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2020 coronavirus outbreak coverage

2020 coronavirus outbreak coverage

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Below you'll find our daily coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak. Here are also the latest map and statistics for Western New York.

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Dec. 31

'Staggering' losses reported by restaurants suing over Covid-19 safety precautions: Two dozen Buffalo area restaurants submitted court affidavits this week detailing more than $10 million in financial losses for 2020 and 856 job cuts since March. They're among the 70 restaurants that signed on to a State Supreme Court lawsuit seeking a relaxation of state Covid-19 safety precautions. Read more

Beyond Covid in 2021: Bills stadium talks, casino negotiations and political intrigue: Covid-19, vaccines and a pandemic-triggered recession will continue to dominate headlines in the new year. But there is other locally focused news on the horizon.Read more

Sheriff's Office: Ban on tailgating will be enforced: In a series of tweets Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office said it will have deputies stationed outside Bills Stadium and they will enforce the no-tailgating rule. Read more

Reports: Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick tests positive for Covid: Ryan Fitzpatrick won't be available to the Miami Dolphins for Sunday's regular season finale against the Bills at Bills Stadium. Read more

'Warrior mom' said to be WNY's first mail carrier to die of Covid-19: Jody L. Kotowski, a postal service employee for 23 years, was a devoted wife and a champion for her special-needs daughter. Read more

Baby café adjusts to the pandemic, changes its mission: Durham’s Maternal Stress-Free Zone now bills itself as “a one-stop maternal support zone for moms.” Read more

Dec. 30

About 6,800 will be allowed in Bills stadium for playoff game: Fans will now have the opportunity to be there in person for the first Buffalo Bills home playoff game in a quarter of a century. Read more

What to know about attending the Bills playoff game: Want to go to the Bills home playoff game? Here's what you need to know. Read more

How some companies spent Erie County's small business grants: In Erie County, 1,399 companies shared $19.2 million in Back to Business grants earlier this month using funds from the federal CARES Act. Read more

Sean Kirst: In season of Covid-19, my yuletide without aroma: "A month after testing positive for Covid-19, this becomes our Christmas season without aroma, as it does for many." Read more

Akron's 'Mr. Fixit' lost to Covid-19: Richard J. “Dick” Komroy Jr. was one of those guys who just seemed to be good at everything. Read more

12 Niagara County inmates test positive for Covid-19: "All inmates that tested positive are doing well, currently asymptomatic and have been isolated," the Sheriff's Office said in a news release. Read more

UB joining the fan cutout craze at Alumni Arena: Fans who contribute $125 or more will have the opportunity to secure a fan cutout, UB said in a news release. Read more

The Editorial Board: Goodbye, 2020. Don't let the door hit you on the way out: "It was the Murphy’s law of years – the 12 months when everything that could go wrong did go wrong." Read more

Dec. 29

December marks WNY's deadliest month of the pandemic: Almost 1,400 people had died of the disease as of Monday – 385 of those, or more than a quarter, in the past month alone. Read more

Oldest known downtown office building to become new Covid-19 response hub: The Lincoln Building, which once served as a school and historic worship space, is being transformed into a new $5.4 million hub for Erie County's fight against Covid-19. Read more

Depew teacher who helped memorialize Cleve Hill classmates dies of Covid: Dick Odien, a beloved Depew teacher, coach and stage manager for musicals, died Dec. 21 after being diagnosed with Covid-19. Read more

Sabres in 'regular communication' with New York State to try to host fans at KeyBank Center: The Sabres say they are working behind the scenes to try to welcome fans back into KeyBank Center at some point during the 2020-21 season. Read more

My View: Hospital workers should get the vaccine: "I recently opted to receive the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at work," writes Mark Ryan. Read more

Dec. 28

More front-line workers to get Covid-19 vaccine but Erie County faces hurdles: An expanded group of Western New York health-care workers and first responders are expected to receive the Covid-19 vaccine this week under new distribution guidelines released today by New York State. But it could still be “months” before the general population receives either one of the two approved vaccines, Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said during a press briefing Monday. Read more

Cuomo: More vaccine on the way as WNY posts improving Covid-19 numbers: Western New York has made some progress on key Covid-19 metrics as the state continues to work on a plan to allow fans at a Bills home playoff game. Read more

Five accounts from the pandemic in 2020 by columnist Sean Kirst: Kirst selects five columns that he hopes serve as tribute to everyone he wrote about this year. Read more

Ball drop at Buffalo's Electric Tower is virtual this year: The 33rd annual New Year's Eve ball drop at the Electric Tower in Roosevelt Square is going virtual to usher in 2021. Read more

First Night Buffalo goes virtual, so families can start the new year on their schedule: Western New Yorkers have found a fun, drug- and alcohol-free way to ring in the new year for more than three decades at First Night Buffalo. Read more

Another Voice: Keeping Buffalo schools remote keeps families safer: We need to stay the course and keep kids remote until we have the virus under control again, writes Rachel Fix Dominguez. Read more

Dec. 27

Finger Lakes region reports record Covid-19 hospitalizations over Christmas weekend: Worsening conditions on Western New York's borders could endanger pandemic-control efforts here, in large part because there is so much contact between the two regions. Read more

A pandemic, protests and pall of death: Top local stories of 2020: The year began with nervous worries about a strange new virus in China. It ended having touched nearly every aspect of our lives – and more than 1,300 deaths from the disease in Western New York alone. Read more

'Virtual learning centers' to stay open in Buffalo while kids await return to the classroom: Parents in the Buffalo Public Schools will have at least one child care option still available while they wait for the city schools to reopen. Read more

David Robinson: $620 million in wages vanish with pandemic in Buffalo Niagara: When nearly 120,000 people lose their jobs – some permanently, others for weeks – as it did when the Covid-19 lockdown took hold in the spring, it takes a big bite out of a local economy. A $620 million bite. Read more

Restaurants, salons receive greatest number of Erie County 'Back to Business' grants: Restaurants and food service businesses – battered by Covid-19 shutdowns – received the greatest number of grants under an Erie County program aimed at helping small businesses survive the pandemic. Read more

Gerald V. Fleischer, lost to Covid-19, sought to find good in everyone: Gerald V. Fleischer never stopped caring. Even as his own health was failing while a resident in a Town of Tonawanda nursing home, Fleischer cared for others. Read more

They were devoted for 73 years. When Covid-19 hit, they had one last goodbye: Harry Hays, 97, said he was grateful to see his wife for a couple of hours the day before she died, but he says he is heartbroken. Read more

Bills’ T.J. Yeldon out for Patriots’ game after positive Covid-19 test: Buffalo Bills running back T.J. Yeldon has tested positive for Covid-19 and did not accompany the team for its trip to New England for Monday night’s game against the Patriots, the Bills announced Sunday. Read more

Dec. 26

Covid-19 rules for fans at NFL stadiums: Masks, ticket 'pods,' bans or limits on tailgating: Mandatory masks. No cash for concessions. Lots of empty seats and in many cases, no tailgating. Representatives from the state and the Buffalo Bills haven’t announced whether fans can attend the team’s home playoff game next month but a sampling of how other NFL stadiums have opened up to fans amid the pandemic shows how it could be handled here. Read more

Covid-19 tests used by NY schools likely to miss cases of Covid-19 in kids: Antigen tests are intended to be used with people exhibiting symptoms, not to screen large numbers of asymptomatic people. "If you're going to use them for all comers, you've got a mess," said Dr. John Tomaszewski, chief of service, pathology and laboratory medicine for Kaleida Health. Read more

Pandemic pastimes: Back in March, during stay-at-home orders due to Covid-19, people baked bread, sewed masks, exercised, played board games, put together jigsaw puzzles. As the pandemic dragged on and summer came, they bicycled, planted vegetable gardens, took up birding and more. Read more

Letter: Don’t judge key workers for getting early vaccines: "So maybe you don’t believe in vaccines, that’s fine and a personal choice. Or masks, but I’ll continue to implore you to wear them. But don’t for one second judge us – the front-line workers – for choosing to protect our lives while trying to save yours," writes Mary Siwirski of Depew who works in a Covid-19 intensive care unit and recently got her first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. Read more

Dec. 25

WNY sees lowest number of positive coronavirus tests since Thanksgiving: According to new data released by the state on Friday, the seven-day rolling average for the five-county Western New York region dropped to 6.01% on Thursday – on the verge of falling into the 5% range for the first time in a month. Read more 

Make 20 Seconds to Clean your germ-control handwashing mantra: Adults would never wash their hands haphazardly, right? Wrong – which is why the regional health insurer has revived and revised the promotion as winter arrived and a pandemic continues to rage. Read more

The Editorial Board: With a Thanksgiving Covid surge largely avoided, region must remain vigilant: We’re nearing the end of the most difficult time most of us have ever seen. Covid-19 has already killed some 326,000 Americans, and more than 3,000 new deaths are counted daily. But between now and the time that new vaccines provide safe harbor, we can limit that unhappy toll. Read more

Dec. 24

Christmas cheer: WNY no longer center of state's Covid-19 surge: Western New York's Covid-19 positive test rate has continued its recent improvement compared to other regions in the state. Read more

As Christmas nears, experts say good behavior may have limited 'post-Thanksgiving surge': As the Christmas holiday approaches, a growing body of evidence suggests the post-Thanksgiving surge was less dramatic than experts feared – in part because many individuals heeded public health warnings and changed their holiday behavior. Read more

The message from a nurse who recovered from Covid-19 and got the vaccine: 'Bear down and follow the rules': Tina Black knows the horrors of Covid-19 better than most. The licensed practical nurse has held the hands of seven of her favorite patients who died from the virus in the Covid-19 unit at Schoellkopf Health Center, a nursing home in Niagara Falls. Read more

Gym owners see Covid-19 ruling for Athletes Unleashed as promising 'precedent': Owners of fitness facilities across the area hope a judge's ruling in favor of an Orchard Park gym will lead to relaxed restrictions for them, too. Read more

Restaurants seek court relief from Covid-19 safety precautions: State regulations that restrict “orange zone” restaurants – including many in Erie County – to outdoor dining only are “terrorizing, punishing” and causing “irreparable harm” to the restaurant industry, said Amherst attorney Steven M. Cohen in an action filed in State Supreme Court. Read more

Who beat the pandemic in Buffalo Niagara business – and who took a beating – in 2020: The recession has cost us about 40,000 jobs and the recovery first stalled and then went into reverse as the second wave of Covid-19 cases hit this fall. Read more

Jeff Miers: What a live music-starved public can reasonably expect in 2021: Well, you did it, folks. You helped. Your love for live music, your belief in its significance as a cultural driver and your recognition of its vitality as an economic asset for our community and others like it – all made their way to the people we employ to make things happen in our interest. The Save Our Stages Act has passed, as part of the Covid-19 Relief Bill. Read more

Kwanzaa goes virtual – and collaborative – amid pandemic: The weeklong celebration, which starts Saturday, will be available on Facebook Live, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and via public access TV. Read more

The Editorial Board: In Christmas pause amid pandemic, gratitude’s a practice worth cultivating: A quiet Christmas is a good time to take stock of things for which we can be grateful, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Dec. 23

County needs quick decision on Cuomo plan to let 6,700 fans into Bills home playoff game: Gov. Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state is studying a way to allow up to 6,700 fans into next month's Buffalo Bills home playoff game through a combination of pre-game Covid-19 testing and postgame contact tracing. Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was taken by surprise by the news, but said if the state can pull together a plan to let fans back into the stadium by Tuesday or Wednesday next week, the county will scramble to help make it happen. Read more

The vaccine is here: So is the lobbying effort to move to the front of the line: As thousands of health care workers began receiving inoculations since the start of New York’s Covid-19 vaccination program, many more interests – from medical examiners and social welfare workers to teachers – want a spot in the line that, in the words of one group, provides access to the vaccine, “sooner rather than later.” Read more

Covid-19 outbreak hits Erie County youth detention center: County officials confirmed Wednesday afternoon there are Covid-19 infections at the facility, but declined to say how many of the approximately 40 residents and 100 employees have tested positive. Read more

Sabres to open shortened season at home with games against Washington: The Buffalo Sabres’ 56-game quest to snap a nine-year playoff drought will begin with back-to-back games in KeyBank Center without fans amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

'Shipmageddon' delays delivery of Christmas packages across WNY:  With fewer people gathering for the holiday, more are shipping packages.  Quarantined at home, far more people are shopping online for gifts and everyday essentials. Together, it makes for a record 30 billion packages expected to ship this year - all while post offices are dealing with staffing shortages due to the pandemic. Read more

Dec. 22

WNY nursing homes begin to vaccinate residents, staff: The federal program to vaccinate residents and staff at 618 nursing homes in New York began Monday and is to be completed within six weeks. Read more

State studies how to safely allow fans into Bills games: The state Health Department is looking to build an experimental model, based on data and testing, that could pave the way for letting fans into Bills Stadium without creating the risk of significantly spreading Covid-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. Read more

Frazzled and frustrated, the Hardy family feels the emotional toll of remote learning: When last we left the Hardys, the family had grown weary of learning remotely from home, but now the emotional toll has begun to show. Read more

Raymond G. Koegel, News executive who also ran Clarence golf course: Raymond G. Koegel, an executive at The Buffalo News and the operator of Pine Meadows Golf Course in Clarence for many years, died Dec. 18, 2020, of Covid-19 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. He was 88. Read more

The Editorial Board: Partisan bickering devalued Covid-19 relief bill: The relief package is intended to provide a bridge to better times for Americans who are trying to hang on. It may come too late for many who have already been pulled under by waves of despair, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Dec. 21

December poised to be the worst month for Erie County Covid-19 deaths: As of the end of last week, 183 Erie County residents had died in December, already surpassing November as the third worst month for virus-related fatalities. Read more

Cuomo says holiday Covid-19 spike is not inevitable: "Thanksgiving was our first test and what you're seeing from the data is, we did not have the spike that other places had," Gov. Cuomo said in a press conference Monday. "The question is, what happens as you get close to Christmas? If we stay smart, a spike is not inevitable." Read more

Stimulus measure to bring upward of $54 billion in indirect aid to NY: New York State and its municipalities didn't get the direct aid they demanded, but upward of $54 billion will come to the state in other ways under the stimulus bill Congress was on the verge of passing Monday night to combat the pandemic-related economic downturn. Read more

Pandemic lessons: Since you can't spray the air, how do you keep it clean?: Heading into Christmas and 2021, this installment of “Pandemic Lessons” brings you advice from top scientists on how to keep your indoor spaces safe. Read more

Covid-19 hits one family, knocks out two small businesses: "You can always rebuild a business," Martinsville Soapworks owner Heather Kalisiak says. "You can’t get back a life." Read more

Trial in '93 death of North Tonawanda teen is postponed again: Because of Covid-19 restrictions on jury trials in New York courts, the trial of Joseph H. Belstadt, charged with murder in the 1993 death of Mandy Steingasser of North Tonawanda, is off again. Read more

UB men's basketball to pause activities due to positive Covid-19 test: The UB athletic department announced the pause Monday morning, a pause that will be no less than 14 days. Read more

The Editorial Board: Let's do our part to put Bills fans in the stands: Want the state Health Department to sign off on the Bills’ plan to have fans at the stadium? Western New Yorkers must help make it happen, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Dec. 20

WNY region hits lowest number of hospitalizations since Dec. 5: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reported that there were 473 Covid-19 patients in hospitals in the five-county region as of Saturday. That is the lowest number hospitalized since Dec. 5, when there were 470 people in hospitals. Read more

Unlicensed testing at East Aurora clinic highlights confusion around Covid-19 tests: As Covid-19 testing has exploded over the past eight months, both state and federal regulators have struggled to monitor the deluge of new manufacturers, vendors and health care providers offering antibody tests. Read more

What's 'close contact?' Erie County changes rules on school quarantine – again: The Erie County Health Department has loosened the rules on who has to quarantine when there’s a positive case of Covid-19 in school. Read more

What it might take to reopen Bills Stadium to fans for playoffs: The solution depends on two independent factors: How strong is the Bills' plan to keep fans safe if they're allowed in? And how good or bad will Western New York's infection and hospitalization rates be in early January? Read more

Parents, children rally to reopen schools at Rath Building: Some parents and children are continuing their call to reopen schools to in-person learning, holding a downtown rally Sunday to press their case. Read more

Analysis: The problem of petitioning in a pandemic: Right now, parties are slated to begin carrying petitions for June primaries on Feb. 23, which is why candidates for major offices such as sheriff are already maneuvering for party endorsements. Read more

DEC’s Bureau of Fisheries manages against Covid-19 odds: Fish were stocked, eggs were collected, and surveys were conducted for the most part, with a few things not handled due to safety issues. Read more

Another Voice: New York vaccination plan must prioritize citizens with disabilities: Our pandemic response can no longer leave vulnerable citizens neglected and unprotected. The state must ensure priority vaccination for New Yorkers with I/DD and the dedicated staff who support them, Dr. John Kowalczyk writes. Read more

Dec. 19

Members of Congress getting vaccinated – but Jacobs plans to wait: Congressional attending physician urged all lawmakers be vaccinated without delay, but Rep. Chris Jacobs said he will wait, rather than "jump the line" to get the shot. Read more

Shutdown of Holiday Twin Rinks for hosting hockey scrimmage stirs debate: Public health sanitarians are inspecting hockey rinks because Erie County has seen numerous recent positive tests among youth hockey players, their parents and their coaches, officials said. Read more

Frederic K. Houston, 84, modernist architect engaged on many preservation projects: The last surviving original partner in the Buffalo firm of Hamilton, Houston and Lownie, now HHL Architects, Mr. Houston frequently was engaged in historic preservation efforts. Read more

My View: Pandemic life is remote, yet more connected: Our lives have become paradoxically both smaller and larger, centripetal and centrifugal, intimate and distant, reduced and expanded, writes Howard R. Wolf. Read more

Dec. 18

Covid-19 deaths of 1,000 Erie County residents tell a human story of isolation and grief: On Thursday, Erie County surpassed the grim milestone of 1,000 such deaths due to Covid-19. That's how the story of this virus often is told – in numbers. But the human story is so much more painful. Read more

Profiles of a pandemic: Western New Yorkers lost to Covid-19: Throughout the pandemic, The Buffalo News has profiled many of those who lost their lives to Covid-19, telling the painful human story of the virus. Read more

