large celebrations through March: Mass will continue to be offered publicly as announced or scheduled, contingent on emergency governmental restrictions regarding larger gatherings.

Amherst to declare town state of emergency: Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa said Sunday morning he is declaring a state of emergency in the town in an attempt to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Covid-19 Q&A: When will we know more about the Erie County residents who tested positive? Are there enough tests? Will schools close? Is it safe to eat out?

The week that Covid-19 changed our livesEven as local governments, businesses and school districts took action to prepare for the virus, many Western New Yorkers appear unsure how to best react to a pandemic that has, in the span of a few short days, swept into every crevice of daily existence.

Orleans County schools issue closure guidelines on meals, instruction: School district closures in Orleans County will extend indefinitely and apply to student classes and extracurricular activities.

Seneca casinos adding space between games to combat coronavirus: Additional precautions have been implemented to provide social distancing in the continued response to Covid-19 concerns after three cases were confirmed in Western New York.

March 14

• 3 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Erie County:  Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the Health Department is contacting people who have been close to the three people. Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo confirmed a second death in the state from the new coronavirus, this one in Rockland County, and reported the number of coronavirus cases in the state has risen to 613.

Two state lawmakers test positive for coronavirus as Capitol closes to visitors: Two members of the State Assembly, both from Brooklyn, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and state officials have closed the Capitol to visitors.

Daemen student rode bus carrying Rochester man diagnosed with Covid-19: Daemen president Gary Olson said the student is showing no symptoms of the disease, will be tested for coronavirus and has been quarantined.

Cuomo lashes out at federal coronavirus bill that would bring billions to New York: A bipartisan bill the House passed early Saturday in response to the coronavirus pandemic will bring billions in Medicaid funding to New York, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo lashed out at the measure anyway, saying a provision in it hamstrings him from balancing the state budget.

Canadians advised against international travel because of Covid-19: “Avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada,” the Public Health Agency of Canada is telling travelers.

State bars visitors from all state prisons over Covid-19 concerns:  The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision announced Saturday that visitors have been barred from all state prisons through April 11 but said it is monitoring the situation and "and may extend these restrictions as necessary."

Seneca Gaming taking more precautions: Seneca Gaming is implementing social distancing protocols in its gaming facilities.

No Covid-19 flight cuts at Buffalo airport yet, but NFTA is preparing for them: The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is bracing for anticipated cuts by airlines to flights into and out of this area and the rest of the country in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic.

States of emergency declared in Wyoming, Genesee, Orleans counties, schools closed:   States of emergency due to Covid-19 were declared Saturday in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties. All schools in the three counties also will be closed, beginning Monday.

• Cuomo reports New York's first confirmed Covid-19 death: The governor said the number of new reported cases is likely to rise as the state ramps up its testing capacity. That doesn't mean the virus is spreading faster, he said, just that the state soon will have an accurate picture of its reach.

• Monroe County declares state of emergency after second case of Covid-19:The Monroe County Department of Public Health announced late Friday night that it had confirmed a second Monroe County resident has tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

In first Monroe County Covid-19 case, man traveled via bus that went on to Buffalo:Officials are reaching out to the public in an effort to contact people who may have ridden a Greyhound bus with the Rochester man who was the county's first case of coronavirus disease.

• PSE to compensate arena employees if games are canceled: Pegula Sports and Entertainment CEO Kim Pegula announced Saturday afternoon that gameday employees at KeyBank Center in Buffalo and Blue Cross Arena in Rochester will be compensated if the games in which they are scheduled to work are canceled.

• Have a fever and a cough? Doctors urge patients to stay home and call: Primary care practices often encourage patients with flu-like symptoms to call before they come into the office but they have urged everyone in that position to do so now that Covid-19 has become a pandemic.

• Federal, state courts postpone many proceedings due to Covid-19 pandemic: The Buffalo and Rochester courthouses remain open for electronic and in-person filings and "the public is encouraged to continue utilizing court services while following all applicable pubSic health guidelines."

Kenmore caterer left with hundreds of corned beef dinners gets creative: Kevin Lester of Kevin's Catering has a lot of corned beef and cabbage to get off his hands, and he needs your help.

