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As New York takes a 'pause,' WNY rallies to fight spread of Covid-19

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.

The mushrooming numbers came as New York settled in for its first full day on "pause."

All nonessential workers from Buffalo to New York City were told to stay home. But for how long?

Cuomo told New Yorkers it's time to settle in and find new routines amid increasingly stringent restrictions on where they can go and what they can do.

"Life is going to be quieter for a matter of months," Cuomo said.

The governor knows people aren't happy about it, but he said he believes it's the right call.

Worries arose over the region's most vulnerable citizens.

Advocates sounded the alarm about people whose water had been shut off.

Following news that an Erie County sheriff's deputy working in the jails had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, District Attorney John J. Flynn said inmates being held pretrial at the county's jail could ask to be released on bail.

Across Western New York, people rallied to help.

Inside science classrooms at West Seneca schools, administrators collected more than 1,400 goggles, a handful of N95 masks, hundreds of gloves, dozens of gowns and thousands of sanitizing wipes. Town police delivered them to Erie County Medical Center, which had put out an urgent plea for more medical supplies.

Some 900 Catholic Health employees stepped up after Catholic Health last week asked for volunteers to work with patients at St. Joseph Campus, which is being turned into a hospital dedicated solely to Covid-19 patients.

"They volunteered and thought in the beginning that they weren't going to get paid. They were going to take on the shifts for free," said Mark Sullivan, Catholic Health's president and CEO.

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