Family copes with Covid deaths of both parents within 15 days: Joseph and Marie Thomas were just two among dozens of Covid-19 fatalities in Erie County in November as the second wave of the virus hit the region. Read more

Cuomo 'would love nothing more' than seeing Bills fans at home playoff game: "I would love nothing more than to see Buffalonians enjoy this moment," the governor said. "Buffalo deserves it. Buffalo Bills fans are like none other." Read more

Sean Kirst: Covid pushed him to the brink. The Bills are helping to bring him back: Longtime Bills fan Vaughan Washington says the team's resilience "gave me something to keep fighting for" during battle with Covid-19 that included two weeks in an induced coma. Read more

Superintendents want stimulus funds to close school budget gaps: Schools desperately need whatever money they might get through the federal stimulus package, Buffalo area superintendents say. Read more

Struggling local entertainment venues: It’s time for the state to show it ‘CARES’: “I think I speak for many when I say that this pandemic has certainly made me feel nonessential in many ways,” said Buffalo Iron Works partner and manager Josh Holtzman. Read more

Sally Cunningham: Gardening in 2020 for stress relief, hope and food: There were many reasons to start new gardens or expand existing plots. All of them reinforce the concept: Gardening is good for us, especially in times of crisis or insecurity. Read more

Denver Broncos cancel walkthrough day before Bills game after staff member tests positive: The Broncos have canceled four practices or walkthroughs this year because of the coronavirus. They’ve had eight players go on the Covid-19 reserve list for infections and four more for close contact, including kicker Brandon McManus this week. Read more

The Editorial Board: Erie County passes 1,000-death mark, with dark days to come, despite vaccines: "Vaccines provide genuine hope that the coronavirus pandemic can be brought to heel by the end of 2021," writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Dec. 17

Erie County eyes return to 'yellow zone' if people adopt safe practices during holidays: Erie County has shown five consecutive days of either declining or relatively level hospitalization rates, though the numbers are still elevated compared with the spring. Read more

WNY sees largest daily hospitalization drop of Covid-19 pandemic: The number of patients hospitalized due to Covid-19 in the five-county region decreased by 26 on Wednesday, dropping from 527 to 501. Read more

Youngest, oldest BPS students to be priority for return to classroom in February: Parents of those two populations – the students entering the district and the students leaving – have been particularly concerned about getting their kids back in school. Read more

David Robinson: A second wave of job cuts follows the second wave of Covid-19: It is not nearly as severe as the catastrophic job losses that the region suffered during the first wave, but over the past three weeks, nearly 15,400 local workers have lost their jobs, writes David Robinson. Read more

Online sales can be a lifeline for small businesses – but only if they can handle it: An overwhelming amount of internet sales is one of many pitfalls small businesses have faced since Covid-19 forced them to turn their business models upside down overnight. Read more

June A. Valenzuela, 78, obstetrics nurse was 'Mom to everyone': June A. Valenzuela died Dec. 6, 2020, in St. Joseph's Hospital, where she had battled Covid-19 for three weeks. Read more

Jamboree in the Woods sponsor to pay $32,255 for defying Covid-19 court order: If Ronald Grottanelli fails to make timely payments, he will be barred from conducting any commercial activity at the Springville campgrounds, including music festivals and camping, until he pays off what he owes. Read more

The Editorial Board: Congress’ pandemic package is better than nothing, but falls far short: Washington is being excessive in some ways and parsimonious in others, especially with fiscal disaster stalking state and local governments around the country. With those critical budgets cratering, layoffs could hit everything from police and fire departments to schools and snow plowing, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Another Voice: Buffalo Public Schools’ remote learning plan has saved lives: Lives have been saved and permanent physical injury prevented as a result of the very difficult and widely misunderstood decision to have Buffalo students taught virtually, writes Philip Rumore. Read more

Dec. 16

Cuomo: WNY 'getting it' as coronavirus numbers decline: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo credited Western New Yorkers Wednesday with reining in the spread of the coronavirus and held it up as one of the examples the rest of the state could follow. Read more

Individuals to get aid – but states and localities won't – under emerging federal stimulus: Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the current stimulus bill "falls far short of providing local and state governments the funding they need to support their front-line workers, maintain critical infrastructure and prevent extensive layoffs in the essential public sector workforce that would only magnify the recession after the pandemic ends." Read more

All eyes on hospital capacity as Covid-19 admissions remain high: There are now 520 people hospitalized with Covid-19 across Western New York, more than double the region’s prior peak in April. Read more

Philip G. Wiechec, 70, co-owner of Wiechec's Lounge, dies of Covid-19: The oldest of three children of Henry and Rose Wiechec, who opened the bar and restaurant in 1964, Phil Wiechec was a familiar presence around the place. Read more

High school indoor track season canceled; low-risk start date delayed again: Section VI has again postponed the start date for low- and moderate-risk winter sports, from Jan. 4 to Jan. 18, and has canceled the indoor track and field season, the Executive Committee announced Wednesday. Read more

Lights, trees, music: Finding ways to enjoy holiday spirit during a pandemic: This year has been a real Grinch, but like the Whos in Whoville, there’s one thing it can’t take away from us – holiday spirit. There are still things to do this season, from fantastic foliage exhibits to festive photo ops. Read more

Rotary Rink may not open but New Year's Eve ball will drop: Rotary Rink, one of the most popular places for public ice skating, will remain closed for the time being because of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, but plans are still proceeding for the annual ball drop on New Year's Eve – albeit, without anyone attending in person. Read more

Tech training aims to boost workers impacted by pandemic: The WNY Tech Skills Initiative, created by a coalition of partners including M&T Bank, will offer virtual courses and workshops to teach skills in demand from employers. Read more

Dec. 15

Hundreds of front-line workers in WNY receive Covid-19 vaccine: Doctors, nurses and other front-line workers at local hospitals began receiving the initial doses of the Covid-19 vaccine late Monday and Tuesday. Read more

Among local schools, Buffalo has lowest Covid-19 infection rates for students, staff: During the first three months of school this fall, the Buffalo Public Schools reported to the state that 16 of its students had tested positive for Covid-19. Read more

Here's what towns and cities are included in Niagara County's 'yellow zone': The state put more of Niagara County into a "yellow zone" Monday. Read more 

Lights, trees, music: Finding ways to enjoy holiday spirit during a pandemic: This year has been a real Grinch, but like the Whos in Whoville, there’s one thing it can’t take away from us – holiday spirit. There are still things to do this season, from fantastic foliage exhibits to festive photo ops. Read more

Zoom Tan basks in court win, allowed to remain open: The Florida-based chain, which has nine locations in Erie County, was included with "personal care" businesses forced to stop providing services last month when much of Erie County was labeled an orange zone. Read more

Buffalo Police Department disbanding its traffic unit: With no major public events planned for the foreseeable future because of the pandemic, the Buffalo Police Department decided to redistribute those officers to the department's five districts to bolster the ranks there. Read more

The Editorial Board: Reaching herd immunity requires WNY to overcome distrust of Covid-19 vaccine: If our region is “One Buffalo,” as the sports slogan says, we can prove it by rolling up our sleeves and making herd immunity a reality for all of Western New York, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

My View: A memory box makes coping with Covid-19 an easier task: Right now, when we can’t gather together, why not gather our fondest memories and write them down on small strips of paper and lovingly fold them and put them in a box? Read more

Dec. 14

As Covid-19 vaccine arrives in WNY, lower rates bring hope: Erie County officials were faintly optimistic as they reviewed Covid-19 data suggesting the post-Thanksgiving Day surge in cases might be tapering off. Read more

'Yellow zone' expanding in Niagara County: Yellow is the least restrictive in the three color-coded classifications that are part of the state's microcluster strategy. Read more

First New Yorker receives coronavirus vaccine: Sandra Lindsay received the shot about 9:25 a.m. Monday during a livestreamed event from Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Read more

A lot of those Covid vaccine volunteers? A Buffalo company found them: Praxis Communications, a subsidiary of Buffalo-based Crowley Webb, created educational and recruitment materials for Moderna's study. Read more

Pandemic lessons: What a nurse wants you to know: A nurse takes to Facebook to give people insight into a Covid-19 unit, and hopes that they would start wearing masks and respecting science. Read more

Localities brace for more fiscal pain: 'This is a crisis point now': As Congress dawdles and debates about whether to help local governments that have been sick with the novel coronavirus for months, county and municipal officials fear their budgets will soon be sicker than ever. Read more

UB basketball coach Jim Whitesell to self-quarantine for 14 days: "While I am very disappointed not being able to be with our players, I know they are in good care," Whitesell said. Read more

One tradition not trounced by Covid: Cut your own Christmas tree: Tree farm operators say that as people spend the holidays at home they want to make sure it looks as festive as possible with new decorations and a showstopper tree. Read more

Riviera Theatre details refund policy for postponed shows: Riviera Theatre is offering refunds and exchanges for most 2020 shows that have been rescheduled. Read more

The Editorial Board: Cuomo makes a smart decision on gyms and salons: In an uncertain time, the governor has appropriately focused on science in his bid to protect the state, its residents and its economy. Read more

My View: Pandemic puts a pause on volunteer action: "For people like me, who volunteer for a specific organization, times are tough," writes Lori DuVall-Jackson. Read more

Dec. 13

Hair salons, gyms set to reopen Monday, but with limited capacity: Gyms and hair salons have been rolling with the punches for months, but this time the punch went their way. Read more

Tally grows as Covid-19 takes 17 WNY lives while 520 remain hospitalized: The Covid-19 pandemic continued to take its toll on Western New York and the rest of the state Saturday, as 746 new patients entered hospitals statewide, while just more than 1,000 people remained in intensive care and 106 died. Read more

The Covid-19 vaccine will soon arrive in Buffalo Niagara. Here's what you need to know: Doses of the new coronavirus vaccine should course through the bodies of hundreds of front-line health care workers and nursing home residents in the region by the end of the month. Read more

2020 was terrible for Falls tourism, but leaders see grounds for optimism in 2021: With seasonal attractions closed for weeks during the peak business season, capacity limited and many people unwilling to travel, the Covid-19 pandemic delivered a body blow to the city's tourism-based economy. Read more

The Editorial Board: Using vaccines to get a handle on Covid-19 demands that we put aside politics: The immunization cavalry is coming, but it has a long road yet to travel. If we think of Covid-19 as our common enemy – on Wednesday, it killed more people than the 9/11 terror attacks – we can lessen the casualties that result from arguing with one another over trivial differences, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

My View: Life before vaccines was a time of anxiety: We soon will have vaccines for Covid-19. No one should hesitate to be inoculated. Vaccines are a gift for life, writes Marlene Mercurio. Read more

Dec. 12

Buffalo Niagara prepares for the coronavirus vaccine: 'This is a heavy, all-hands-on-deck lift': Dozens of front-line health care workers most likely to deal with Covid-19 patients in the region may well get the new coronavirus vaccine next week. Read more

Poloncarz lashes out against 'racist, bigoted and anti-Semitic tones' amid Covid crisis: The Erie County executive lashed out against individuals who have made anti-Semitic comments about the county Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein. Read more

Buffalo schools face pressure to reopen sooner: Buffalo Public School students haven't seen the inside of an actual classroom since March, and pressure is mounting to allow at least some students to return to the classroom sooner than Feb. 1. Read more

Bona's basketball season opener canceled due to opponent's positive Covid-19 test: Bona will attempt to open the season Tuesday with a nonconference game against Akron at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland. Read more

Sean Kirst: In a time of loss and fear, an aching reminder of what really matters: Amid the surge of Covid-19, Sean Kirst remembers a favorite teacher, Mrs. Murray, and her son, Tom Murray, who died Dec. 1 of the virus. Read more

Malls aren't as crowded as usual this year, but people are still showing up: Mall traffic is down significantly this shopping season, as Covid-fearing customers stay inside and shop online. Read more

What's in a name? Open Buffalo clarifies: Open Buffalo says the non-profit organization is not affiliated with groups that use the phrase “open buffalo” to protest state and county Covid-19 restrictions. Read more

Dec. 11

Western New York sets another high in daily coronavirus cases: The five-county region Western New York region reported a daily high of 1,160 cases on Thursday. Read more

Deaths climbing at Western New York nursing homes: At least 83 nursing home residents with Covid-19 died across New York State during the week ending Nov. 29, including 21 people in Western New York. Read more

Change coming to state's Covid-19 microcluster zones as gyms, salons reopen: "Western New York, where we've been focused on for quite some time, we've seen a flattening ... and that's good news," Cuomo said Friday. Read more

Here are the details on how gyms and hair salons can reopen: Gyms and hair salons and spas can reopen in the state's orange zones, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday. Read more

As pandemic rages, charities struggle to serve bigger crowds at food pantries: Local charities report an increase by as much as 75% over last year in the number of people relying on food pantries. Read more

How to better handle a pandemic, political animus and personal setbacks? Try gratitude: Gratitude has become a mission for Natalie Hoerner, who spent a year to become certified in positive psychology  the study of human flourishing.” Read more

Winter state championships canceled; high-risk sports off until further notice: While all high-risk sports have been postponed until receiving the OK from state officials, low- and moderate-risk sports will be continued as permitted. Read more

Jeff Miers: As postponements pile up, here's what ticket holders can expect: If you’re eager for a refund, on the fence or willing to hang on to your ticket as a show of support, here’s what you should know about a sampling of concerts at a cross-section of venues. Read more

Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro on home opener: 'We want to play in Toronto': The Blue Jays' first game in Rogers Centre is April 8 against the Angels but they admit they are also planning alternative sites. "I think opening here with fans is almost impossible," Shapiro said . ... "We'll adapt to what happens but we're not going to concede because we want to play in Toronto. We want to play in Canada. That remains our hope." Read more

Dec. 10

Despite rapidly rising hospitalizations, shutdown doesn't appear imminent: The dreaded shutdown of Western New York doesn't appear imminent. But if not now, then when? Read more

Buffalo parents express mixed reactions to keeping schools closed until February: Opinions were all over the board Thursday after parents in Buffalo Public Schools learned that all 32,000 students in the district will continue remote learning until at least Feb. 1. Read more

Lewiston nursing home confirms Covid-19 outbreak, acknowledges 7 deaths: An outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in Our Lady of Peace nursing home in Lewiston has claimed seven residents' lives recently, the facility's owners confirmed Thursday. Read more

WNY hospitals offering Covid-19 treatment that Trump received: Some Western New York hospitals now offer the same intravenous drugs to local Covid-19 patients that President Trump received during his brief bout with the virus in October. Read more

At area hospitals, staff working hard but reinforcements hard to come by: Before the pandemic, some hospitals found it difficult to recruit new nurses and aides. Now, the current surge will put even more pressure on workers. Read more

'Too much community spread' will keep Buffalo schools closed through January: Buffalo Public Schools, where all 32,000 students have been learning remotely since September, is eyeing a Feb. 1 return to in-person classes for its highest-need students. Read more

Challenges mount for Buffalo's Hardy family as in-home schooling wears on: Buffalo News photographer Sharon Cantillon has spent the past few months following the Hardy family – Jasmine, the mom, Robert, the dad, and kids Briyana, James and Janelle – as they adjust to remote instruction at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Today The News is running the second installment of photos taken between Sept. 23 and Oct. 20 and focusing on the frustrations setting in at the Hardy house in Buffalo. Read more

Outdoor holiday markets take hold in Buffalo – with Covid-19 measures in place: Buffalo-area holiday shoppers have confronted a dilemma as cold weather hits during the Covid-19 pandemic: How can struggling local businesses – especially restaurants, producers and artisans – be supported in light of restrictions on gathering size and mandated mask-wearing? Read more

Discount Diva: Your guide to online shopping at small businesses in WNY: I can't say it enough: If mom and pop shops in Western New York don't get some major support this holiday season, many of them will disappear. Families will lose their livelihoods, neighborhoods will have empty storefronts and the local economy will be that much weaker, writes Samantha Christmann. Read more

UB men's basketball will open at home without head coach Jim Whitesell: Whitesell, UB's second-year head coach, is separated from the Bulls as a result of Covid-19 contact tracing. Read more

Canisius men's basketball aims to control what it can in ever-changing season: Canisius is scheduled to open its season with a two-game series at 7 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday against Marist at the Koessler Athletic Center. Read more

The Editorial Board: Cash’s reluctance to open schools sooner is well-intentioned but misses the mark: Buffalo Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash’s decision to keep students locked into remote learning for two to three more months has the best of intentions behind it, but relies on caution that is misplaced. Read more

The Editorial Board: Only Washington can ease the stresses Covid inflicts on tenants and landlords: Washington’s foot-dragging is unconscionable, as are the related evictions – legal or otherwise – of people who have fallen behind on their rent through no fault of their own, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Another Voice: Plans for return to school need to engage community: Let us come together and use our current challenges as opportunities to develop creative, equitable policies and programs that will benefit families now and for years to come, writes Jessica Bauer Walker. Read more

Dec. 9

Catholic Health fine stemmed from Covid-19 death of nursing home worker: After a nursing home worker contracted Covid and died, her employer should have notified the federal government of the work-related fatality within eight hours. Instead, the McAuley Residence waited six days. Read more

The vaccines are coming. 'Chain of collaboration' will be key in inoculation effort: Many questions remain about the logistics of how a mass vaccine program – which could start as early as next week – will be implemented at a time when the Covid caseloads are dramatically rising across the nation and world. Read more

Rising deaths, hospitalizations suggest WNY's second wave will kill more than its first: In the first week of December alone, 112 Covid-19 deaths were reported in Western New York, averaging 12 deaths per day over the two-week period ending Monday. Read more

Monsignor Martin delays start of low- and moderate-risk sports: The start of the winter season for low- and moderate-risk sports for Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association members will be delayed until at least Jan. 4, the league announced Wednesday. Read more

Niagara women's basketball pauses team activities because of positive Covid test: The Niagara women's basketball program has paused all team activities because of a positive coronavirus test among Tier 1 personnel, the school said Wednesday. Tier 1 personnel include players, coaches and staff. Read more