Buffalo Niagara hotels take a pounding from cancellations due to virus scare: So it goes for the local hotel industry as travel, tourism and sporting events grind to a halt indefinitely.

• Covid-19 fears affecting political campaign petition process: Board of Elections spokesman John W. Conklin said the situation has come to its attention, but that it must await direction from the governor and Legislature.

Nardin Academy closes campuses, goes online: The private school became the latest in the Buffalo area to move to distance learning as a precaution to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Inside the NHL: While we await the next faceoff, the Sabres and NHL face lost of questions: Mike Harrington tries to answer some questions about hockey's hiatus.

March 13

Postponed events, closings announced in the wake of coronavirus outbreakScheduled meetings and events across Erie County have been canceled or postponed out of an abundance of caution related to concerns about the possible spread of Covid-19.

Person who worked in Buffalo News building tests negative for Covid-19The individual was tested after exhibiting flu like symptoms, and had recently been outside the country.

Erie County lab only able to run 450 Covid-19 tests, but help on the way: Many residents who want to be tested are being turned away because they don't meet the definition of a high-risk case.

We're a small part of this': Seasons end for Daemen basketball teamsThe coronavirus outbreak brought an abrupt end to the seasons of the Daemen men's and women's basketball teams, who were on the road for the NCAA Division II Tournament when the NCAA announced its championship shutdown.

'Absolute chaos': Grocery stores struggle to meet Covid-19 demand: Panicked shoppers are jamming stores and clearing shelves of basic essentials.

All Wegmans stores to close at midnight for cleaning, restocking: Wegmans starting Friday night will close all of its area locations at midnight to allow for store cleaning and restocking of shelves.

Buffalo Public Schools to close one day, then assess plansBuffalo schools will be closed to students on Monday, the superintendent announced Friday afternoon.

Nichols, Elmwood Franklin among first schools to close amid Covid-19 concerns: Nichols School and Elmwood Franklin School will be closing next week and will remain closed until April 13.

• Schools are still open. But for how long?: As every facet of everyday life is affected – from going to church services and the theater to attending sporting events and picking up groceries – it's clearly only a matter of time.

WNY restaurateur: 'None of us have seen anything like this before': After this weekend, many restaurants will have to figure out what their new normal will be, until the coronavirus is done, writes News Food Editor Andrew Galarneau.

Businesses get resourceful: Toilet paper with a fish fry, beer delivery: Buffalo-area businesses are reacting to the global coronavirus epidemic that has consumers scrambling for home goods and wary about potential exposure to the virus.

Covid-19 prompts churches to cancel, livestream or change services: Hundreds of thousands of Western New Yorkers will be changing their worship practices, thanks to the Covid-19 virus.

Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus: “I’m urging every state to set up emergency operations centers effective immediately,” the president said.

Gillibrand bill would boost infectious disease monitoring at borders: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand introduced a bipartisan effort Friday to increase cooperation between the U.S., Canada and Mexico regarding screening for infectious diseases at the nations' borders.

Erie County libraries remain open, but meeting room use canceled: While all Buffalo & Erie County Public Library branches will remain open to the public, all public programs and meeting room use are otherwise canceled.

The show goes on at Western New York movie theaters: Coronavirus fears aren't stopping local theaters from showing movies.

Home sales were going strong. But now agents brace for coronavirus impact: Real estate brokers are starting to take precautions like wiping down surfaces and using hand sanitizer. They're anticipating buyers and sellers to follow suit.

State relaxes unemployment benefit rules, weighs casino exception to large gatherings: The state’s present seven-day waiting period before weekly benefit checks can flow to unemployed workers will be lifted for people who lose their jobs due to the impact of the novel coronavirus or if they have become quarantined.

UB athletic director: 'Unprecedented times' bring sports shutdown“For the past two months we have been talking, preparing, in the case something would happen," said UB's athletic director.

Column: How we are preparing for coronavirus at The Buffalo News: The coronavirus pandemic is a huge story consuming almost every reporter at The News. But the newsroom is nearly abandoned, writes Editor Mike Connelly.

