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Stay up to date with the latest news on the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. We'll post regular updates from NPR and regional news from the WRVO newsroom. You can also find updates on our live blog.

State of emergency declared in 18 counties after heavy snowfall

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in 18 counties in the Capitol Region, Southern Tier and Hudson Valley on Thursday after a heavy snowfall. Some places, like Binghamton, got more than three feet of snow.

Cuomo recommended people stay off the roads, if they can avoid it. There were 9,100 power outages, 600 automobile accidents and two fatalities.

“It is a serious condition,” Cuomo said. “Stay home, if you can.”

Western and central New York, the North Country and New York City were spared with only a few inches.

New York state has a 5.3% COVID-19 positivity rate, down from 6.2%.

“That’s actually good news,” Cuomo said. “Bad news is 120 New Yorkers passed away yesterday.”

Cuomo said the Finger Lakes region is a real problem area for COVID-19 infections right now, at 8.2%, the highest in the state. Mohawk Valley is also a problem at 8.03%.

The snow did not hinder deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine, Cuomo said. The federal government flies in the vaccine.

“There is no significant disruption,” Cuomo said. “In places where we need to supplement the transportation with four-wheel-drive vehicles, heavy equipment, we’re doing that.”

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.