Fans can sweeten Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs' story by voting: With premium hot dogs, diverse specials and killer fries, Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs was booking out summer dates for the food truck, and looking forward to a summer of crowds and lines into the evening. Everything was rolling smoothly when the curtain came down on New York State dining rooms in March. Read more

Dec. 8

Q&A: What you need to know as students head back to the classroom: It may come as a surprise that, despite the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the region, schools across Erie County plan to resume in-person instruction next week. Some already have. Read more

Two Erie County legislators test positive for Covid-19: Legislator Edward Rath III, R-Amherst, and Legislator Frank Todaro, R-Lancaster, are both self-isolating after testing positive for the virus. Read more

Disorder in the courts as Covid-19 begins to wreak havoc: The state court system has issued updated Covid-19 safety protocols for town and village courts across Western New York that go into effect Wednesday. Read more

Frustrated landlords turning to illegal 'self-help' evictions: The landlords – often "mom and pop" property owners – have been dealing for months with an inability to evict difficult tenants or tenants who aren't paying their rent, often because they lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

SLA suspends licenses of downtown Buffalo, West Seneca bars for Covid-19 violations: The State Liquor Authority has suspended the liquor licenses of the Cowboy in downtown Buffalo and Clinton Bar & Grill in West Seneca due to violations of Covid-19 regulations, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office announced Tuesday. Read more

Winter sports season for low- and moderate-risk sports moved to Jan. 4: The Section VI Executive Committee voted Tuesday to delay the start of the season until Jan. 4 for bowling, swimming, indoor track and field, rifle and skiing. Read more

Western New York junior colleges plan to resume sports in February: Erie Community College, Niagara County Community College and Jamestown Community College will resume athletic activities in February, beginning with practices in fall, winter and spring sports. Read more

Canisius men's basketball game at Binghamton postponed: The Canisius athletic department was informed that Broome County would not allow Binghamton to travel to or play host to schools that are located within an “orange or red zone.” Read more

Canisius hockey paused because positive Covid-19 tests: Canisius College announced Tuesday that its men's hockey program is paused because of positive Covid-19 tests among its Tier 1 personnel. Read more

The Editorial Board: By linking red zone designation to hospital capacity, Cuomo encourages compliance: In a stroke of brilliance, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo this week redefined the terms under which parts of the state may be placed in a Covid-19 red zone, making the designation more understandable and, with that, raising the odds that more New Yorkers will first seek to avoid it and, second, recognize its need if imposed, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Dec. 7

Erie County coronavirus death toll increases by 33, now over 900: The 33 deaths were as of Dec. 4 and "primarily in December with a few from November," according to Erie County Health Department Public Information Officer Kara Kane. Read more

Cuomo: If a region's hospitalizations become critical, 'we close you down': Cuomo said during a Monday morning briefing from New York City that he defined "critical hospital capacity" as 90%. Read more

Many Erie County public school students returning to in-person learning next week: Williamsville Central, Hamburg Central Orchard Park Central and Tonawanda City school districts are among those that announced Monday afternoon they will reopen their schools for hybrid learning next Monday. Read more

Pandemic Lessons: From caroling to eating wings, what's safe as numbers rise?: With Western New York’s coronavirus numbers the highest in the state (and likely still rising), and with the strong possibility of more businesses closing as Erie County teeters on the edge of a red zone designation, where is it safe to go? Read more

Erie County taps prominent businessmen to help lead vaccine distribution effort: There is still no firm date for the arrival of a vaccine in Erie County, but Poloncarz has already tapped Jonathan Dandes and Robert Rich III to assist in the effort to get the vaccine secured, stored and administered in the community. Read more

Police: Maskless woman sings 'Merry Christmas,' refuses to leave store, gets arrested: When an officer approached the woman, she "refused to listen to this officer and began singing 'Merry Christmas' and making unreasonable noise," the officer wrote in a report. Read more

Covid-19 was factor in death of minister from Depew who was terrified of the virus: As an 82-year-old woman who battled emphysema and lung cancer, the Rev. Barbara Jane Herling was fearful of catching coronavirus. Read more

Covid-19 strikes Niagara County prosecutors and public defenders as courts cut back: Niagara County's rising Covid-19 caseload has affected the court system, as eight attorneys on the county payroll either have tested positive for Covid-19 or have been quarantined because of close contact with those patients. Read more

Covid-19 outbreak hits WBFO and WNED: A spokesperson said the people testing positive don’t know where they got the virus and whether it happened at work or in the community. Read more

The Editorial Board: State is keeping Covid-19 secrets about nursing homes: The failure to respond to FOIL requests speaks both to the Cuomo administration’s desire for secrecy on an intensely public issue and to the weaknesses of the law. Each needs improving, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

The Editorial Board: CDC, state plan to start vaccine distribution wisely: Anyone who is tired of the “new normal” and living under Covid restrictions should be part of the solution by rolling up their sleeves and getting the vaccine, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

My View: History puts perspective on home confinement: To save lives and protect health care workers, Americans are asked to wear a mask and follow simple CDC recommendations, yet so many pursue selfish, risky lifestyles. We are asked to do so little to save so many, writes Tom Graham. Read more

Dec. 6

Local hospitals report more Covid-19 patients Sunday than worst day in spring: “We are not at capacity, but we do have 40% more patients than we had at the height of the pandemic in the spring,” Catholic Health spokesperson JoAnn Cavanaugh said in an email. Read more

Public schools work to try to coordinate resumption of in-person learning: Some school districts in Erie County plan to start testing students for Covid-19 this week as part of a plan that could get them back to in-person classes as soon as next week. Read more

Why Covid-19 test data released by New York State and Erie County rarely agree: Many people attempting to gauge the level of Covid-19 spread in Western New York have carefully tracked state and county Covid-19 data – and found it maddening. Read more

Sen. Charles Schumer completes 62-county tour despite pandemic: Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer spent weeks quarantined in his Brooklyn home during the pandemic's springtime peak, but a deadly virus wasn't going to stop him from finishing his annual visits to all of New York's counties. Read more

Covid-19 couldn't stop a burst of homebuilding: Despite the pause on construction activity, their inability to highlight their new home offerings in person, and continued fears and caution about the coronavirus, homebuilders in Western New York found that their business not only held up but actually boomed under the difficult circumstances. Read more

Sabres' affiliate, the Cincinnati Cylcones, sitting out ECHL season: Cincinnati was among five teams given a Nov. 30 deadline to opt out of the season. Eight teams had previously informed the league of their plans to not participate because of the financial burden created by the coronavirus pandemic, most notably the lack of revenue from fans not attending games. Read more

Angling during pandemic brings new blood, new problems to outdoors: Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on families, counties, regions, states and the entire world in less than a year. Life as we know it will no longer be the same, leaving behind scars that will never be erased. One of the few positives that came out of the pandemic is that it forced people outdoors. Read more

The Editorial Board: High court tilts into an unwanted absolutism with N.Y. pandemic ruling: There’s a new Supreme Court, but, as its ill-advised pandemic ruling demonstrates, that doesn’t mean the majority members can get their story straigh, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Dec. 5

Schools no longer have to close for four days after orange zone order: "In alignment with international and national experts, the state is committed to allowing schools to remain open as long as a school's infection rate is under control and remains under the infection rate of the community at large, particularly for younger students," the state Health Department said in a statement. Read more

Two inmates test positive for Covid-19 in county jails, down from 27: Sheriff's officials said Friday that a total of 37 inmates have tested positive since March, when the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Western New York. Read more

Latest ban on elective surgeries singles out Erie County hospitals: Unlike in March, the state directive does not apply to ambulatory surgery centers or hospitals outside Erie County. Read more

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center halts visitation to patients: The hospital announced Saturday it has suspended patient visitation, as the Covid-19 surge continues. Read more

Niagara women's basketball opener canceled because of Covid-19 precautions: The Niagara athletic department announced Saturday afternoon, less than 30 minutes before the Purple Eagles' scheduled 3 p.m. tipoff against Binghamton, that the game had been canceled. Read more

Inside the Bills: How rookie quarterback Jake Fromm is staying ready in case of emergency: Fromm has been sequestered from the rest of the team as much as possible as a Covid-19 precaution. Read more

Dec. 4

Not red yet as Erie County sees start of Thanksgiving spike in cases: Erie County recorded its highest total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, with 771 new cases on Wednesday. Hospitalizations are nearly back to their levels in April and May, with 78% of hospital beds in the county occupied. Deaths are spiking too. "We are starting to see what would be considered the Thanksgiving spike," Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Friday in a video news conference. Read more

Western New York sets daily record with 1,100 coronavirus cases: Western New York and Erie County both set all-time highs for daily coronavirus cases Thursday, just as the nation did. The five counties of the region reported 1,102 cases on Thursday, surpassing the previous mark by more than 100. Read more

School officials await reopening guidance: School districts across Erie County, which switched to fully remote learning Nov. 23, were pleased to learn Monday that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will relax rules to make it easier for schools to stay open, even as the number of Covid-19 cases rises. But many districts are still waiting to see that guidance in writing before deciding whether they are able to resume in-person instruction before the traditional holiday break. Read more

Reports: NHL shifts focus to starting the season in mid-January: According to multiple reports Friday, the National Hockey League is now targeting mid-January to begin a 52- or 56-game regular season with training camps starting approximately 10 to 14 days before opening night. Read more

UB-Ohio football game canceled due to Covid-19; Bulls seem to be division champs: The University at Buffalo football team was on buses en route to southeast Ohio on Friday when the bad news arrived: the game scheduled for Saturday at Ohio was canceled and declared a no contest because positive Covid-19 tests and subsequent contact tracing had depleted Ohio's roster. Read more

Dec. 3

Death toll climbs in Erie County as nation breaks record: Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz stated on Twitter that the Erie County Department of Health "has reviewed recent Covid-19 cases and can now confirm 869 Erie County residents have died from Covid-19 through Nov. 29." Read more

Cuomo touts Covid-19 vaccine coming to New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent the bulk of a briefing Thursday emphasizing the importance of the coming Covid-19 vaccine, adding that distribution of the vaccine would be a massive government undertaking, particularly in Black and brown communities. Read more

Erie County Legislature approves $1.7B budget with layoffs, $20M for Covid-19: The Erie County Legislature – with votes split along party lines – approved a $1.7 billion 2021 budget Thursday. Read more

'It's distressing, but it's not surprising' as Covid-19 batters nursing homes again: Nursing home officials say they are better prepared today as Covid-19 cases soar in the community, but the latest surge in cases even has spread to nursing homes that avoided the virus earlier this year. Read more

Five Allegany County Department of Health employees test positive for Covid-19: The health department, which noted that it offers random Covid-19 testing to its employees, said one of the five who tested positive was identified as symptomatic prior to testing and recovered at home. Read more

Is New York's energy industry prepared for both winter and the Covid-19 pandemic?: As New York heads into winter, the state’s energy industry typically has its attention turned toward the usual potential disruptions: snow, wind and ice storms. This year, add Covid-19 to the list. Read more

Ron Hawkins on bands, borders and 'leaning into the weirdness': Fans here feel disconnected from so many of our favorite artists right now, and this being Buffalo, many of those artists happen to be Canadian. That disconnection leaves many wondering what those artists have been up to during this enforced downtime from live gigging. Read more

Tappo partner clarifies restaurant's igloos were not shut down by health department: Tappo Restaurant will postpone reservations for its popular igloo and greenhouse dining areas, ceasing business indefinitely, until Buffalo returns to the yellow zone of Covid-19 restrictions, chef-owner Phil Limina confirmed Wednesday, but not for the reason a since-deleted Facebook post would have led followers to believe. Read more

Niagara University men's basketball aims to maximize short prep time: The Purple Eagles were paused for much of November due to Covid-19 issues, and recently resumed workouts for their season opener at 8 p.m. Thursday at Syracuse. Read more

The Editorial Board: Mychajliw's claim of authority violates common sense and, worse, risks lives: Mychajliw may want to play pretend, but the virus is as real as it gets and he is making it worse, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Dec. 2

Erie County executive: 'We are trying to avoid a shutdown': Two weeks after Buffalo and its surrounding suburbs were designated an "orange zone" that shut down schools, gyms and hair salons and banned indoor dining, the rate of new confirmed cases of Covid-19 has begun to level off. Hospitalizations are a different story. Read more

Western New York nears 1,000-mark for daily coronavirus cases: The five counties in the Western New York region reported 988 cases on Tuesday, just eight short of the record. Read more

Cuomo: New York to receive 170K vaccine doses by Dec. 15: New York State's first doses of a coronavirus vaccine are expected to arrive in the next couple of weeks, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday. Read more

Mychajliw blocks Health Department's ability to collect fines, threatens to freeze accounts: The move comes on the heels of the Health Department slapping the Athletes Unleashed gym in Orchard Park with a $15,000 fine last week for violating state-mandated gathering restrictions. Read more

WNY hospitalizations hit record highs as region braces for holiday surge: Even before that feared post-Thanksgiving surge, the region’s Covid-19 hospitalizations are spiking to their highest point since the start of the pandemic. Read more

As local Covid-19 hospitalizations surge, more deaths follow: Local leaders and health care workers hoped to never again revisit the worst days in April and May when 90 to 100 Western New Yorkers died of Covid-19 each week. Read more

Cattaraugus parents challenge Cuomo's Covid-19 school restrictions in court: Five Cattaraugus County parents, including a town supervisor and a school board member, are challenging New York's Covid-19 restrictions for schools, claiming they violate the Constitution. Read more

North Tonawanda tavern loses beloved patron to Covid-19: William "Billy" Fanto, 59, a lifelong North Tonawanda resident, died Nov. 25, three weeks after he was admitted to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital’s intensive care unit. Read more

Indoor holiday gatherings are out, but decorating is still in: As with everything else, the pandemic has even changed the way families are decorating for Christmas this year. Read more

Dec. 1

WNY still has highest Covid-19 rate in state at 7.2%: With Western New York still leading the state with the highest Covid-19 positivity rates, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo continued to focus on hospitalizations. Read more

Niagara Falls sets Covid-19 testing clinic as caseloads rise: Niagara County confirmed another 200 cases of the Covid-19 virus Tuesday. Read more

Erie County offers Covid-19 testing help to schools, but it's too late for most: School officials say that at this point, most have already figured out another way to order the tests from the state and move forward. Read more

Five WNY nursing homes among top 25 in New York for most Covid-19 cases: Two of the five – Father Baker Manor in Orchard Park and Harris Hill Nursing Facility in Lancaster – had outbreaks early in the pandemic but were at the top of the list because their reported numbers include Covid-19 patients from other nursing homes. Read more

Reed, Schumer instrumental in new efforts for Covid relief: A bipartisan group of lawmakers from both sides of Capitol Hill moved on Tuesday to break a legislative logjam that threatens to end key aid programs. Read more

Covid-19's long-term impact dominates businesses' concerns: The main subject of this year's annual Buffalo Niagara Partnership survey of members was the long-term economic impact of Covid-19. Read more

Bills' Josh Norman teams up with City of Buffalo to aid small businesses: Small businesses in Buffalo that have been impacted by Covid-19 restrictions can get a holiday gift from Buffalo Bill Josh Norman. Read more

Staying connected: 5 ways to better deal with winter during pandemic: From walking outside to embracing winter sports – all socially distanced and following Covid-19 guidelines – there are many ways to avoid that stuck-inside feeling. Read more

Nov. 30

New 'winter plan' for attacking Covid-19 spread affects schools, hospitals: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's newly announced "winter plan" will no longer focus primarily on Covid-19 case numbers. Instead, the goal now becomes to keep hospital staff and bed capacity from becoming swamped by the rising numbers. Read more

With Covid-19 cases on the rise, Cuomo makes it easier for schools to stay open: Despite cases of Covid-19 spiking across Erie County, the state has opened the door for schools to resume in-person instruction sooner than anticipated, at least for some students. But will they? Read more

West Seneca, Hamburg, Lancaster lead Erie County in new Covid-19 cases: These communities, which led in raw numbers of new cases, also had among the highest Covid-19 rates when adjusted for population, according to county Department of Health figures. Read more

Orchard Park gym owner files lawsuit over Covid restrictions, responds to claims of racism: The lawsuit argues the governor acted beyond his authority in extending executive orders issued as part of the state's pandemic response. Read more

Pandemic Lessons: Can cultural attractions stay open – and do it safely?: In this installment of Pandemic Lessons, we ask what does it take to keep a cultural attraction open? The National Comedy Center is a case study. Read more

Amid pandemic, UB's go-to Covid-19 expert goes viral: Before 2020, Dr. Thomas Russo guesses he gave 25 interviews over the years to news reporters. Since March, Russo said he's granted around 340. Read more

Niagara County social services workers test positive for Covid-19: All Niagara County Department of Social Services employees who work on the second floor of the department's 10th Street office in Niagara Falls were under quarantine Monday after about a dozen employees who work there tested positive for Covid-19, according to Niagara County Manager Rick Updegrove. Read more

$19 million flowing to small businesses from Covid-19 relief program: The "Back to Business" program has started notifying 1,366 businesses that their money is coming. Read more

Buffalo's alternate-side parking rules will now depend on the weather – and a text message: Mayor Byron W. Brown said Monday that the program, called the BuffAlert Parking Update, will run through the winter season and takes into account the more “pronounced” parking needs in neighborhoods due to Covid-19, which has kept more motorists at home. Read more

Bills to play 49ers in Arizona in Week 13: The shift in location comes after the Santa Clara County Public Health Department banned contact sports from the youth to professional level for three weeks in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19. Read more

Niagara University men's basketball practicing after Covid-19 pause: A Niagara athletic department spokesman confirmed Monday to The News that the Purple Eagles have resumed activities. Read more

Sweet Home to postpone start of winter sports to Jan. 4: The Covid-19 pandemic and recent designation of most of Erie County as being in an orange zone due to increased infection percentage is the reason for the decision. Read more

The Editorial Board: Pandemic concerns are real but cannot interfere with court access by reporters: Some restrictions may be necessary during a pandemic that requires social distancing, but reporters are the public’s eyes and ears in the state’s courtrooms, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

The Editorial Board: Without federal help, NFTA could face cuts with radiating fiscal consequences: Just as other transit operations across the country face dire financial straits due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is struggling to keep buses on the roads, light rail on the tracks and two airports functioning. Washington needs to help, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