• Cuomo: Feds will allow state to oversee Covid-19 testing: Twenty-eight more private labs will soon be able to test New Yorkers by sometime next week.

• Need a respite from coronavirus fears? Take a walk in the park:For those who are healthy, a walk through any one of Buffalo's six Olmsted parks could be beneficial for anyone needing fresh air, a change of scenery, a place to walk their dog or a quiet place to reflect.

Holiday Valley's Winter Carnival still on this weekend: Holiday Valley Ski Resort in Ellicottville is still holding its Winter Carnival this weekend.

• Buffalo couple forges ahead with wedding during Covid-19 scare: The couple joked that they will give out rolls of toilet paper as wedding favors to the guests who do show up.

• Local theater companies announce postponements, cancellationsSome shows have been postponed, while others have had their entire runs canceled. A few are moving forward.

• Monsignor Martin cancels games through March 30: The decision was made in consultation with the New York State Catholic High School Athletic Association and guidelines from the health department.

• Concert promoters hope coronavirus-based tour hiatus is temporary: Two concert promotion behemoths, often given in the past to bitter quarreling and litigation, have joined forces – along with related booking agencies – in order to respond to the crisis.

Column: Musicians are traditionally loath to cancel gigs. That might not be a good thing this time: As the effects of the pandemic have intensified over the past few days, News Music Critic Jeff Miers has watched fellow musicians in the Buffalo music scene for their reactions, via social media.

• For canceled Buffalo Home Show, one weekend better than none: The show went on last week for what was to be the first of two weekends, but concerns led to state and county officials banning large events.

• How to support Buffalo restaurants as coronavirus measures take hold: In a time where caution is abundant to limit possible exposure to the novel coronavirus, there are still ways to support restaurants.

• Spectrum to offer free internet to nonsubscribers with students at home: The company said it will begin offering the free access on Monday as a way to help students whose classes are moving online because of the closings caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Buffalo Zoo to be closed for two weeks: The zoo's team of animal care and operational staff will remain on site to take care of the animals, zoo officials said Friday in their announcement.

Requirement to attend Sunday services suspended for Catholics, other denominations: The bishop's move will affect tens of thousands of Buffalo area Catholics who regularly attend Mass each Saturday or Sunday. Many other local churches, including the region's megachurches, have made similar announcements.

 Villages taking precautions for elections Wednesday: 'We won't be sharing any pens': Elections for village officials are still on for Wednesday, with voting from noon to 9 p.m.

• BPO cancels a month of concerts; some events to be rescheduled: The concerts, which were to be held at Kleinhans Music Hall, include Mozart and the Divine, the Doo Wop Project and Portraits of England.

• Washington will give new powers to New York to regulate coronavirus testing: The federal government has given permission to New York State to regulate coronavirus testing, a move that will sharply increase the number of people checked for the infection beyond the current system that targets individuals that fit into certain categories of risk.

• Crowds of shoppers stock up at local supermarkets: As preparations and precautions regarding coronavirus ramped up, Western New Yorkers headed to the supermarket to stock up.

• WNY restaurant owners working hard to handle coronavirus impact: Food Editor Andrew Galarneau talks to area restaurateurs about how they are handling the coronavirus outbreak.

Bottom lines as impact of Covid-19 intensifies in WNY and beyond: Refresh Editor Scott Scanlon shares his thoughts on this week's Covid-19 developments.

• Stuck at home? Settle in to see 'The Plot Against America' and 'Little Fires Everywhere': Alan Pergament has some suggestions for what to watch on TV when you're trying to pass the time at home.

March 12

Why drastic measures are being taken without any confirmed Covid-19 cases in WNY: If Erie County – as of Thursday afternoon – still did not have a single confirmed case of anyone infected with the new coronavirus, then are many things canceled?

Two residents under 'mandatory quarantine' as county testing continues: There are 10 tests of local residents in the process of being done.

• It's unfathomable: The games have stopped and we don't know when they'll be back: There's so much uncertainty that it makes your head spin, Mike Harrington says.

Cuomo: No visitors to nursing homes; public events with more than 500 people to be banned: The public gathering order by Gov. Cuomo is intended to reduce density levels of people as a way to reduce the the spread of the virus.