My View: Listing causes of death would aid our community: Hundreds of people in this region have died from Covid-19, yet I have seen only one or two death notices that mention it. No wonder people have the mistaken idea that they do not have to wear masks or limit their socializing, writes Michelle Marcotte. Read more

Nov. 29

WNY continues to 'lead the show' in Covid-19 cases statewide: Western New York continues to have the dubious distinction of having the highest infection rate for the coronavirus in New York State. Read more

Eden nursing home has 70% Covid-19 test positivity rate: A total of 28 residents in the 40-bed nursing home were infected with the coronavirus for the week ending last Saturday, according to the Erie County Health Department. Read more

'You have to go get this work done or your kid is going to fail.' At the Hardys, the ups and downs of remote schooling: For the past three months, the Hardys opened their door to Buffalo News photographer Sharon Cantillon, who captured slices of their home life as the family has had to adjust to remote instruction amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Gallery: The Hardy family navigates school during the pandemic: School during the pandemic has been a challenge for the Hardy family, whose children are attending Buffalo schools entirely virtually. The following photographs document the beginning of their journey in the first two weeks of the fall semester. See more

Air Force veteran, music fan dead within two days of positive Covid-19 test: Shawn Lis learned after finishing Thanksgiving dinner that his father had tested positive for Covid-19. Less than two days later, James Lis was dead. Read more

Nov. 28

Erie County officials cheer lower Covid-19 case, positivity data: Erie County recorded 462 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, a drop of 160 cases from the day before and the first time since Monday this figure fell below 500, according to county data. The county had exceeded 600 cases three times this week and reached an all-time high of 718 cases during Wednesday's testing. The daily positive rate also fell sharply, from 9.9% in Thursday's testing to 5.5% in Friday's testing. The seven-day, rolling average positive rate is at 7% as of Friday, down slightly from Thursday's 7.1% average, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. Read more

Can schools stay open as infection rates rise? “I don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Michael Cornell, president of the Erie-Niagara School Superintendents Association, "but it’s clear that the governor is interested in at least some conversation around trying to make it more feasible for school districts to keep kids in school.” Read more

Nov. 27

'Christmas isn't canceled': Black Friday in the orange zone: The next month is a series of do-or-die moments for many shops, which rely on the holiday season to bring people into their stores. Read more

Erie County daily positive rate nears 10%, WNY hits 8%: Nearly 1 in 10 Covid-19 tests recorded Thursday in Erie County came back positive, and 24 more county residents died from the virus this week. Read more

Erie County sets another single-day high for coronavirus cases: The county reported Thursday that it had 718 positive cases during Wednesday's testing. Read more 

Family misses the magic of beloved teacher who died of Covid-19: Everywhere he went, he brought a little magic with him. That’s how his family remember Edward Barszcz, a longtime math teacher, magician, traveler and adventurer who died of Covid-19 earlier this year at the St. Joseph campus of Sisters of Charity Hospital. He was 74. Read more

If schools get licenses for Covid testing, will they reopen in 'orange zone'?: Nearly 60 schools in Erie County have received a license that will enable them to test students and teachers for Covid-19, according to the state Health Department. Read more

Unemployment aid, other programs set to expire as pandemic deepens: As bad as 2020 has been for many people in Buffalo and around the nation, early 2021 could be even worse for those who have suffered the most amid the pandemic-inspired recession. Read more

Seasonal parking rules suspended again, BPD buildings closed to public: Mayor Byron Brown announced that Buffalo Police Department buildings are closed to the public in an effort to curb spikes in infection rates. Read more

No-frills, at-home virtual workouts can get fitness done: Online training is expected to grow in popularity with fitness and studios again closed in much of Western New York amid a second regional coronavirus spike. Read more

The Editorial Board: Individuals have power to keep WNY from drawing state red-zone shutdown: Keeping our region out of the red is largely up to us, writes the News' Editorial Board. Read more 

Nov. 26

Despite Supreme Court ruling, New York can keep some limits on religious gatherings: A narrow majority of Supreme Court justices found the state's restrictions on the sizes of religious services violated right to the free exercise of religion. Read more

Cuomo on K-8 students: 'We need a sustainable testing rate in the schools': The governor has been signaling a change in his thinking about whether to close schools as infection rates continue to rise. Read more

A severe case of Covid, a near-death experience and a weekend for thanks: Seven months later testing positive for Covid, Craig Shaffer remains on oxygen 24 hours a day. Still, this Thanksgiving, he is grateful to be alive. “I know how fortunate I am,” he said. Read more

Three ways Black Friday will be different this year: If 2020 has taught us anything, it's to expect the unexpected. When it comes to Black Friday, it's just as difficult to predict what will happen. Read more

Nov. 25

Cuomo holds off on red zone designation for Erie County: Cuomo said the state will be looking to see what happens to the region's infection and hospitalization rates "in a few days, seven days or 10 days." Read more

Lancaster struggles to pinpoint cause of high Covid rates: Lancaster gained the dubious distinction early this week of having the highest daily positive test rate for Covid-19, not just within the region, but across the state. Read more

WNY's Covid numbers are bad this week – but after Thanksgiving, they'll likely be worse: Western New York will head into the long Thanksgiving weekend with some of its worst Covid-19 metrics since the start of the pandemic. Read more

Erie County hits new high for Covid-19 hospitalizations: Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he was informed by the Erie County Department of Health that a new high was set Monday for Covid-19 patient hospitalizations in Erie County, with 264. Read more

Health Department slaps Orchard Park gym with $15K fine for Covid violations: The Erie County Health Department fined the owner of an Orchard Park gym where a protest against Covid-19 restrictions on businesses was held. Read more

Turkey Trot's Quarter-Century Club lives on with in-person, virtual races: In a normal year, the Turkey Trot serves as sort of a community reunion, with some participating who are back in Western New York to visit family for the holiday. Read more

NWHL to hold season over two weeks in bubble at Lake Placid: The Buffalo Beauts and the NWHL’s five other teams will play their season across two weeks from Jan. 23 to Feb. 5. Read more

Nov. 24

Erie County hits new high for Covid-19 hospitalizations: Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he was informed by the Erie County Department of Health that a new high was set Monday for Covid-19 patient hospitalizations in Erie County, with 264. Read more

'It would be financially devastating': Small shops face closure during busiest season: If the the caseload continues to rise as expected after Thanksgiving gatherings, no one knows how long a closure might last. Read more

Erie County changes Covid-19 test notification process after 'unacceptable' delays: Erie County leaders have corrected their Covid-19 test notification procedures, and apologized for misstatements, after The Buffalo News reported Sunday that individuals whom the Health Department tested weren't given their positive results for a week or more. Read more

Tradition or caution? Families prepare for a Thanksgiving feast with Covid-19 on the menu: While the decision to defy Covid-19 warnings is easy for some, others wrestle with how to balance a desire to see family with fears about spreading the virus. Read more

Staffing, not beds, is biggest threat for hospitals as Covid-19 admissions skyrocket: Worry less about whether hospitals have enough room in Western New York to accommodate the rapid rise in Covid-19 patient admissions. Worry more about whether hospitals have the staff to care for all of those patients. Read more

Oishei Children's Hospital temporarily opens beds to adult patients: As part of its expanded admission criteria, Oishei announced Tuesday that, effective immediately, it is reserving additional ICU and acute care beds for both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients. Read more

27 test positive for Covid-19 at Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden: Twenty-seven inmates at the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden have tested positive for Covid-19, a spokesman for the Erie County Sheriff's Office confirmed Tuesday. Read more

Niagara County reports two Covid-19 deaths, first since August: Niagara County reported 90 newly confirmed cases of the virus Tuesday, bringing its active caseload to 676, 17 of whom are hospitalized. Read more

Allegany County makes Covid-19 appeal: 'Please help us slow the increase': Allegany County, which is battling one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the state, on Monday made a public appeal directly to its residents in an effort to halt the spread of Covid-19 and avoid the restrictions that could come if the state designates it as "yellow zone." Read more

Covid-19 business relief fund to distribute 1,400 grants: About 1,400 small businesses in Erie County will soon receive grants from a $20 million Covid-19 relief fund. Read more

Metro offers free day passes for mask selfies: Metro Bus and Rail is offering free fares to some participating riders as part of a #MaskUpMetro campaign to encourage mask-wearing aboard its vehicles. Read more

Covid-19 increases uncertainty that surrounds Big 4 college basketball season: Eight months after the NCAA called off the national championship tournament because of the Covid-19 pandemic, no one can project exactly how this season will unfold, or if it will unfold. Read more

Bona women's basketball pauses activities because of positive Covid-19 test: The Bona athletic department announced Tuesday night that the program has halted activities following a positive Covid-19 test result within the team’s Tier 1 personnel. Read more

Bills activate cornerback Josh Norman from Covid-19 reserve list: The Bills have activated cornerback Josh Norman from the Covid-19/reserve list, the team announced Tuesday. Read more

The Editorial Board: Hamburg’s infection rate offers evidence of Albany’s error in limiting early voting: We may never know whether Hamburg’s ill-considered location for early voting was the super-spreader event the town supervisor suspects it was, but this much is obvious: The question could have been avoided with smarter policies at several levels of government, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Nov. 23

Poloncarz: 'Everything is on the table' as Erie County heads toward red zone: The number of new Covid-19 cases in Erie County have put it on track for a state-imposed "red zone" shutdown, although Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz on Monday left open the possibility that any new restrictions could zero in on certain ZIP codes. Read more

Rural stretches of WNY cope with Covid surge, too: The region's rural counties have not yet earned the "orange zone" designation that led to the closure of indoor dining and other mitigation measures in Erie County. But some rural officials worry they are headed in that direction. Read more

'It's crushing business': Shuttered businesses feel unfairly targeted by Covid closures: With no inkling how long the closure might last, many business owners say they won't make it through a second round of suffering. Read more

Pandemic Lessons: Cuomo says we don’t get it. Is he right?: Gov. Andrew Cuomo berated Western New York last week as he announced widespread local restrictions in response to spiking Covid-19 numbers. Read more

Critics want conditions attached to contract extension for Kriner Cash: Chief among concerns right now are plans to improve the quality of remote instruction amid the Covid-19 pandemic and reopening schools for any student who wants in-person instruction, as soon as it is safe to do so. Read more

Thousands of turkeys donated in Buffalo to families in need: The turkey giveaway was among several events aimed at helping families who have been hit hard by the economic recession spurred by Covid-19. Read more

Walker, Postles see schedules changed as Ch. 4 adjusts to Covid surge: It appears that WIVB-TV (Channel 4) news viewers will be seeing less of co-anchors Jacquie Walker and Don Postles again. Read more

Jeff Miers: Stuck at home for the holidays, but feeling grateful: This time of year finds us thinking about family. I’m aware that, without mine, I’d be pretty much toast, writes Jeff Miers. Read more

Bills' Tommy Sweeney out for season with myocarditis stemming from Covid-19: McDermott said Sweeney was aiming to practice this week, but the condition was discovered within the last week when he underwent an NFL mandated heart exam as part of Covid-19 protocols. Read more

UB men's basketball season opener canceled due to Covid-19: The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team’s season opener has been canceled because of positive Covid-19 tests in the Gannon program. Read more

The Editorial Board: Protesters against closing of businesses turn love of liberty into a death cult: those who carry anti-Cuomo signs seem at times like a death cult, refusing to believe the scientific consensus about how social distancing and mask wearing cut down on the spread of coronavirus, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Nov. 22

Cuomo warns about holiday-related Covid-19 spike: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is warning New York State residents to be especially vigilant about Covid-19 between now and the end of the year. Read more

Covid-19 working group issues plea amid rising number of cases: Doctors and health care professionals from across Western New York pleaded with the community on Sunday to heed the advice of public health officials amid the region's rising number of Covid-19 cases. Read more

Protesters target Poloncarz's home to protest Covid-19 restrictions: About three dozen people gathered outside of the home of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz on Sunday to protest Covid-19 restrictions. Read more

Covid infections are up. Hospitalizations are up. Will fatality rate be next?: The Covid-19 fatality rate, both in Western New York and around the world, has fallen back considerably since the early days of the pandemic. Read more

Shortage of contact tracers means some wait days to learn they are positive for Covid-19: "Tell the positives the second they know, regardless of how the follow-up is, just so people can take responsibility and behave correctly," one man who tested positive for Covid-19 said. Read more

Sean Kirst: In pandemic, St. Luke's embraces Thanksgiving in a new way: Throughout Western New York, the pandemic only intensifies the crisis for those who have the least. But St. Luke's Mission of Mercy remains a beacon in the community for those in need. Read more

Bank on Buffalo limits branch lobby access to fight spread of Covid-19: The bank will require customers to make appointments in order to go inside eight of its 10 branches. Read more

It's not the usual Turkey Trot, but it carries on the tradition: This year, because of Covid-19, the Turkey Trot continues, but the event has been made into a virtual competition for registered runners. Read more

Nov. 21

Hamburg supervisor suspects early voting a 'super spreader' for town's Covid-19 surge: It was only a few days after early voting had ended that the first positive case of Covid-19 in Town Hall surfaced from a basement office. Now more than half a dozen town employees have tested positive for the virus. Read more

Covid-19 'orange zone' forces parents to scramble for child care: Employers are trying to help, but some parents once again find themselves having to choose between their paycheck and their children’s education. Read more

'Get out!': Gathering at Orchard Park gym turns confrontational as health inspector arrives: A video shows a tense back and forth, with one deputy pointing out that people weren't wearing masks and the protesters accusing county representatives of trespassing and entering the property without a warrant. Read more

By the numbers, Erie County could be a red zone right now: According to data from the state, all of Erie County meets the state's statistical criteria to enter the red zone: A 4% positive coronavirus average test rate for 10 straight days. Read more

WNY again has state's highest Covid-19 test rate: Western New York continues to set a troubling pace in the state's Covid-19 outbreak, posting the highest positive test rate for any region in New York for the sixth straight day. Read more

Nov. 20

Western New York shatters one-day record for Covid-19 cases: The record-breaking margin of 153 cases shows how the virus has spread exponentially through the region in recent weeks. Read more

As possibility of shutdown looms amid record Covid rates, closings begin: Erie County's "orange zone" isn't a total shutdown of essential businesses, yet some here are closing down preemptively. Read more

Erie County identifies three recent Covid-19 outbreaks at area nursing homes: Fifty-one residents tested positive last week at Autumn View Health Care Facility, the largest outbreak among local nursing homes since October. Read more

Catholic Health fined by OSHA for Covid-19 violation: OSHA has fined Catholic Health $11,567 for failing to report a work-related death at its McAuley Residence nursing home within eight hours. Read more

For now, Erie and Niagara county jails have Covid-19 tamped down: Covid-19 can create a more serious problem for local jails, as compared to state prisons, because their populations are more transient and inmates usually stay for shorter durations. Read more

Experimental Covid antibody treatment that Trump lauded now available in WNY: Western New Yorkers recently exposed to a household member who tests positive with Covid-19 can be treated with a promising drug. Read more

Monroe, Onondaga counties helping schools with Covid-19 testing; Erie County won't: Without help from Erie County, officials at schools in the orange zone say it will be nearly impossible for them to reopen until the governor lifts the Covid-19 zone designation. Read more

Longtime Lackawanna High School math teacher David Olivieri dies after contracting Covid-19: "He was loyal, always offering to help his friends in their time of need, no matter how tired or busy he was," a family friend said of Olivieri. Read more

NT City Hall closed for cleaning after 2 workers test positive for Covid-19: Mayor Arthur G. Pappas said he ordered the building fully sanitized after receiving the news from a department head. Read more

Canalside cancels ice skating, winter activities because of Covid-19: Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. announced Friday that it would not offer ice skating and other related activities this winter. Read more

Buffalo suspends winter parking rules, closes some recreation sites: Enforcement of Buffalo’s winter parking regulations on Metro Bus routes has been delayed until 1:30 a.m. Nov. 30. Read more

Discount Diva: How to holiday shop small and local without leaving home: We can all use some Christmas magic right now, and that kind of magic cannot be found in crowded, endless aisles of China-sourced, mass-produced plastic. Read more

The pandemic claims Turkey Trot tradition, but it hasn't laid a glove on hope: Despite not running the Turkey Trot this year, Bruce Andriatch will still run 5 miles on Thanksgiving morning. Read more

North Park Theatre to suspend screenings beginning Friday: The theater operators say they were acting "in an abundance of caution, and in the interest of public safety." Read more

Nov. 19

Poloncarz on Covid-19 outbreak worsening: 'The second wave is here': As the outbreak worsened in recent days and weeks in the county and the region, 651 people tested positive for Covid-19, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Thursday. Read more

Jump in hospitalizations in WNY put numbers close to April peak: There are now almost as many people sick with Covid-19 in Western New York's hospitals than there were at the first wave of the pandemic that hit the region. Read more

Schools in Erie County orange zone may not reopen soon: Schools in Erie County's orange zone, which must close Monday, could resume in-person learning as soon as Nov. 30. But don't count on it. Read more

Will Niagara County restaurants cash in on Erie's Covid orange zone?: If you live in Erie County and you're determined to eat indoors at a sit-down restaurant, you still have an option despite the state's new Covid-19 pandemic ban on indoor dining in most of the county. Read more

Schumer charges Washington withholds cash to expand rapid Covid-19 testing: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is sitting on $9 billion that could be used to ramp up rapid Covid-19 testing, Sen. Charles E. Schumer charged Thursday. Read more

NFTA seeks $50 million in Covid relief to avoid 'devastating position': Like organizations in so many other aspects of life in a pandemic age, the NFTA says Washington must come up with some form of assistance, or the ensuing reductions in service and personnel will be drastic. Read more

Catholic Health bans inpatient elective surgeries for two weeks: Catholic Health is suspending all inpatient elective surgeries for two weeks as Covid-19 cases continue to surge in Erie County and the wider region. Read more

Spot Coffee temporarily closing five Buffalo-area cafés: Spot Coffee is temporarily closing five of its Buffalo-area cafés as a safety precaution as Covid-19 cases rise and much of Erie County is placed under the state's "orange zone" restrictions. Read more

High hopes meet harsh realities as Artpark looks ahead: Like every performing arts venue in the country, Artpark took a serious hit this summer, as the pandemic brought tour cancellations, social gathering clampdowns and a general atmosphere of fear and confusion for the industry. Read more

Restrictions tighten on entry to Buffalo school offices and buildings: School Superintendent Kriner Cash, in a notice to all district employees, said that central office and school building staff will no longer have to go to their work sites two days a week. Read more

Kaleida to ban hospital visitors to adult patients, beginning Friday: In an announcement Wednesday, Kaleida said the new policy will apply to Buffalo General Medical Center, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst and DeGraff Medical Park in North Tonawanda. Read more

Three Bills players removed from Covid reserve list: The Bills activated tight end Tyler Kroft, cornerback Levi Wallace and safety Dean Marlowe to the 53-man roster from the reserve/Covid-19 list on Thursday. Read more

Bona pauses men's basketball activities due to Covid-19, withdraws from tournament: The Bona athletic department announced Thursday that it is halting all team activities in men’s basketball following a positive Covid-19 test result within the team’s Tier 1 personnel, which includes athletes, coaches, managers and athletic supports staff. Read more

UB men's basketball plans to go to Bubbleville despite no set opponents: UB was scheduled to play Nov. 30 against Vermont and Dec. 1 against Iona, but both games have been canceled. Read more

Niagara University hockey's season-opening series at St. Lawrence canceled: The St. Lawrence athletic department said in a statement that the cancellation of the series is because of a change in the campus Covid-19 alert status. Read more

Nov. 18

Most of Erie County now in 'orange zone' after all-time Covid-19 highs: "Western New York," Cuomo said during a televised news briefing, is the "worst situation in the State of New York." Read more

Cuomo: Covid-19 wasn't 'real' enough for many Western New Yorkers: On the day he shut down schools and ordered new economic restrictions in Erie County, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had a message for Western New York: You weren’t paying enough attention to Covid-19. Read more

Local officials see chance to improve as 'zone' rules are imposed: Local elected officials say they hope Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's decision to impose further pandemic-related restrictions in Erie and Niagara counties serves as a wake-up call, especially with the holiday season and winter months looming. Read more

A sliver of Niagara County goes 'yellow': For the first time, part of Niagara County was placed into the yellow zone of Covid-19 restrictions by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Wednesday. Read more

Schools in Erie County orange zone must close: Public and private schools in most of Erie County must end all in-person classes in their buildings because of the orange zone designation. Read more

Here's what it means to be in an 'orange zone': The orange zone designation means businesses designated as "high-risk nonessential," such as gyms and salons, must close. Read more

Map: Where the yellow and orange zones are in Erie and Niagara counties: New York State moved Erie County's yellow zone to an orange zone Wednesday, as well as adding a part of Niagara County as a yellow zone. Read more

ECMC halts almost all patient visitation due to 'orange zone' designation: The only exceptions to the ban on visits are in cases where a visit is deemed medically necessary, or in end-of-life compassionate care situations. Read more

UB football still scheduled to play Kent State; UB, Canisius basketball await state approval: The University at Buffalo football team is still scheduled to host its next game, even after New York State announced Wednesday that parts of Erie County have been designated as orange zones. Read more

NFL puts all teams under enhanced Covid protocols for rest of season: The intensive protocols require masks at all times within team facilities, even on the practice field. Team meetings are held remotely or outdoors or inside the team's practice bubble with everyone wearing masks. Meals are grab-and-go, rather than sit down. Limitations are imposed on time spent in the locker room and capacity in the weight room is reduced. Read more

Section VI delays opening of low-risk winter sports: The Section VI Athletic Council on Wednesday voted to pause the start of low- and moderate-risk winter sports until Dec. 14 due to Covid-19. Read more

Amid soaring 'second wave' case counts, experts zero in on Covid-19 hospitalizations: The average positive rate, or the share of tests that comes back positive, now sits at 4.9% in Western New York – double the average rate at the start of November. Read more

Which Erie County towns have seen the largest coronavirus increases?: Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Thursday that coronavirus is "everywhere" in Erie County. The numbers back that up. Read more

Here we go again: This time, grocers say they're better prepared for stockpilers: Covid-19 cases are trending upward, consumers are getting nervous and, as a consequence, grocery stores' shelves are going bare. Read more

The Boulevard Mall bear band is back – but behind glass: "People are thanking us over and over," the mall's general manager said. "They're saying, 'This is just what I needed to see with everything that's going on.' " Read more

My View: A special blessing for Thanksgiving: A few years ago, I wrote in this column how my Thanksgiving traditions changed over the years as my family evolved and grew. Well, this year they change again, and not because of the coronavirus restrictions, but because of something more wonderful and hopefully more enduring, writes Karen Wiseman. Read more

Nov. 17

Amid crush of bad news, state's plans for Erie County's yellow zone to come Wednesday: Will Erie County's "yellow" precautionary zone go orange? Or even the most restrictive red? Those questions and others should be answered Wednesday. Read more

Do the math: Erie County's yellow zone likely will be changing color soon: A Buffalo News analysis of state data projects that, even if the county's yellow zone somehow had a coronavirus positive rate of 0% the next two days, it would still reach the state's primary statistical threshold to move to the red zone: 10 days with a seven-day rolling average positive rate above 4%. Read more

Key official in Erie County's response to Covid-19 tests positive: Public Works Commissioner William Geary Jr., who oversees many logistics and construction-related Covid-19 projects for the county, tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday. Read more

UB to continue classes through Tuesday, despite nearly 100 Covid-19 cases: The University at Buffalo will continue with in-person classes through next Tuesday, even though the university projects by the end of this week to have 100 Covid-19 cases within a two-week period. Read more

West Seneca returning to all remote learning: West Seneca Central School District is the latest district to announce it will return to all-remote learning Monday. Read more

Orchard Park schools to go fully remote: Orchard Park schools will move to fully remote instruction on Monday, according to a statement on the district's website. The move is driven by extensive absences by students, teachers and staff. Read more

Hamburg tops list of new positive Covid-19 cases: There were 234 positive cases reported in the 14075 ZIP code during the week ending Saturday, Nov. 14, by far the highest number reported in the county for that week, according to the Erie County Health Department. Read more

Judge dismisses Orleans-Niagara BOCES teacher lawsuit over Covid-19 safety: The BOCES Teachers Association filed a complaint with the state Labor Department Sept. 17 over alleged inadequate cleaning and social distancing at BOCES facilities. Read more

As cases surge, some businesses take a step back: Area banks and businesses are adjusting on the fly as Covid-19 cases spike in Western New York. Read more

Coco to launch outdoor crepes food stand, plus holiday market: In several European countries, year-round outdoor markets aren't unusual. In Buffalo, at a time when rules governing indoor eating are expected to tighten due to the Covid-19 pandemic, one restaurateur is mimicking something she relished during her travels. Read more

State moves start of high-risk scholastic winter sports to Jan. 4: With rising numbers of cases of coronavirus, the start of high-risk winter high school sports has been moved to Jan. 4, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association said in an updated memo on its website Tuesday. Read more

The Editorial Board: Support for the arts is urgent as institutions suffer under the pandemic: Buffalo arts and cultural institutions are under severe economic strain as the coronavirus pandemic undercuts attendance. It is a critical time for patrons to reaffirm their commitment of financial support, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Nov. 16

Crush of bad news portends potential move to orange or red zones in Erie County: Erie County leaders are running out of adjectives to describe how bad the Covid-19 data is. The county is also running out of time, with the state taking a hard look at whether parts of Erie County should be subject to more restrictions that would result in new shutdowns of businesses and schools. Read more

Covid cases, and deaths, continue to soar in Erie County: The “yellow zone” area of most of Erie County over the last seven days had a rolling average Covid positivity rate of 7.32%, the worst of 12 specially designated zones with high numbers of the virus. Read more

Musician wins early rulings in lawsuit against Cuomo's ban on live performances: U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra Jr. on Friday granted a preliminary injunction preventing the State Liquor Authority from enforcing the incidental-music rule that bans advertised and ticketed shows at establishments licensed by the authority. Read more

22 residents of Cheektowaga nursing home test positive for Covid-19: Neither the McGuire Group, which owns and operates Garden Gate, nor Erie County officials publicly disclosed the outbreak. Read more

Pandemic Lessons: How can we travel safely – and what's the risk if we do?: There are ways to travel with relative safety during the time of Covid-19, but multiple experts interviewed for this story said they are doing the holidays by Zoom – and you probably should, too. Read more

'We're working without a playbook': Researchers study how people respond to Covid-19: “We hope to learn how people are making sense of things, what information is useful and what policies are useful,” said Lauren Clay, associate professor of health administration and public health at D'Youville College, and head of its Disaster Research Lab. Read more

In an 'odd year,' jumbo-sized Thanksgiving turkeys aren't going to cut it: Most in the industry were already figuring over the summer that big groups of Thanksgiving celebrants hanging around indoors for hours would not be so popular in 2020. Read more

Western New York colleges get creative in finding ways to quarantine students: College leaders have come up with varying ways to handle the unprecedented problem of quarantining large numbers of students. Read more

Town of Niagara halts in-person board meetings: Because of the spike in local Covid-19 cases, the Town of Niagara announced Monday that it will begin holding its board meetings through video conferencing, starting Tuesday. Read more

UB, St. Bonaventure men's basketball to lose Bubbleville games as Vermont delays season: Neither UB nor Bona has released its complete nonconference schedule. Read more

MAAC releases revamped schedules for Canisius, Niagara basketball: The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference released its updated men’s and women’s schedules for its 11 member schools Monday. Read more

The Editorial Board: For the sake of the families we love, this is a year to make different Thanksgiving choices: If you want to give thanks for family and friends this year, the best way is to make the kind of sacrifice that previous generations – Americans who gave up much more – would have found easy: Keep others safe by keeping to yourself, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

My View: Winter plus a pandemic? Let’s do this, WNY!: We tough it out. We’re survivors. Our ability to endure tough weather and tough times is what defines our character, writes Steve Clancy. Read more

Nov. 15

As doctors cope with Covid spikes, businesses brace for possible 'orange' designation: While state data showed that conditions in the yellow zone that now exists in much of Erie County improved somewhat on Saturday, with the rate of positive tests dropping to 6.62% from 8.17% on Friday, that was still the second-worst among all the yellow and orange zones around the state. It's also still far worse than the 2.86% reported for the Erie zone in late October. Read more

Mayor Brown's 2021 capital budget includes projects pushed back due to Covid-19: he financial effects of Covid-19 are on the minds of Mayor Byron W. Brown and the Common Council as Buffalo lawmakers begin deliberating Brown’s $32.9 million capital budget proposal for 2021. Read more

WNY doctors support more testing under Biden's Covid plan, but worry about weeks ahead: As Covid-19 spreads to unprecedented levels in Buffalo and across the country, local health care providers and government leaders have plenty to dread and little to anticipate. Read more

Covid and Buffalo's cultural giants: 'Testing us like nothing else has': "This pandemic is testing us like nothing else has," said Daniel Hart, the BPO's executive director. "No matter what financial problems that came before, this really takes the cake." Read more

Josh Norman says he's doing 'just fine' after Covid-19 diagnosis: “For my teammates, can’t wait to get back out there with you guys,” Norman said. “Looking forward to this ‘W’ this weekend.” Read more

Nov. 14

Erie County's 'yellow zone' again exceeds 8% Covid-19 test rate: Friday's rate of 8.17% marked a sharp increase from the 6% recorded on Thursday and the rolling average over the previous seven days is now 7.45%, according to an update provided Saturday afternoon by the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.  Read more

Spike in Covid-19 leaves Erie County short of contact tracers: "We have hired more people, and we're bringing on more people internally to address this issue," Erie County Mark Poloncarz said. Read more

As Covid keeps spreading, businesses fear another shutdown: If parts of Erie County do move into the orange "warning zone" designation, businesses Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has deemed high-risk and nonessential, such as gyms, salons, tattoo parlors and personal care businesses, will close. Read more

Bills' Josh Norman tests positive for Covid, 3 other players added to reserve list: Defensive back Josh Norman tested positive for Covid-19 and was placed on the team’s Reserve/Covid-19 list. Three other players – defensive backs Levi Wallace and Dean Marlowe and tight end Tyler Kroft -- were determined to be in close contact with Norman and also were placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list. Read more

Covid closures continue: OLV Basilica, Cheektowaga senior center, courts make moves: The significant rise of Covid-19 cases in Erie County and the state is starting to trigger at least some temporary closures. Read more

Which Erie County towns have seen the largest coronavirus increases? A Buffalo News analysis of the county's most recent town-by-town data shows that while several suburbs have seen sharp increases in cases, there have also been spikes outside the "yellow zone" of the county that was enacted by the state on Monday. Read more

Yellow zone prompts Ken-Ton to pause phased return to classroom: The second batch of students in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District was set to return to partial in-person instruction beginning Monday, but Superintendent Sabatino Cimato announced Friday night that second, third, fourth and fifth graders will continue receiving instruction at home indefinitely. Read more

The Editorial Board: Laying out a New York agenda for President Biden: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant economic recession, "New York’s biggest need is budget relief. It is by far the most important step the Biden administration can take to soften the Covid recession." Read more

Nov. 13

Hochul: WNY at 'crisis situation' as Covid-19 cases pass all-time highs: Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul said the Western New York region is in "a crisis situation" and "at a turning point" amid the current surge in the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Testing, tensions cap an unsettling week for Erie County school districts: As if school officials didn't have enough pressure, they found themselves in the crosshairs of the county executive who questioned if some spent their Covid-19 aid to "just plug budget holes." Read more

Curtailed mingling yes, but no dancing: Strip club sues over Covid curbs: a Cheektowaga strip club owner – already abiding by lower occupancy caps and social distancing rules to fight the spread of Covid-19 – has asked a State Supreme Court justice to stop the New York State Liquor Authority from prohibiting exotic dancing on his stage. Read more 

Cup-and-char crunch: Buffalo's beloved pepperoni in short supply: If Buffalo's pizzerias didn't have enough to worry about during Covid-19, a severe shortage – and rising costs – have plagued their search for cup-and-char pepperoni, a distinctive feature of Buffalo-area pizzas that's much less common around the United States. Read more

Across WNY, restaurateurs adapt to face the toughest winter: Restaurateurs who shepherded their operations through the first coronavirus shutdown are sick to their stomachs, watching case numbers rise again. Read more

ECMC limits patient visitation in face of Covid-19 surge: ECMC announced visiting hours for inpatient rooms are 3 to 7 p.m. until further notice, and only one designated visitor will be allowed for the duration of a patient's stay. Read more

Buffalo General Medical Center fined for Covid-19 violation: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Buffalo General Medical Center $1,928 for failure to keep proper records in connection with a Covid-19 related violation. Read more

Niagara Falls Memorial imposes limits on visitors because of Covid-19: Becaus:e of the increasing incidence of the Covid-19 virus in Niagara County, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center imposed limits on visitation Friday. Read more

Niagara County mask and sanitizer giveaways go on the road: Niagara County's Emergency Management Department will hold more drive-thru giveaways of state-supplied face masks and hand sanitizer next week, but this time the events won't be held in only Lockport and Niagara Falls. Read more

Anchors in times of uncertainty: Those who know hardship share calming tips: How do we navigate through the holidays and into the new year with all this uncertainty? Read more

UB athletic director reports zero positive Covid-19 football tests since Oct. 5: The University at Buffalo football program has not had a player or a staff member test positive for Covid-19 since early October, athletic director Mark Alnutt told The News on Friday. Read more

Inside the Bills: With Covid-19 behind him, Dawson Knox sees better days ahead: “It's definitely been frustrating from a personal standpoint with a couple injuries and the whole Covid deal,” Knox told The Buffalo News. Read more

Holland deer check station, fishing platform closed due to Covid-19: Even with the temporary closure, DEC’s wildlife management team will continue to collect data from deer processors in the region. Read more 

The Editorial Board: Good Covid citizens take personal responsibility: This is a time when we need to check our politics at the door when we visit with family members, in groups of 10 or fewer, properly distanced, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Nov. 12

'It's everywhere,' Poloncarz says of Covid-19 in Erie County: Erie County officials on Thursday implored people to "hunker down" as they described dramatic increases in the percentage of Covid-19 tests coming back positive throughout the county. Read more

WNY hospitalizations, Erie County yellow zone rate continue to rise: The number of people hospitalized in the five-county region increased by 17 on Tuesday, according to state data, marking Western New York's largest one-day jump since April 28. Read more

Hospitals aren't as pressured as in spring despite Covid-19 spike: Covid-19 caseloads in the region's major hospitals are rising, but they have not stressed a system that saw hundreds of patients admitted back in the spring. Read more

Cuomo wants private gathering limits enforced. But how?: At least one neighboring state that already has a 10-person maximum rule at homes is doing so only under an "honor code." Another is considering fines. Read more

From devastation to cooperation: Life in a Covid yellow zone around New York: In interviews with local officials around the state already living in the kind of yellow zone now in place in Buffalo and surrounding communities, life in such a zone is not without its effects. Read more

Buses delivered food and homework during shutdown. Now, schools can't get reimbursed: No longer transporting students, the buses and their drivers were tapped to deliver homework, instructional materials and breakfasts and lunches to students at their homes. Now, school districts are learning, they are on the hook for all those bus-related expenses. Read more

Brothers of Mercy nursing home fined $6,000 for Covid-19 violation: Brothers of Mercy residents were not separated by 6 feet at a table where two of the individuals were working on a puzzle during an infection control review, according to an inspector. Read more

AT&T launches virtual school field trips in response to Covid-19 pandemic: Few, if any, traditional school field trips are likely this year because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and that has prompted AT&T to collaborate with local museums and educational institutions on a program that will allow students to experience such trips in a virtual and safe way. Read more

Power Vista, which reopened Oct. 30, closes again because of pandemic: The increasing infection rate in Western New York has led the New York Power Authority to decide to close the Niagara Power Vista less than two weeks after it reopened. Read more

Catholic Health temporarily suspends visitations as Covid cases rise in WNY: Catholic Health System is temporarily suspending visitations at its hospitals and long-term facilities beginning Friday, in response to a rise in Covid-19 cases across the region. Read more

Canisius men's basketball paused again because of positive Covid-19 test: This is the second positive test that's been recorded in the basketball program. Multiple sources told The News that Canisius basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon tested positive for Covid-19 in October. Read more