Colleges in 'uncharted waters' amid coronavirus outbreak: A day after the state's public colleges and universities were ordered to move classes online to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, more private colleges followed suit.

WNY restaurants limited to half-full as a state anti-coronavirus precaution: New York State’s precautions due to the spreading number of novel coronavirus cases across state will include limiting public venues to half-capacity.

Niagara Falls tourism feeling sting from Covid-19: It’s anyone’s guess what the effect of the novel coronavirus will be over the next several weeks and months, as Niagara Falls heads into its prime season.

Travel industry takes a hit from coronavirus outbreak: The news isn't getting any better for the travel industry amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Shea's cancels performances of 'Hello, Dolly!,' new play at Shea's 710: Remaining performances of "Hello, Dolly!" at Shea's Buffalo Theatre have been canceled.

Updates from WNY cultural institutions, large venues relating to coronavirus: At present, most of these institutions are proceeding with their scheduled programming, albeit with caution.

Canisius to move classes online, close residence halls amid coronavirus concerns: Canisius College will teach classes remotely, close residence halls and cancel all college-sponsored events.

Coronavirus leads to restrictions on visitors to federal court: Buffalo's federal courts are joining the growing list of institutions adopting new guidelines on visitors.

Other than attorney visits, in-person visitation suspended at Erie County jail facilities: In-person visits by family and friends with inmates at the Erie County Holding Center and the Erie County Correctional Facility have been suspended.

NHL suspends its season amid outbreak of coronavirus: The NHL officially suspended its season Thursday with plans to resume "as soon as it is appropriate and prudent."

Bisons' schedule will start late as Minor League Baseball announces delay to season: The opening of the Buffalo Bisons' season is the latest casualty of the coronavirus outbreak, as Minor League Baseball announced a delay to the start of the season.

• Person who worked in Buffalo News building tested for COVID-19: The person was in close contact with a small number of people in The News’ production building, and those workers were informed and sent home until results of the test become available.

• MAC, Atlantic 10 among conferences to cancel remainder of basketball tournaments:The MAC’s decision to cancel the tournament comes two days after it restricted tournament access to the general public.

Canisius, Niagara spring sports, MAAC tournament canceled over coronavirus: The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference canceled all spring sports in addition to the remainder of its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

No more sharing ballpoint pens at the Erie County auto bureaus: Erie County Clerk Michael "Mickey" Kearns is encouraging visitors to the Erie County Auto Bureaus to bring their own pens to sign documents.

• Some NFL teams are pulling coaches, scouts off the road: With the NFL draft looming next month, some NHL teams have pulled scouts and coaches from traveling, according to the NFL Network.

National Lacrosse League suspends season:  The National Lacrosse League has suspended its season until further notice because of the coronavirus outbreak, the league announced in a statement Thursday.

State Catholic boys and girls basketball tournaments canceled: The state Catholic High School Athletic Association has canceled the boys and girls basketball tournaments because of the coronavirus outbreak, The News has learned.

KeyBank, M&T Bank impose travel restrictions on employees: KeyBank, which has its Northeast regional headquarters in Larkinville, is prohibiting international business travel and is limiting nonessential domestic business travel, said Matt Pitts, a Key spokesman.

St. Patrick's Day parades to be canceled: Both of Buffalo's St. Patrick's Day parades will be canceled to limit potential exposure to Covid-19, Mayor Byron W. Brown announced at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

'A Quiet Place Part II' release delayed amid COVID-19 fears: The release of the Buffalo-made thriller, originally set for March 20, has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Women engineers group cancels Buffalo conference: The Society of Women Engineers has canceled a conference planned for Buffalo later this month.

 Medaille extends spring break amid concerns over coronavirus: Medaille College has announced it will extend its spring break another week for undergraduate students, in response to concerns about the new coronavirus.

Sabres cancel team meeting, media availability as NHL ponders next steps: The Buffalo Sabres canceled meetings and media availability Thursday morning in Bell Centre as the team awaits word on whether the novel coronavirus will cause the NHL to suspend its season.

No fans permitted at regional boys basketball games at Buffalo State: Fans will not be allowed to attend the New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys basketball regional games at Buffalo State Sports Arena on Saturday.

• Monroe County's first case of coronavirus is Rochester man who had traveled to Italy: The Rochester-area announced its first case of the coronavirus disease Wednesday night. On Thursday morning, Rochester officials announced that its St. Patrick's Day parade had been canceled.

Coronavirus and WNY's concert season: You can't stop the music ... or can you?: News Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers takes a look at how the live music industry will be affected by the continued spread of the virus.

March 11

Trump suspends all travel from Europe to U.S. over 'horrible' coronavirus pandemicPresident Trump announced the suspension of all travel from Europe to the U.S. in an effort to contain the "horrible" coronavirus.

SUNY's coronavirus shift to online classes raises anxiety among Buffalo State studentsSome students said they were under the impression that classmates from downstate might not be welcomed to move back on campus after spring break ends.

Precautions stepped up locally in face of Covid-19 threat: Organizations in Buffalo and Western New York are stepping up their preparedness in response to the threat of the Covid-19 virus.

Dow ends bull market after coronavirus officially declared a pandemic: The New York Times reported Wednesday that a market plunge ended an 11-year bull market for the Dow Jones industrial average, which closed with a loss of nearly 6%.

MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher explains decision to shutter tourney: The decision to close the Mid-American Conference’s men's and women's basketball tournaments to the general public wasn’t easy for commissioner Jon Steinbrecher.

In an empty arena, UB women's basketball is silenced by Kent StateUB's women's basketball team fell to Kent State 72-66 in a MAC tournament quarterfinal game attended by fewer than 300 fans.

NHL 'evaluating the options' after NBA's decision to suspend seasonThe NHL did not immediately stay in lockstep with the NBA in the wake of the basketball league's decision to suspend its season Wednesday.

Coronavirus testing sharply expands, but not enough for some officials: Officials say the federal government is shortchanging New York State when it comes to the testing of residents for the novel coronavirus.

All SUNY, CUNY schools shifting to online learning to combat coronavirus: All state university campuses will shut down on March 19 to try to reduce density levels of students who could spread the novel coronavirus among people on and off college grounds.

UB suspends all study abroad programs: The University at Buffalo suspended all of its study abroad programs and recalled students because of the new coronavirus. The move affects about 65 students, according to the university.

Coronavirus fears begin to affect local convention business: Tuesday, Visit Buffalo Niagara received word of the cancellation of an upcoming event in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, as well as the postponement of an event that was supposed to take place in May in a Buffalo hotel.

Spectators barred from amateur hockey tourney in Amherst, Niagara County: A major amateur hockey tournament will go on this weekend in the Northtown Center at Amherst without fans at the direction of town officials worried about the possible spread of Covid-19 because some participating players are from Westchester County.

NYSPHSAA announces hockey final four to be played without spectators: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys ice hockey championship tournament will be played as scheduled Saturday and Sunday, but without fans.

March 10

Colleges make Covid-19 contingency plans as spring break looms: Spring break could take on a brand new meaning this year.

Coronavirus crisis boosts Gillibrand's calls for medical leave legislationSenator Kirsten E. Gillibrand touted a proposed Covid-19 response that included legislation that would permanently require most businesses to provide paid sick leave to employees.

Wegmans limits toilet paper purchases as Covid-19 squeezes supplyWegmans has set a limit on how much toilet paper its customers can buy at one time in response to novel coronavirus panic shopping.

State Catholic boys and girls basketball tournaments postponed by coronavirus outbreak: Boys teams from Canisius and Bishop Timon-St.Jude, and girls teams from Cardinal O'Hara, Sacred Heart and Buffalo Seminary will have to wait for their shots at championship glory.

12 facts to know (or remember) about Covid-19: Some takeaways from a presentation given by Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein.

Hospitals, nursing homes prep as Covid-19 cases climb in New York: Don't panic if one or more people in Western New York test positive for the novel coronavirus.