Nov. 11

Yellow zone may prompt some Erie County school districts to go all remote: Some schools have already announced a shift to all-virtual learning. Others are surveying parents to see if they will consent to their children being tested at school. Read more

Bars must close at 10 p.m. as New York tries to tamp down Covid spread: It is the latest measure Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced to try to stop the surge of Covid-19 cases statewide – and it comes just two days after the state declared a large swath of Erie County a "yellow zone." Read more

WNY, Erie County hit all-time highs in daily coronavirus cases: Western New York's five counties combined to report 576 cases Tuesday, an increase of 151 of the previous high of 425, reached on Saturday. Read more

How long will Erie County be stuck in the yellow zone?: The short answer: Don't expect things to change for the better anytime soon. Read more

Analysis: As Covid surges, the Buffalo Niagara economy is at a crossroads: There’s an indication that the continued struggles faced by the travel and restaurant industries, along with stores, aren’t going to bring back all of the jobs lost at the outset of the pandemic as travel and shopping habits have changed, writes David Robinson. Read more

Schools in Broome County yellow zone stay open, spend little on Covid tests: A few weeks ago, schools in Broome County had a decision to make: figure out how to test 20% of their students and teachers for Covid-19 every week or close the schools and shift to remote instruction. Read more

Covid-19 cases climbing on UB, Canisius campuses: The University at Buffalo and Canisius College are experiencing an uptick in Covid-19 cases, although not as severe as an outbreak that prompted Niagara University to shut down in-person instruction on Tuesday. Read more

Allegany County asks residents to limit Thanksgiving gatherings: Allegany County's health department, in a release Tuesday, requested that "residents consider having a small dinner with only people who live in your household." Read more

Regal Cinemas to temporarily 'suspend' operations in New York State: Less than three weeks after reopening some theaters, Regal Cinemas announced Tuesday afternoon it is temporarily shutting down its theaters again. Read more

Nov. 10

WNY's daily Covid-19 cases have doubled from their April peak: New cases, measured as a seven-day average, are up 276% since Oct. 9 and are twice as high now than at Western New York’s previous high in April. Read more

More questions than answers for schools in Erie County yellow zone: At issue is the new requirement for public and private schools to test 20% of their students and staff for Covid-19 each week. Read more

Frontier schools going fully remote as Covid-19 cases rise: The superintendent said the decision was made after learning Tuesday that some of the staff in the transportation department have to quarantine. Read more

Erie County will restrict free testing for Covid-19: The Erie County Health Department will no longer test people who are symptom-free unless they are a close contact to someone who has tested positive. Read more

Niagara University goes fully remote as Covid-19 cluster reaches 99 cases: The university's coronavirus dashboard shows the cluster on campus on Monday hit nearly 100 cases following several days of sharp increases in the case count. Read more

Niagara County GOP legislators quarantined because of Covid-19 exposure: It was not indicated if any official had tested positive or was showing symptoms. Read more

Nov. 9

'Yellow' designation puts most of Erie County under new restrictions: County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said Monday that he spent much of his weekend ironing out the boundaries of the yellow zone with state officials and recommended that broader boundaries be established instead of focusing on smaller, individual communities. Read more

Poloncarz on Erie County's Covid-19 yellow zone: 'This is not a microcluster, this is a macro': "We have an opportunity, as a community, to get out of it without shutting down businesses," the Erie County executive said of the yellow zone label. Read more

Restaurants with 'razor thin margins' grapple with 'very, very tough' restrictions: Restaurants and bars in most of Erie County are facing new restrictions as the state tries to combat a rising wave of Covid-19 cases in the county. Read more

Most schools in Erie County affected by microcluster designation: In a yellow zone, schools that continue to offer in-person classes must test 20% of the students and staff each week. Read more

Here are the rules for New York State's 'yellow zones': Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said parts of Erie County will be subject to "yellow zone" restrictions. Read more

Map: Erie County's microcluster 'yellow zone': See the parts of Erie County included in the microcluster "yellow zone" designation. Read more

As Covid-19 cases rise, part of Erie County labeled a 'yellow zone': "The virus is making headway and we're going to increase restrictions and we're going to increase enforcement," Cuomo said. Read more

Thinking of getting a Covid-19 test? Here's what you need to know: Anyone who wants a standard Covid-19 test can get one from the county or the state. It's easy, free and results come relatively fast. Read more

Pandemic Lessons: Why are we doing so badly – and how can we fix it?: This installment of “Pandemic Lessons” explores what we’re doing wrong – and how we can get it right. Read more

151 new Niagara County Covid-19 cases blamed on Halloween parties: "It's the most we've ever had," county Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said as the county reported it now has 342 active cases. Read more

Niagara shuts down practice as MAAC basketball teams battle Covid-19: Niagara University's practice was suspended after a Covid-19 outbreak struck campus last week. Read more

High school basketball, wrestling, hockey seasons on hold: With Covid-19 infection rates rising in parts of New York State, an official said Monday that the state “is not inclined to open the winter sports season at this time.” Read more

Jays planning to play in Toronto in 2021, but GM admits alternatives are in play: In the world of Covid-19 and closed international borders, nothing is certain. And the Blue Jays know the possibility is open they could again be looking for a place to play. Read more

The Editorial Board: 'Yellow zone' sends a signal to stop community spread: We’re all part of the community causing community spread and everyone has a role to play in making it stop, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

My View: Grasping for positives in the new abnormal: The thing is, you can only be terrified so many times when it becomes pure survival to ignore another scare, writes Jennifer Angrisano-Gall. Read more

Nov. 8

Covid-19 spread in Erie County threatens Thanksgiving dinner, officials warn: Turkey dinner without the extended family may be on the table in Erie County this Thanksgiving because of general community spread of the coronavirus, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said Sunday. Read more

Health experts on Covid-19 in WNY: 'It's going to get worse before it gets better': The past month's numbers crush any wishful thinking that the region's low summer Covid-19 numbers would be a lasting pattern. Read more

Another Voice: Youth travel sports aren't worth the risks of Covid: It is time to put the good of the community ahead of the individual or the family. If we want our kids in school; if we want to be able to gather in small groups; if we want to move forward and not back; stay local. Play local, writes Jason M. Matuszak. Read more

Nov. 7

Erie County hits grim new Covid-19 milestone: 385 daily cases: Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the county reached a "sobering" milestone: 385 cases on Friday, by far the highest count reported on a single day since the pandemic began in the spring. Read more

Covid relief, deductions and roads: How Biden's election could impact WNY: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday signaled that work should begin soon on another Covid-19 relief package. State and local aid – which could greatly benefit Buffalo – could be part of it, McConnell said earlier in the week. Read more

Niagara University says campus Covid-19 outbreak appears 'random': Contact tracing has not revealed a specific source for the outbreak at NU where 47 people tested positive for the virus late last week, a spokesman said. Read more

Summit Center cancels drive-in viewing of Bills game due to Covid concerns: A socially distanced fundraising event allowing Buffalo Bills fans to watch Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks from their cars on an outdoor screen was canceled after the Erie County Health Department raised concerns. Read more

Nov. 6

What does a microcluster mean for Western New York schools?: If you’re wondering what Gov. Cuomo’s new Covid-19 microcluster strategy means for schools in Western New York, you might find some answers in a couple of districts about 200 miles away. Read more

Restaurants, churches could be affected by Cuomo Covid 'microcluster' plan: The state may declare parts of Western New York a pandemic “microcluster," which could lead to the targeted closing of nonessential businesses. Read more

Behind the numbers: Western New York's Covid-19 spread is getting worse: If some parts of Western New York next week begin dealing with a more targeted variation of the pandemic shutdowns that happened in the spring, the reason will be found in the numbers. Read more

Cuomo: 'Western New York is a problem' with high infection rate: The governor said Friday the state may take a "microcluster response" to Western New York's high Covid-19 infection rate. Read more

Covid-19 outbreak slowing at Williamsville nursing home, but 8 have died: A total of 69 residents have tested positive for the virus at Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Nursing Center over a four-week period last month. Read more

Jamboree in the Woods sponsor apologizes for defying Covid court order: The man who allowed a summer music festival to go on in Springville has taken a different stance now that he faces criminal and civil contempt charges. Read more

Lost to Covid-19, a Buffalo charter school trustee who loved sailing: Family members described Tim O'Brien as a relentlessly positive person who maintained friendships with many people, including some from early childhood days. Read more

Moog feeling pinch from airline industry: The Elma-based motion control equipment maker's commercial aircraft revenues dropped 56% in its fiscal fourth quarter – which ended Oct. 3 – from a year ago. Read more

Cuomo: It would be 'reckless' to allow fans at Bills games: Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated on Friday that no fans would be allowed at Bills games anytime soon. Read more

Cuomo extends driver's licenses again, but not registrations and inspections: Driver's licenses that have expired since the Covid-19 pandemic began have been extended again by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, this time to Dec. 3. Read more

Discount Diva: 5 Reasons stores are desperate to kick-start Black Friday early this year: “This is truly a holiday season unlike anything we’ve ever seen with Covid, so you can throw all of the usual seasonal forecasting models out the window," said Charles Lindsey, a marketing professor at the University at Buffalo School of Management. Read more

The Editorial Board: Region must redouble efforts as Cuomo reviews its rising Covid caseload: Western New York is on the verge of another shutdown – or at least part of Western New York is – and we have no one but ourselves to blame, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Nov. 5

Youth travel sports teams a problem for keeping Covid-19 out of the classroom: Covid-19 cases are multiplying in the schools – but it is because of what is happening outside the classroom. Read more

County legislators, advocates again demand transparency on Covid-19 outbreaks: The Erie County Legislature unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday demanding that Erie behave like other Western New York counties and publicly release information regarding Covid-19 outbreaks in nursing homes. Read more

Buffalo schools may delay return of in-person instruction amid rise in Covid cases: Buffalo Public Schools could reopen for in-person instruction for some students in less than two weeks. But should they? Read more

Niagara Falls schools to begin on-site Covid-19 testing for students, staff: The Niagara Falls City School District has been granted a two-year state license to buy and operate a rapid Covid-19 testing machine. Read more

NYS cancels January Regents exams: The state Education Department plans to ask the Board of Regents next month to exempt students from passing the exams in order to be issued a diploma. Read more

Free rapid Covid-19 tests offered in Allegany County: The Allegany County Department of Health will provide free drive-up Covid-19 rapid testing Friday and Nov. 11 for people who register. Read more

Criminal trials to resume next week in Erie County: Courtrooms will have reduced seating capacity to comply with social-distancing requirements. For jury trials, a second courtroom will be used as a jury breakroom and for deliberations. Read more

Deadline looms for rent, mortgage relief due to Covid-19: Homeowners and renters who have lost income due to the Covid-19 pandemic may be eligible for emergency relief. Read more

Live music in the Buffalo area: Who’s open, who's not and what's changing: Jeff Miers offers a list of some – not all – of the venues where you can catch live music at present. Read more

Nov. 4

WNY now averaging more new Covid-19 cases than at any prior point in pandemic: Western New York’s Covid-19 numbers were worse this week, on several critical measures, than they have been at almost any other point in the pandemic. Read more

Erie County officials unload bad news about Covid-19 infections and deaths: Erie County's weekly Covid-19 press briefing on Wednesday was akin to a train unloading one bad piece of information after another. Read more

Falls City Council chairman quarantined for Covid-19 contact: Contact tracing is under way in Niagara Falls City Hall, and Mayor Robert M. Restaino said Wednesday that he will cancel all of his public appointments for about a week after City Council Chairman Christopher P. Voccio was placed under a quarantine order. Read more

Pandemic Lessons: How can you support child's mental health when stress is everywhere?: In this installment of “Pandemic Lessons,” we explore the mental-health implications for kids and teens, and how adults can help support the children in their lives – and themselves, too. Read more

Small businesses swamp Covid-19 relief program with requests: A $20 million Covid-19 relief program for Erie County small businesses received $97.3 million worth of requests for aid – nearly five times more than is available. Read more

St. Joe's to close through Nov. 16 after two students test positive for Covid-19: St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute will be closed Thursday, and the school will transition to distance learning until Nov. 16, after two students at the school tested positive for Covid-19, according to a message posted Wednesday on the school's websiteRead more

Canisius College pauses athletic activities because of Covid-19: The Covid-19 pandemic has put another Western New York athletic program on pause. Read more

Official urges patience as high schools await guidance on winter sports: Though scheduling models have been drawn up and facilities have been reserved, the start of winter sports at the state's public high schools remains in limbo. Read more

After hiatus due to Covid-19, Dunkirk boys soccer returns with busy schedule: The Dunkirk boys soccer team won’t make the playoffs, but the Marauders appear to be set to complete their season after coming off a 14-day pause, the result of an unidentified player testing positive for Covid-19. Read more

The Editorial Board: SUNY rule wisely gets ahead of possible community spread of Covid-19: The State University of New York has issued a wise requirement that that all students using on-campus facilities test negative for Covid-19 within 10 days prior to leaving campus for Thanksgiving break. Those who test positive must quarantine, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Another Voice: Pandemic points to need for school choice: Failing public schools and botched pandemic reopening plans underscore the need for vouchers and school choice, writes Andrew Ludwig. Read more

Nov. 3

'This one is pretty important': Masks and social distancing as voters turn out for Election Day: Welcome to voting in the time of the coronavirus. Many polling sites in Western New York saw long lines Tuesday morning that generally turned to a steady pace on Election Day. Read more

Cuomo cautions New Yorkers to stay smart and disciplined in Covid-19 fight: According to updated numbers released by the governor's office Tuesday, Western New York's percentage of positive test results reported from Saturday was 2.6%; Sunday, 2.1%; and Monday, 3%. Read more

Schools tackle more Covid-19 cases as virus spreads in community: In a glimpse of what might be in store for schools, a relatively quiet September morphed into an active mid-October in terms of coronavirus infections. Read more

Chautauqua County IDA distributes $5.7 million in CARES Act aid: A winery, several hotels and restaurants, a ski resort, a brewery and a pizzeria were among the 28 Chautauqua County businesses and agencies receiving more than $5.7 million in low-interest loans through the federal CARES Act. Read more

How Covid-19 changed a path to UB football's 2020 season: Three months ago, nobody knew if a college football season was going to happen. There was little hope, too, that the University at Buffalo would play this season as the Covid-19 pandemic showed no signs of slowing down during the summer. Read more

'We will probably just Zoom': How to celebrate Thanksgiving during a pandemic: Thanksgiving has always had its challenges. Timing the turkey. Squeezing 12 people around a table designed to seat eight. Keeping dinnertime conversations between feuding family members civil. This year, the far bigger question for many families during this pandemic is how to even celebrate Thanksgiving. Read more

Nov. 2

Cuomo questions CDC plan to require ID for Covid-19 vaccination: The governor said he would oppose any plan that puts undocumented immigrants in New York in fear of being deported if they seek to get vaccinated. Read more

Amherst nursing home fined $6,000 for Covid-19 violation: Beechwood Homes nursing home in Amherst was recently fined $6,000 for a Covid-19 violation by the state Department of Health. Read more

Nursing home operator sues Buffalo law firm over Covid-19 comments: The McGuire Group, which runs five area nursing homes, recently sued the Losi & Gangi personal injury and workers' compensation firm. Read more

Erie County delays annual property foreclosure auction due to pandemic: Real Property Tax Services is now postponing the event until 2021 due to pandemic restrictions that limit attendance at indoor events. Read more

Nov. 1

Cuomo calls for more equitable distribution of Covid vaccine: The governor criticized the White House’s plan for distributing the vaccine, saying it would fail to adequately serve the people who have been hit hardest by the virus – those who are Black, Latino and low-income. Read more

Covid cases prompt Frontier High School to go fully remote for two weeks: Four teachers at Frontier High School in Hamburg have tested positive for Covid-19, Superintendent Richard Hughes told parents in a message. Read more

Oct. 31

New York replaces travel quarantine list with new Covid-19 testing mandate: Travelers from every state – except those that border New York – must test negative once within three days of leaving for New York, self-quarantine for three days after arriving here and take another test on the fourth day. Read more

Private schools see higher demand as parents opt out of 'crazy hybrid model': Most private schools in Western New York this fall managed to do what public schools could not: provide students with classes in person five days a week. Read more

Cuomo stiff-arms Bills fans who want to watch games in person: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Saturday repeated his intention to go to Bills Stadium in Orchard Park to see for himself how and whether fans can safely return for the team's home games but he once again did not provide a set date for that visit. Read more

Deadline looms to apply for $20 million business relief fund: The Back to Business program will provide grants to small businesses that have suffered economic fallout from the pandemic. The funds come from the federal government's CARES Act. Read more

Frontier schools report seven positive Covid-19 tests in past three days: Frontier Central School District had seven on-site positive tests for Covid-19 in the past three days, according to state data. Read more

Thirty-six to date test positive for Covid-19 at assisted living facility in Allegany County: The Allegany County Department of Health announced Friday that it has been notified of 28 residents and eight staff members at Manor Hills Assisted Living who have tested positive for Covid-19 to date, bringing the total number of positive cases at the facility to 36. Read more

Ex-UAW official's sentencing may be delayed until spring: Just over a year ago, Jeffery Pietrzyk Sr., a former United Auto Workers official from Grand Island, pleaded guilty to federal charges in a corruption case in Michigan. But his sentencing has been delayed several times because courtroom restrictions stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic are prolonging the process, according to his lawyer. Read more

The Editorial Board: Erie County’s reluctance to identify Covid-19 clusters does a public disservice: We are at a loss as to why Erie County’s Health Department, which reports to County Executive Mark Poloncarz, is clinging to its policy of keeping outbreaks of Covid-19 cloaked in secrecy, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Oct. 30

WNY's climbing Covid rates should be 'wake-up call,' expert warns: As the coronavirus continues to surge nationwide, Western New York is also seeing some of its highest Covid-19 metrics in months. Read more

How Covid has changed holiday hiring and seasonal jobs this year: In addition to the usual cashiers and overnight shelf stockers, there's a bigger call this year for behind-the-scenes roles. Read more

State Supreme Court rules against suit seeking to resume fall high school football: A State Supreme Court justice in Niagara County has ruled against an injunction as part of a class-action lawsuit that was asking for high school football to be played in the fall in New York. Read more