As Covid-19 undermines economies, state budgeters must proceed cautiously (editorial): "As the novel coronavirus continues to spread in New York, home to the nation’s greatest number of cases, the question in Albany is how should that fact influence the state’s 2020-21 budget? “Save or spend?” was the question posed by a headline on Monday. It could just as well have asked if the state should be careful or careless."

Coronavirus, lack of inventory constricting Buffalo Niagara housing market: The housing market could be affected by the ripple effects of coronavirus.

Buffalo's St. Patrick's Day parades on despite Covid-19 concerns: Buffalo's two St. Patrick's Day parades are still on for this weekend.

Niagara Falls Memorial limiting visiting hours because of Covid-19 scare: Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has cut visiting hours while limiting visits to patients.

Timeline: How the world is responding to coronavirus: See the Covid-19 outbreak and spread of the virus and its impact via photos from around the world.

MAC bars spectators from men's and women's basketball tournaments: The MAC announced the edict Tuesday evening, after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine earlier in the day issued a recommendation that would ban spectators from indoor sporting events in the state, in order to minimize the spread of novel coronavirus.

March 9

Employers weigh office options amid coronavirus outbreak: Although there are no diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus in the Buffalo Niagara region, some area employers are trying to stay ahead of the situation. They are encouraging employees to stay home if they feel sick, and some are restricting employee business travel.

N.Y. leads U.S. in confirmed coronavirus cases; county ready for testing: New York State now has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease than any other state. The state's count of 142 cases tops the state of Washington by one.

New York making its own brand of hand sanitizer: New York State has an answer to the shortage of hand sanitizer. It's using prison inmates to make its own.

Will coronavirus thrive in warmer weather?: Don Paul weighs in on speculation that the novel coronavirus would ease up when the weather warmed, like the flu does.

Save or spend? State lawmakers eye budget amid economic uncertainty: One thing not affected, so far, by the novel coronavirus spread? Albany’s penchant for spending.

Coronavirus testing companies' ability to source products from overseasCountries such as China have established themselves as a low-cost source of readily available products for U.S. companies. But the coronavirus outbreak there and in some other places has many U.S. companies worried about the flow of supplies in the coming weeks.

Sabres move media out of locker room, await NHL mandates: Following the team's morning skate in KeyBank Center, players Jack Eichel, Jake McCabe, Sam Reinhart and Dominik Kahun spoke to reporters in the adjacent hallway to the dressing room.

March 8

Questions but few answers as school districts prepare for Covid-19:  What would it take to close a school here if a student or staff member is found to be ill with the  new coronavirus? That's one of the big questions school leaders are grappling with.

Cuomo demands private lab testing for coronavirus as N.Y. cases rise to 105: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday challenged the federal government to authorize private labs to perform Covid-19 testing, insisting New York health officials could process up to 2,000 new cases every day with new and expanded capacities.

Roswell Park to play big role in tracking Covid-19: Once testing begins, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center would be able to test as many as 100 potential cases with the hope of getting results the same day, CEO Candace S. Johnson says.

As NFTA awaits guidance, governor weighs in: Find less crowded bus or rail car: If you’re commuting to and from work today via public transportation, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has some advice.

State high school events still scheduled as coronavirus watch continues: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association issued a statement to address concerns about its competitions.

March 7

Uptick in coronavirus cases leads to a state of emergency for New York The emergency declaration will allow for swifter hiring of personnel and purchase of protective equipment, the governor said.

Business travel is grounded by coronavirus outbreak: Companies are clamping down on employees taking business trips. A growing number of trade shows and conferences are getting canceled or postponed amid health concerns about mass gatherings of people.

Quarantined students heading to Brockport; none coming to Buffalo State: “This afternoon, we learned from SUNY that we will not be hosting any students returning from Italy this weekend,” college President Katherine Conway-Turner announced in an email message to faculty, staff and students.

March 6

44 coronavirus cases confirmed in New York; 116 monitored in Erie County: No one in Erie County has tested positive for the illness.

Shelves empty in face of coronavirus: If consumers aren't keeping calm about the coronavirus, at least they're keeping clean. Sanitizing supplies such as bleach, cleaning wipes, rubbing alcohol and antibacterial soap are selling fast.