Niagara sheriff: Get Halloween candy from patrol cars: Meanwhile, the mayors of Niagara Falls and Lockport issued Halloween advisories to parents, urging them and their children to follow health and safety guidelines, including wearing masks – Covid-19 masks, not costume masks – sanitizing hands before eating candy and observing social distancing. Read more

UB, St. Bonaventure basketball will each play two games at Mohegan Sun bubble: The Basketball Hall of Fame and Gazelle Group have scheduled the event to be in a controlled environment with protocols in place during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Oct. 29

Erie County keeps Covid-19 outbreaks at nursing homes secret, but other counties don't: In the other Western New York counties, health officials have taken a transparent approach, issuing news releases and making public comments that either name the facility or the geographic area where it is situated. Read more

Leaders from smaller counties call on Cuomo to release pandemic aid: While Erie County has offered grants to businesses and municipalities hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, smaller counties have not been able to do so. Read more

Column: Hear me out, let us work from home forever if we want to: The Discount Diva asks: If workers can do their jobs equally well from the peace of their own homes, what real argument is there against letting them do it? Read more

Column: The joy of returning to the movie theater: Movies are back – provisionally, as so many other things are in this pandemic world, writes Jeff Simon. Read more

Oct. 28

Erie County now focused on specific ZIP codes for containing Covid-19: Now that the state has begun targeting "microclusters" of Covid-19 outbreaks at the neighborhood and ZIP code level, Erie County has started to also track that information and provide feedback to the state Department of Health about what communities may warrant a rollback of the state's reopening standards. Read more

Covid-19 testing much more available in WNY as rapid testing emerges: Experts say Western New York is more prepared to keep up with demands for Covid-19 testing than it was last March, when the pandemic overwhelmed testing capacity here and across the country and many people who wanted or needed a test couldn’t get one. Read more

Cuomo's advice: Skip the Thanksgiving family gathering this year: "My personal advice is, you don’t have family gatherings – even for Thanksgiving," Cuomo said. Read more

Orleans County wedding led to spread of Covid-19: A wedding Oct. 17 in Orleans County led to the spread the Covid-19 virus among the guests, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday morning. Read more

Dunkirk boys soccer set to resume after shutdown for positive Covid-19 test: The Dunkirk boys soccer team is tentatively scheduled to resume its season beginning Thursday with a practice session after the program was shut down earlier this month due to a player testing positive for Covid-19. Read more

Oct. 27

WNY's Covid-19 positivity rate ticks up as Erie County reports over 100 new cases: The region's average positivity rate rose to 1.6%. But Erie County saw a significant one-day swing, which doubled from Sunday to Monday. Read more

SUNY to require students to test negative for Covid-19 before leaving for Thanksgiving: The State University of New York will require all students using on-campus facilities to test negative for Covid-19 within the 10 days prior to leaving campus for Thanksgiving break. Read more

Border businesses brace for new reality: Canadian shoppers aren't coming for the holidays: Cross-border businesses likely won’t have Canadian shoppers to help boost sales during tourism’s typically leaner winter months. Read more

The Editorial Board: Horrifying records loom as Trump’s administration gives up on saving lives: Coronavirus deaths were inevitable, as Trump, himself, acknowledged in conversations recorded by former Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. But it didn’t have to be this bad, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Oct. 26

More than half of WNY Covid hospitalizations are outside Erie County: For the first time, the counties outside Erie accounted for more than half of the hospitalizations. Read more

Covid cases force Nichols, other schools to shut down in-person classes: Nichols is one of four schools across the region to shut down in-person instruction to varying degrees over the past several days due to Covid-19. Read more

In the Buffalo Public Schools, a device for every student – finally: The school district issued devices to more than two-thirds of its students in the spring, but was still waiting for nearly 10,000 iPads to arrive for those in pre-k, kindergarten and first grade. Read more

Half days are out for West Seneca elementary students: West Seneca elementary students will return for two full days of hybrid learning instead of two half days when they go back to in-person learning. Read more

The expected wave of evictions never came, but fear and uncertainty linger: The fear of mass evictions has been a concern from the beginning of the pandemic. But few evictions are being filed and processed by local courts. Read more

Evans Bank proceeds cautiously with new HQ: Evans Bank is putting the finishing touches on its new administrative offices in Amherst, a $7.1 million project long in the making. Read more

Oct. 25

Cuomo blasts Trump, saying New York is proof Covid can be controlled: "When you go from the highest infection rate in the country to one of the lowest, it means you control the virus," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Read more

Fuzzy numbers on New York's school Covid dashboard cloud potential risks: On New York State's dashboard of Covid-19 cases, every student, teacher and staff member who tests positive is categorized as being either on-site or off-site. Some students who test positive, though, are designated on the report card as being off-site, even though they are actually in school two days a week. Read more

State's focus on 'micro-clusters' will change how WNY fights Covid: New York State wants to take advantage of rapid testing technology to implement temporary shutdowns at the community level rather than entire regions. Read more

Pandemic casts shadow over race for 59th State Senate District seat: The global pandemic and its effect on New York State has emerged as a main issue in the race for the 59th State Senate District seat. Read more

Oct. 24

Allegany sets up rapid testing venues as Covid19 spikes: Western New York's smallest county continues to find new clusters of Covid-19 cases. One of Allegany County's latest stems from a church event in Scio, another stems from a nursing home in Wellsville, the third nursing home there to see a flare-up in recent days. Read more

Bills tight end Dawson Knox tests positive for Covid19: Despite their first confirmed Covid test of the regular season, the Bills traveled to the New York City area as scheduled Saturday afternoon and said Sunday's game is still on. Read more.

With Election Day 10 days away, hundreds line up for early voting: The first day of early voting in New York State saw scores of people lining up outside polling places Saturday in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and many of the region's suburbs. Read more

Pandemic pushes more parents in Buffalo Niagara region to home schooling: The number of students in Erie and Niagara counties who began the school year as home-schoolers rose 53% from this same time last year, according to figures compiled by The Buffalo News. Read more

Column: Why Buffalo loves 'porch life' as a pandemic escape: At a time when Covid-19 is responsible for so much isolation, readers emphasized their gratitude for a front porch, writes Sean Kirst. Read more

What Buffalo News readers think about the 'city of double porches': In July, Sean Kirst wrote a column about Buffalo and its familiar “double porches." The responses quickly began pouring in. Read more

Oct. 23

Out of work in Western New York: Portraits of uncertainty, anxiety and resilience: In the undifferentiated blur of the Covid-19 pandemic, March 20 stands out: It was the day “nonessential” businesses across New York State began shutting down. Read more

Tonawanda nursing home fined $12,000 for Covid-19 violations: A nursing home in the Town of Tonawanda has been fined $12,000 by the State Health Department for failing to keep residents socially distanced in its dining area during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Niagara County finds only 3 Covid-19 cases among staff at 5 school districts: Only three cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in recent tests on 574 teachers and staff members in five Niagara County school districts, county Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton announced Friday. Read more

Pandemic prompts community health center to publish its first clinical study: Work on more clinical studies should help boost treatments during an expected new wave of Covid-19 cases in coming weeks. Read more

Evans Bank moves headquarters amid busy year, pandemic: Evans Bank has had a busy year, with all the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Oct. 22

Federal 'strike team' sent to Williamsville nursing home as 61 residents test positive for Covid-19: A Williamsville nursing home experienced one of the country’s biggest Covid-19 outbreaks to hit such a facility in recent weeks, prompting federal officials to send a “strike team” to the facility. Read more

Cuomo: Coronavirus spread in rural counties 'the issue' now for WNY: Western New York's positive coronavirus test rate was tied for the highest in the state for Wednesday's testing, with increases in the region's three rural counties continuing to be a key factor. Read more

28 to date test positive for Covid-19 at Allegany County assisted living facility: The Allegany County Department of Health announced Thursday that it has been notified of 25 residents and three staff members at Manor Hills Assisted Living who have tested positive for Covid-19 to date. Read more

M&T Bank CFO: Customer activity showing 'a definite rebound': The Buffalo-based bank tracks lots of indicators that shed light on consumer and business behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic, through data from its customers. Read more

Questions grow about return to classroom in Buffalo, students 'falling through the cracks': Pressure is mounting on Buffalo Public Schools to provide in-person instruction for at least some of its students, but how, when and how many actually want to return amid the Covid-19 pandemic is up for debate. Read more

New Hansa downtown coworking space opens with pandemic in mind: The middle of an unprecedented global pandemic and resulting national recession may not seem like the best time to open a new business centered around coworking office space. Read more

Judge rules against businesses, says Cuomo's Covid-19 orders shouldn't be 'second-guessed': A federal judge Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by nine Buffalo-area businesses challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive orders halting or limiting activity at their establishments amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Pandemic throws wrinkles into Medicare Advantage planning: This can be a tricky time of year for the 44 million Americans who depend on Medicare to cover all or part of their health care costs. Read more

Frustration mounts for West Seneca parents as students get ready to return to classrooms: Students in West Seneca Central schools will start returning to the classroom next month, although the majority of students are to return in December and January. Read more

Free drive-up coronavirus rapid testing in Allegany County on Saturday: Allegany County, which has been the site of state Health Department rapid coronavirus testing this week following increased cases in the county, has added a free drive-up testing site for this weekend. Read more

Oct. 21

State, Western New York see high daily coronavirus rates: There were 2,026 positive cases statewide Tuesday, which marked the first time since May that New York's daily total has been over 2,000. Read more

Growing share of WNY Covid cases come from rural counties: The data do still suggest the pandemic is under control across Western New York, though there are ongoing areas of concern. Read more

High demand for Covid grants to small businesses – but not housing, child care: More than 1,500 businesses have applied for grants. Other programs for child care, rent and mortgage assistance still have millions of unspent dollars. Read more

Waldorf's emphasis on outdoor education fits the Covid moment: Far from staring at computers or spaced apart in an indoor classroom, Aurora Waldorf School students are immersed in nature, with classes held outside most of the time. Read more

A handful of movie theaters will reopen in WNY Friday. Here's the list: The theater chain said it will observe all state and local regulations and will follow its own procedures. Read more

State group declines February start of high-risk high school sports, including football: Under the current calendar, winter sports end Feb. 21, except for teams playing deep into the postseason. The proposal would have started Fall 2 the next day. Read more

Oct. 20

New York's travel quarantine list is up to 38 states: The latest national surge of the coronavirus has led to New York's traveler quarantine list being as long as it has ever been. Read more

Buffalo Niagara's unemployment falls to 6.7% amid shrinking labor force: "The decline in this unemployment rate is solely a function of the decrease in the labor force," said a Canisius College professor of economics and finance. Read more

U.S.-Canada border shutdown extended to Nov. 21: "Our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe," said Canada's minister of public safety and emergency preparedness. Read more

After 1,400-mile trip, daughter denied visit with dad before he died in Buffalo hospital: The case illustrates the difficulties the Covid-19 pandemic is creating for out-of-state Americans with loved ones in New York State hospitals. Read more

Column: A remote ceremony gives even greater meaning to the Jesse Ketchum Medal: The awards, in their 21st century form, typically involve a celebration that honors Buffalo's highest achieving eighth-grade students. This year's event will be a virtual one. Read more

Oct. 19

WNY coronavirus rate under 1%; but hospitalizations rise again: The region has had its hospitalization level rise for four straight days. Read more

Erie County health officials shut 9 restaurants, fined more than 40 for Covid violations: A report shows the vast majority of restaurants and bars that were fined had employees not wearing masks or not wearing them properly. Read more and see a map of the restaurants

State Liquor Authority appeals court ruling on 'incidental music': Judge called the regulations "not only excessive but also irrational" and ordered the SLA to stop enforcing its incidental music guidelines. Read more

Should you cover your eyes? How to handle pandemic stresses you can't see: In this installment of “Pandemic Lessons,” largely based on questions submitted by readers, we explore the stress of living in the age of Covid-19. Read more

Dates, times for free rapid Covid testing in Southern Tier: Testing is available this week at sites in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties; drive-thru testing will be available next week in Chautauqua County. Read more

SUNYAC cancels winter sports seasons: SUNY Buffalo State, Fredonia and Brockport are among the schools in the conference. Read more

Dunkirk schools confirm Covid-19 case in boys soccer program: The school said only the boys soccer team has been impacted, as Dunkirk has been on a remote learning schedule this fall. Read more

Oct. 18

WNY has highest daily Covid-19 rate in state, sees increase in hospitalizations: Saturday's coronavirus numbers for Western New York were not good. The five-county region had 76 people hospitalized due to the coronavirus, a new high since mid-June. Read more

Holiday Valley eyes usual opening date as Cuomo gives ski resorts OK to open: Ski resorts will be permitted to open up at 50% of their indoor capacity starting on Nov. 6. Read more

Education inequities grow worse amid pandemic, experts warn: While inequity – long rooted in race, segregation and socioeconomics – has plagued education for decades, experts fear the problem has grown worse during the eight months since the pandemic began and shifted learning online. Read more

How do you do Black Friday if crowds spread Covid-19? Here's the plan: Black Friday is just one more thing the novel coronavirus has turned upside down in 2020. Read more

Erie County closes indoor amusement park at Walden Galleria: The Health Department stated that it had previously notified the operators of Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park that it was not permitted to open under state guidelines. Read more

More free Covid-19 testing scheduled for Niagara Falls residents: Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center will hold two more free Covid-19 testing sessions this week for Niagara Falls residents, hospital officials announced. Read more

Oct. 17

Peculiar, different and quiet: Remote learning brings new vibe to Buffalo schools: All 32,000 students in the region’s largest district are learning online fulltime from home, but teachers are still required to teach remotely from their classrooms at least two days a week. Read more

'It's so lonely': At West Seneca West, teaching students who aren't there: The Covid-19 pandemic has been an educational experience for the teachers as they find ways to connect with students and each other. Read more

State plans new, targeted approach to stem Covid-19 spread: New York will take a new approach to limiting Covid-19 outbreaks by targeting "micro-clusters" down to a block-by-block level, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Saturday. Read more

After 'chaos' of late summer, Williamsville schools seek stability: The Williamsville School Board held a community forum Saturday that was far less antagonistic than sessions held in recent months as the region's largest suburban district wrangled over how best to resume classes. Read more

State allowing movie theaters to reopen Friday: Cuomo said theaters in much but not all of the state, which have been closed for seven months since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, can reopen next week but with limitations on attendance and strict social-distancing measures in place. Read more

Buffalo mayor asks kids not to trick-or-treat this Halloween: Sorry, kiddos. There will be no trick-or-treating in Buffalo his Halloween because of the pandemic. Read more

Oct. 16

Western New York's Covid-19 test rate slightly improves: Western New York's daily rate of positive Covid-19 tests dropped slightly and the region fell from its position with the highest rate among the state's 10 regions, according to figures released by the state on Friday. Read more

Anticipating up to $40 million drop in state aid, UB freezes hiring, cuts spending: The State Division of the Budget has projected a shortfall of $13.3 billion in state revenue for 2021 and a $61 billion shortfall through 2024 as a result of the pandemic, and state officials have told public higher education administrators to expect a reduction in state aid of 20% to 25% for 2020-21. Read more

Covid-19 pandemic continues enrollment slide at many WNY colleges: Seven out of 10 colleges in the area that provided fall 2020 enrollment numbers to The News lost between 1% and 10% of their student populations from last year, before Covid-19 hit. Read more

Banks taking a tougher look at branch needs amid pandemic: In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic some banks are taking a harder look at their branch networks and deciding whether to shrink them. Read more

State aims to set plan for winter high school sports in early November: The original date for the start of winter sports practices was Nov. 16, but that was pushed back because of the later start to the fall season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Need some healthy dishes? Try veggie curry, tuna poke bowl and more: Many of us may have put on a couple of pounds during the  breadmaking stage of quarantine. It's time to start making some better eating choices. Read more

Oct. 15

Bad news, good news: Rural counties drive WNY Covid rate up; hospitalizations down: Wednesday saw the region's eighth-highest day of testing during the pandemic with 6,833 total tests, according to state data. Read more

What happens to elective surgeries if New York enters a second wave of Covid-19?: Tens of thousands of New Yorkers are still waiting to receive postponed procedures that their doctors say they need to improve their lives. Read more

Sober October: During a pandemic, 'Nobody really regrets drinking less': Setting aside alcohol allows more time for more mindful ways of living focused on family, friends, exercise and healthier eating, said Steven Procknal of Power Yoga Buffalo. Read more

Hope fades for fans to attend Bills home games: Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Thursday that neither he nor the Bills anticipate fan attendance at home games "for the foreseeable future." Read more

Mid-American Conference continues to work on postponement guidelines, if necessary: UB football's season opener is less than three weeks away, and Bulls coach Lance Leipold still isn’t sure how the season is going to shake out. Read more

Former UB coach Nate Oats confirms he tested positive for Covid-19 in July: Oats, who coached at UB from 2015 to 2019, is beginning his second season as head coach at the University of Alabama. Read more

Oct. 14

No Covid spread within schools in Erie and Niagara counties, health officials say: More than a month since classes started, there is no evidence that Covid-19 has spread within the schools, Erie and Niagara County health officials say. Read more

Cuomo: State to withhold funding from noncompliant 'red zones'; WNY at 1%: The governor said, "Nothing else I have done has motivated them. … Maybe money works." Read more

Western New York Covid-19 cases trending in the wrong direction: The five-county region is currently reporting between 83 and 87 cases per day, on average, up from 40 to 50 two months ago. Read more

Covid-19 cluster at Allegany County nursing home includes two deaths: Health officials reported that 27 residents and three staff members of Houghton Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Houghton have tested positive for the disease. Read more

As caseload rises, Niagara County reports first Covid-19 death since Aug. 25: The 76-year-old man is the 102nd Niagara County resident whose death has been attributed to the virus. Read more

Protesters say New York's Covid-19 restrictions went too far: A few dozen protesters gathered in Niagara Square, with the thrust of their grievances aimed at the state's policies responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more and see photos

Will Quaker Crossing's lawsuit nudge Cuomo to reopen movie theaters?: New York and New Mexico are the only two states that haven't allowed movie theaters to reopen. Read more