Hospitals, nursing homes prepare for Covid-19: They've locked away specialty breathing masks and other personal protective devices, imposed more visitor restrictions and underlined infectious control practices with staff as they brace for the prospect of the first positive Covid-19 test results in the region.

March 5

Buffalo State dorm eyed as quarantine site: SUNY Buffalo State officials have been told the campus might have to quarantine more than 100 foreign-study students who are being brought back to New York State under a new coronavirus order by the Cuomo administration.

Amherst High students in voluntary quarantine following trip to Italy: Twelve students and their teacher chaperon were asked to stay home after federal health officials recently added Italy to the list of countries that people should avoid visiting because of concerns over the novel coronavirus.

Erie County Legislature demands local transparency over coronavirus: Legislators want greater transparency from the county's Department of Health about how many residents are being monitored, or have been monitored, for potential exposure to the new coronavirus.

Have some love for your WNY restaurants in a time of coronavirus: "In a time of uncertainty and speculation, here’s one prediction I would put my 401(k) against: Even if no case is ever discovered in Western New York, restaurants will be badly hurt by the bug," writes Andrew Galarneau.

March 4

SUNY students called back from countries with coronavirus outbreaks: Seventeen Western New York college students are among the 300 SUNY and CUNY students studying abroad in countries hit hard by novel coronavirus whom Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered Wednesday to return home.

Poloncarz, Cuomo spar over coronavirus transparency: County Executive Mark Poloncarz accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of breaking the law by revealing the number of Erie County residents being monitored for possible exposure to the coronavirus. That prompted the Governor's Office to demand the county executive "correct the record immediately" – which Poloncarz later did.

Coronavirus concerns cause MAC, Atlantic 10, MAAC to evaluate tournament plans.

March 3

How Westchester County responded to positive coronavirus test: It's one example of how a county health department may act in future cases when someone tests positive for the rapidly spreading respiratory virus.

Potential Erie County coronavirus samples being tested in Albany: Erie County Health Department officials would not say how many people were being tested.

Q&A: As fears hit Western New York, how worried should you be? The ongoing crisis is prompting many questions. We pulled together answers.

Six Buffalo-area residents show symptoms of coronavirus: Twelve members of two families who recently traveled back from Italy were quarantined in their homes as they were tested for coronavirus infections.

The Editorial Board: Coronavirus is no reason to panic, but institutions need to prepare. "The spread of the coronavirus disease, called Covid-19, poses a serious public health threat, yet one of the challenges we face as citizens is how to keep it in perspective."

March 2

Poloncarz talks coronavirus at the White House: The Erie County executive went to Washington to talk about the federal trusted traveler programs, but the coronavirus pushed its way onto the agenda.

Districts prepare for the worst as they work to prevent coronavirus: Many are making plans to teach students online in case the virus spreads so widely that schools are forced to close. Officials are considering how they would handle large numbers of absences  and how to make up days that could be missed because of the virus.

Cuomo urges calm as New York confronts coronavirus: "It's deep breath time," the governor said.

March 1

First case of coronavirus confirmed in New York State: A woman in her late 30s contracted the virus while traveling in Iran.


Public health officials brace for the inevitable: Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein called it the calm before the storm. (Feb. 29, 2020)

President Trump, Sen. Schumer spar over coronavirus response. A day after enduring searing criticism from Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and others regarding the administration's response to the coronavirus, the president expressed a willingness to work with Congress to expand funding for the fight against the quickly spreading health threat. (Feb. 26, 2020)

Another Voice: Here's how Buffalo can prepare for the coronavirus. An emergency preparedness consultant in Buffalo who works on health security and public health issues weighs in. (Feb. 26, 2020)

State looks to add $40 million to prepare for "highly probable" coronavirus cases“New York is the front door internationally," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said of direct flights from overseas, including countries that are seeing large numbers of people coming down with the virus. (Feb. 26, 2020)

"Risk to the general public is still low," N.Y. health department says (Feb. 6, 2020)


Everything you need to know about coronavirus: What is novel coronavirus? Where did it come from? How is it spread? (Jan. 25, 2020)

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