Oct. 13

Need a Covid test? Cheektowaga Walmart will deliver one by drone starting today: The company is testing the drone-delivery system here to gather data and decide whether to roll the program out to more stores elsewhere. Read more

Niagara Falls school, closed in Covid-19 outbreak, to reopen Monday: Niagara Falls City School District Superintendent Mark R. Laurrie said there have been no other positive Covid-19 tests at any other school in Niagara Falls. Read more

County urges small businesses to apply quickly for $20 million relief fund: The grants for eligible businesses can be used to cover a variety of expenses, including payroll, operations and workplace changes to adapt to Covid-19. Read more

Two downtown hotels get boost from Blue Jays' games in Buffalo: The Buffalo Marriott at LECOM Harborcenter served as the Blue Jays’ temporary home while the Westin Buffalo on Delaware Avenue hosted Toronto’s seven different opponents. Read more

Halloween decorating is still fun for the family during a pandemic: The Coddington family of Amherst still put up their elaborate Halloween display this year, but scaled back a bit. And they’re certainly not alone in wanting to celebrate. Read more

Shea's will remain closed through March: Shea's has been dark since March when it closed after two performances of "Hello, Dolly!" because of Covid-19. Read more

Oct. 12

47 new Chautauqua County Covid-19 cases linked to 2 adult care facilities: Forty-seven of 53 new coronavirus cases reported over the weekend in Chautauqua County are linked to two adult-care facilities in Jamestown – Tanglewood Manor and Memory Gardens Dementia Care – County Executive P.J. Wendel said Monday. Read more

From apple picking to hayrides: Farms find a socially distanced approach to a rite of fall: Thousands flock to farms this time of year for apple picking, hayrides, corn mazes and country air. Even more are showing up to the outdoor attractions now, with Covid-19 regulations shutting down many indoor entertainment options. Read more

Can we finally feel safe going grocery shopping?: In this installment of “Pandemic Lessons,” we’re drawing from questions sent by readers who want to know what the latest in Covid-19-related research tells us about the safety of the one type of shopping we must always do. Read more

Buffalo Auto Show still hoping for green light in February: There’s no telling where things will stand with public events in Buffalo by that time, due to Covid-19. But the organizer of the auto show hopes the event will still be able to happen on schedule, even if restrictions are necessary. Read more

No new positives for Titans; Tuesday game vs. Bills appears on as scheduled: The Bills are scheduled to fly to Nashville on Monday after having their final practice Sunday. Read more

With no fall high school football, 7-on-7 league provides an alternative: The Cross Training Athletics Flag Football Club League features more than 550 athletes from more than 20 area schools. Read more

Jeff Simon: Golden age of Buffalo film exhibition is over: Did you ever go to the movies in a Buffalo theater between 1980 and early 2020? Jeff Simon says that film exhibition climate is no more. Read more

The Editorial Board: State measure would open a critical path for visits to long-term care facilities: Whatever it takes to bring New York an essential caregiver program, we need one. The seniors living in care facilities, as well as their families, deserve a break, consistent with their own safety and that of their caregivers and fellow residents, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Oct. 11

No cause found for higher WNY Covid-19 rate as state sends rapid tests here: State officials haven't identified any particular cluster in Western New York that is responsible for its elevated rate of positive Covid-19 testing. Read more

Some students returning to school this week in Williamsville, Ken-Ton: Public school districts in Erie and Niagara counties have reported 39 in-school Covid-19 cases, according to New York State. Read more

David Robinson: How coronavirus is making big changes in Buffalo Niagara economy: A little more than six months into the Covid-19 recession, it is clear that the currents that have badly battered the Buffalo Niagara job market will have a lasting impact. Read more

Bills-Titans still on for Tuesday; Week 6 game against Chiefs moved to Monday night: A Tennessee Titans coach tested positive for Covid-19 Sunday morning, and the team has closed its practice facility. Read more

Oct. 10

Experts look at what could be behind troubling Covid -19 trends in WNY: The head of one of Erie County's largest neighborhood health clinics said the virus continues to disproportionately affect the many Black, refugee and immigrant patients, and a UB infectious disease expert said students likely are sickening their older relatives. Read more. 

Hotel Henry, Richardson Olmsted Campus reeling from pandemic: What the federal government and banks are willing to do – or not do – to help businesses like the Hotel Henry will be a big factor in what the future holds. Read more

No new Titans' positive tests; game vs. Bills remains on track: With consecutive days of no new positives, the team has been cleared to open its practice facility Saturday to prepare for Tuesday's game against the Bills in Nashville. That would give the Titans three days of practice before facing the Bills. Read more

Covid is delaying Excelsior scholarships this fall. It may be more dire in the spring: Like everything else with the state’s fiscal picture, the Excelsior scholarship program is in a state of uncertainty. Read more

Covid-19 expert 'more than a little uneasy' about Bills playing Titans: The Titans’ outbreak is no surprise to John Sellick, an epidemiologist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Kaleida Health and UB professor. Read more

'We have a vision': All learning is virtual at eAcademy run by Erie 1 BOCES: Built from the ground up over the past several months, the fully virtual eAcademy, run by Erie 1 BOCES, looks far different from other schools. Read more

President Trump among latest VIPs giving doctors headaches, former AMA chief says: “It’s a real challenge to care for VIP patients, whether they’re hospitalized or not,” Dr. Nancy Nielsen writes in the latest edition of The Conversation, a nonprofit international news outlet. Read more

Discount Diva: How to make a little extra money from home: Discount Diva shares a few simple, honest ways to earn some pocket change while you're stuck sitting around the house during the pandemic. Read more

Oct. 9

Western New York's Covid rate is at 1.3%. 'Not good,' says Cuomo: Friday saw a first for WNY during the pandemic as all five counties of the region had case totals in the double-digits on the same day, according to state data. Read more

Higgins asks Trump to loosen border restrictions: Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Rep. Brian Higgins on Friday tried to pry the border open ever so slightly more. Read more

'Some people think I'm crazy': What it's like to start a business during Covid-19: The timing couldn't have been worse. As co-owner Stacy Nguyen was sprinting to open Milk and Tea, Erie County was about to identify its first cases of Covid-19. Read more

Towns raise taxes, cut spending as Covid-19 batters budgets: Some communities saw sharp drops in sales tax, mortgage recording tax and recreation fee revenue because of the pandemic and fear further losses in state aid next year. Read more

Buffalo Niagara airport's 'quarantine desk' tracks passengers from Covid hot spots: The program serves as a key component of the joint response by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to intercept potential carriers of the coronavirus upon arrival in the Northeast. Read more

Drive-thru trick-or-treating and candy chutes: Halloween during a pandemic: As Halloween approaches, people are talking about ways to keep the spirit of the holiday alive during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Titans-Bills game will allow access for 8,000 fans: The Tennessee Titans will be able to have approximately 8,000 fans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville for Tuesday’s game against the Bills, officials said Friday. Read more

5 questions facing UB football as it prepares for a Covid-19 shortened season: The preseason is going to look a lot different for the University at Buffalo football team. Read more

Oct. 8

As 13 in Erie County die of Covid, Cuomo urges 'we have to do better': Thirteen Erie County residents have died of Covid-19 over the past eight days, marking the highest death total over such a short period of time since mid-July. Read more

Down but not out, a Buffalo virtuoso lets the music lead the way: “I have truly been blessed, throughout this pandemic so far, with playing shows,” Damone Jackson said. “You know, ‘us musicians’ can improvise." Read more

Report: Bills' Week 5 game at Tennessee moving from Sunday to Tuesday: According to a report, the Week 5 game between Tennessee and Buffalo will now be played at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Read more

The Editorial Board: St. Bonaventure’s student suspensions show school takes Covid-19 rules seriously: Little is normal about the new realities of attending college during a pandemic, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Another Voice: Deaths do not tell the Covid story in nursing homes: Without regard to how it is measured, the story of the Covid-19 pandemic is both tragic and complex, writes Paul Shields. Read more

Oct. 7

Cuomo: 0.9% coronavirus test rate 'a good number for Western New York': The five-county region had a positive coronavirus rate of 0.9% for Tuesday's testing, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday morning. It is Western New York's lowest daily rate in more than a week. Read more

Teachers union sues Orleans-Niagara BOCES over Covid-19 precautions: The teachers union this week filed a lawsuit against Orleans-Niagara BOCES, alleging that the district has failed to take adequate steps to protect teachers and students from the spread of Covid-19. Read more

Frontier adjusts virtual learning after no-confidence vote in superintendent: Frontier hired more elementary teachers and approved academic intervention services for fully remote high school students. Read more

Nursing home visits remain a challenge due to Covid-19 testing requirement: When the state last month reduced the requirement that nursing homes be free of Covid-19 infections from 28 days to 14 days before allowing in-person visits, it also added a rule that visitors present test results proving they do not have the virus. Read more

Changing guidance, county differences make dealing with Covid-19 tricky for schools: The nightmare scenario for a superintendent is children in the same classroom living in different counties being told different things by their respective county health departments. Read more

Game in Tennessee Sunday seems unlikely, but Bills prep hard anyway: Tennessee journalist Paul Kuharsky reported that a group of Titans players violated team and league protocols last week by gathering for a workout at a local high school on Sept. 30, a day after the team facility had been shut down by the league. Read more

Two more Titans test positive; Bills say they have no positives: Between last Tuesday and Sunday, 18 members of the Titans have tested positive (nine players and nine staffers). Read more

Another Voice: State needs to modify nursing home visitation rules: From a risk perspective, how can nursing homes be greater sources of Covid than hospitals? It seems that the real risk is not being addressed and that ways of facilitating real visits are not being pursued, write Carol Schmeidler and Jutta Helm-Stone. Read more

Oct. 6

WNY's Covid-19 trends show 'hot spot' label premature: New York State’s Covid-19 caseload jumped this week to highs not seen since the late spring. But Western New York’s positive test rate – a key metric – remained steady, despite a slight upward drift in new cases over the past week. Read more

Cuomo announces initiative to crush burgeoning Covid-19 clusters: "We have what I call a Covid cluster problem, but a cluster problem is serious, because a cluster problem can grow," the governor said. Read more

If fans are allowed at Bills games – a big if – should you go?: If you do decide to spend a game day at Bills Stadium, can you actually throw your head back and shout – and feel safe about it? Read more

Titans hope to return Wednesday but not counting on 10 players with virus: Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel said he should find out early Wednesday morning if the NFL allows the team to return to its facility, presumably after another day of no positive tests. Read more

Raiders' Maurice Hurst added to Covid-19 list days after Bills game: It is unknown whether the defensive tackle tested positive or whether he quarantined for being in close contact with someone who tested positive. Read more

My View: A quarantine journal – don't try this at home: Joe Sullivan kept a quarantine diary after returning to Western New York from a trip to North Carolina. You can read the highlights here.

Oct. 5

Cuomo calls WNY a 'hot spot' as he closes downstate schools: Western New York's rate has been above 1% for much of the last two months, during which it was often the highest in the state. Read more

Buffalo parent group seeks 'surveillance testing' for in-person instruction: As the Buffalo Public Schools prepare for a return to in-person instruction amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a parent group is asking for help in providing surveillance testing among the district’s 32,000 students. Read more

Man charged in dispute that turned deadly over face mask in West Seneca bar: Donald M. Lewinski is expected to be arraigned Tuesday evening in the death of Rocco E. Sapienza, according to West Seneca police and the Erie County District Attorney's Office. Read more

Medaille student kicked out of dorm amid pandemic crackdown wants to know why: The student's father says he was frustrated by the college’s procedure and lack of communication. Read more

Frontier teachers vote no confidence in superintendent: “The pandemic has simply shone a light on what so many teachers, parents and staff have known for a long time," teachers union president Amber Chandler said in a statement. Read more

No positive Covid-19 tests Monday with Titans, but game against Bills remains in jeopardy: The Titans' Covid-19 outbreak forced the cancellation of its Week 4 game with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Read more

Bills coach Sean McDermott on Titans game: 'We are preparing to play': “We are monitoring that situation and having said that, we’re preparing to play,” McDermott said Monday. Read more

If Bills-Titans can't be played Sunday, here's one creative solution: There were no positive tests Monday, so the Titans could return to their practice facility Wednesday. Read more

For UB football, nothing is normal as preseason practices begin: The Bulls held their first practice less than two months after the Mid-American Conference originally postponed its football season to the spring, and held their first preseason practice six days after the UB athletic department announced a Covid-19 outbreak among 25 athletes, including 19 football players. Read more

The Editorial Board: Schools impair communities by failing to report Covid-19 cases to state website: Western New Yorkers who don’t see their local schools on the site should telephone their superintendent and demand an explanation. If they don’t get an acceptable one, they should demand a resignation, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Oct. 4

Cuomo calls on schools to report Covid-19 cases: Schools – including private schools – need to report their Covid-19 cases every day to the state, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo emphasized during a call with journalists on Sunday. Read more

'It's painful': Candidates improvise in era of Covid-19 campaigns: For politicians in 2020, running for office has drastically changed, given the Covid-19 pandemic, especially following its affliction of President Trump and first lady Melania Trump. Read more

Two more positive Covid tests with Titans, further putting game against Bills in jeopardy: The Titans' scheduled game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers has been postponed and the continuation of the outbreak seems to put next Sunday's game against the Bills in further jeopardy. Read more

Oct. 3

St. Bonaventure suspends 21 students for breaking Covid-19 rules at parties: It was the second time this semester that a large group of students has been suspended for failing to follow the health and safety measures laid down in the university's Community Compact. Students had to sign the compact when the semester began. Read more

Covid-19 cases force shutdown of town and village courts in Arcade: “This breakout of Covid-19 has stopped the system cold in Arcade," said Norman P. Effman, the public defender for Wyoming County. Read more

NTSB will not send investigators to Barnes' crash site in part due to Covid-19: Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration were on the scene Friday of the Genesee County plane crash that killed prominent attorney Stephen Barnes and his niece. But investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board will not be traveling to the scene in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency announced Saturday. Read more

Three more Titans test positive for Covid, further putting game against Bills in jeopardy: With eight players and eight staff members testing positive in the last week, the Titans' scheduled game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers has been postponed and the continuation of the outbreak seems to put next Sunday's game against the Bills in further jeopardy. Read more

Planners, activists and officials imagine a 'more equitable' Buffalo post-pandemic:  Nearly 90 local planners, neighborhood activists and government officials gathered online to take stock of the damage and strategize how the region – and the City of Buffalo, in particular – might build back stronger after the pandemic. Read more

Editorial Board: Fight off Covid fatigue to safely navigate the next wave of infections: "Bending back the curve on Covid-19 has brought excruciating disruption and economic pain to thousands of fellow citizens. The disease itself has taken far too many lives. The desire to have everything back to normal is understandable, but not realistic," writes The News Editorial Board. Read more

Another Voice: Rigorous Covid testing is key to keeping schools safe: "As we move into the next phase of this crisis, where we slowly try to reopen buildings for our students who need in-person learning the most, there is one word that should be at the center of all discussions: testing," write Rachel Fix Dominguez, co-chair of the Buffalo PTO, and Keith Jones, a PTO executive board member. Read more

Oct. 2

Local officials who battled Covid-19 give advice to Trump: Slow down and quarantine: The news that President Donald Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus resonated with two of the region's most prominent elected leaders. And both had advice for the president: Give your body the best chance to recover, and stay away from others. Read more

Caputo, Cuomo serve as partisan villains at coronavirus hearing: While the hearing produced little in the way of new revelations, it did shed some additional light on Caputo's tenure at the Department of Health and Human Services. Read more

Buffalo schools eye in-person learning for some in November: In-person instruction might not resume in Buffalo Public Schools until after the first marking period, which ends Nov. 13. Read more

Why the flu shot is more important during the pandemic: The flu shot won't prevent or ease a case of Covid-19 if you contract the novel coronavirus, but it greatly boosts the odds you won't end up trying to fight both. Read more

Pandemic changes the presentation for plant-based cooking series: What seemed like unfortunate timing for a new healthy cooking series in March turned into the perfect recipe to help 30 people avoid Covid-19 weight gain. Read more

Leonard VFW Post makes 'very emotional' decision to sell its building: Shrinking membership and declining revenues exacerbated by Covid-19 prompted the decision to sell it. Read more

Sean McDermott: Titans' Covid-19 outbreak a reminder 'it's still around and you can't get too comfortable': Sean McDermott doesn't want to engage in any discussion about the Buffalo Bills' scheduled Oct. 11 game at the Tennessee Titans, but he acknowledged the lingering concern of a similar outbreak occurring with the Bills. Read more

The Editorial Board: It seems to us – Mychajliw’s revenge, unlikely agreement on Covid-19 and the end of a rite of childhood?: As for Mychajliw, his adolescent rejoinder to Poloncarz was as unhelpful as it was predictable, writes The News' Editorial Board. Read more

Oct. 1

Cuomo announces contact tracing app; 'caution flag' back for WNY: The announcement comes amid a surge in downstate hot spots that is the source of increases in the statewide positive testing rate, case totals and hospitalizations. Read more

Teacher changes loom for remote Ken-Ton students: The district decided that it’s not realistic for teachers to simultaneously teach elementary students who are in the classroom with them and those who are learning from home. Read more

Maple Avenue School to remain closed until further notice: Superintendent Mark R. Laurrie said Thursday that two other adult staffers tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, and he is waiting for the results of more testing conducted at the school Tuesday. Read more

Krog suspends work on Trico because of Covid impact on hotels, offices: Krog Corp. has temporarily suspended work on its $87 million redevelopment of the former Trico Products Corp. manufacturing plant in downtown Buffalo, citing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sectors it's targeting. Read more

Smaller art galleries weather the storm by getting inventive: The continued severity of the pandemic, as well as recent restrictive guidelines placed upon gatherings by the NYSLA, have shoved these smaller galleries against the wall, writes Jeff Miers. Read more

Artpark opens community fund drive 'to keep going': The public is being asked to help by contributing to a drive dubbed "Artpark Live." A donation button is on the park's website, artpark.net. Read more

WNY's senior football players could be at a recruiting disadvantage playing in March: The early signing period is in late December and the regular signing period is in early February, meaning some colleges could have their scholarship allotments filled by the time the high school season begins in New York. Read more