This is an archive of our live blog. Posts updates from March 13 - April 2 will be kept here. For the most current information, click here.
Thursday, April 2
6:00 p.m. Onondaga County officials say a third person has died from the coronavirus in the county. In a statement, Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said the person was a male in his 80s with "significant underlying health issues." More than 300 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the county.
4:05 p.m. Oswego County health officials say an employee of the Kinney Drugs store in Pulaski has tested positive for COVID-19, and say anyone who visited the store on Thursday, March 26 after 9 a.m. may have been exposed. Anyone who was at the store on that day should watch for possible symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, shortness of breath or gastrointestinal illness until April 9.
3:45 p.m. Centro reported Thursday that a second employee has tested positive. The employee is a bus driver who last worked on Friday, March 27. Centro officials say the employee drove a Centro bus on the following routes:
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
5:15pm – 7:10pm 262X Fayetteville Manlius & 162 Fayetteville Manlius
Friday, March 27, 2020
4:15pm – 7:40pm 254 Midland Ave & 52 Court St
Anyone who rode a bus on those routes on those days and times should watch for symptoms.
3:07 p.m. McMahon said an employee at the Tops Market on West Seneca St. in Manlius has tested positive for COVID-19, and customers may have been exposed to the virus. He said the store has been deep cleaned and employees notified. Any customer who was at that store on March 26 from 6 a.m.-1:10 p.m. or March 27 from 6 a.m. - 11 a.m. should watch for symptoms. Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta says most of the people who had contact with the employee have been notified, but anyone who was at the store on those days should be aware of symptoms.
3:03 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon says there are now 301 positive cases of COVID-19 in the county. The county is also reporting its second death in the county. McMahon says a woman in her 60s with underlying conditions passed away.
Breakdown of cases, by age:
- Teens: 9
- 20s: 67
- 30s: 47
- 40s: 46
- 50s: 51
- 60s: 44
- 70s: 24
- 80s: 11
- 90s: 2
3:00 p.m. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is giving his daily briefing. Watch live:
2:55 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon's briefing will begin at 3 p.m. Watch live:
12:05 p.m. Oswego County Legislature Chairman Jim Weatherup says the county has a decent supply of personal protective equipment in stock. But he said the county ordered another shipment of supplies, and it went to the wrong county. "They aren't giving it back, so we're ordering another shipment," he said.
11:55 a.m. Cuomo says the state's current stockpile of ventilators will run out in about six days. Cuomo says he plans to move ventilators from upstate hospitals downstate to help with the shortage. "I have no desire to acquire more ventilators than we need."
11:53 a.m. Central stockpile of supplies will be dispersed on a need basis. Cuomo is encouraging hospitals and care providers not to hoard as supplies will be monitored on a daily basis. “I ask businesses to think about the situation we’re in and a possible opportunity,” Cuomo said. He encourages companies to donate or manufacture personal protective equipment and other components to help aid in controlling the pandemic. He says the state will not only purchase the products, at a premium, but will pay to convert facilities to produce medical-related materials. “It is a state need, it is a national need,” he said. Companies can contact the Empire State Development Corporation for details. The state will pay to convert your facilities to produce these products, then buy those products at a premium.
11:51 a.m. 21,000 out-of-state healthcare workers have volunteered to come to New York state to help during the crisis. “These are beautiful, generous people and New Yorkers will return the favor,” Cuomo said.
11:50 a.m. Every county in the state has now reported at least one case of COVID-19. Cuomo stressed that taking comfort in being a rural community is a false comfort. “It’s not just urban areas, its suburban areas,” Cuomo said. “And we have rural communities that are comparable to rural communities all across this country.” He said, in a way, New York state is a microcosm of the country and what is happening here will happen across the country.
11:49 a.m. New from Gov. Cuomo: Positive cases: 92,381, 2,373 deaths, 13,383 hospitalized, 3,396 ICU patients, 7,434 patients discharged.
11:46 a.m. Barlow is suspending implementation of the city's ban on styrofoam products. It was due to take effect April 22, but will be pushed back to September.
11:41 a.m. Barlow says Oswego Police will begin enforcing social distancing guidelines at stores in the city, and will begin enforcing the nonessential travel ban. "You should not be bringing your entire family to the store every day," he said. City parks will stay open, but playgrounds and other facilities will be closed. DPW will sanitize benches and other areas of city parks. But Barlow said if people still continue to gather, he will close parks. He also asks anyone who sees a nonessential business still open, to contact his office or the police department. He is also closing Wright's Landing Marina until July 13, but the boat launch will remain open.
11:40 a.m. Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow says Oswego County received a 'D' grade for social distancing. "We've done out best to limit interaction, but despite our efforts we still continue to see people out like everything is alright. It is not business as usual," Barlow said. "Social distancing is important and we must do better." Barlow is banning all nonessential travel in the city. "Only essential people going to and from work, going to the store for essential items open."
11:10 a.m. Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow is instituting a new stay-at-home order in the city. He is banning nonessential travel and nonessential outdoor activities in the city, closing city playgrounds and other public amenities, and more. He'll provide an update at 11:30 a.m. Watch live here. (Video player will appear once the briefing begins).
11:00 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will give his daily briefing at 11:30 a.m. Watch live below. (Video player will appear once the briefing begins)
7:20 a.m. It's been a few weeks since most of us have been working from home, and we'd like to know how you're doing. Are you a teacher doing distance learning with your students? Are you a healthcare worker going to work every day? Are you at home with nothing to do and you're bored? Are you enjoying the time? Are you struggling? We'd love to hear from you. Open up the Voice Memo app on your phone, and record a message for us. Tell us your name and where you live, and how things are going. Then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We may use your voice for a future story on being at home during this time.
7:00 a.m. Good morning. As usual, we'll post live video when Gov. Cuomo gives his daily briefing later today. Onondaga and Oneida counties will also provide briefings around 3 p.m. Here are some headlines:
- The number of deaths in New York from the coronavirus doubled in just 72 hours. As of yesterday, the death toll was close to 2,000. More than 85,000 have tested positive in the state so far.
- In Onondaga County, the number of positive cases is up to 277. County Executive Ryan McMahon said during his briefing yesterday that people should stop "joyriding" on Centro buses. Centro temporarily eliminated fares last week. Centro also announced that one of its drivers tested positive last week.
- There are a lot of nonprofit organizations that need support right now, among them is the CNY Diaper Bank, which distributes diapers to needy families. And right now, demand is outstripping supply. Meanwhile, businesses that have closed because of the coronavirus are looking for new ways to stay connected to customers.
We'll have more updates through the day.
Wednesday, April 1
5:28 p.m. Most counties have updated their numbers of positive cases today. Check our map above and hover over (or tap if you're on mobile) for the latest numbers.
4:35 p.m. Oswego County has allocated $500,000 for coronavirus response. The county also announced three new cases today, bringing its total up to 23. See today's update below. The county has also published an online dashboard, showing the number of cases, tests conducted, people recovered, and more.
3:20 p.m. Centro says one of its bus drivers has tested positive for COVID-19. In a statement, Centro says the employee last worked on Friday, March 27, but contact with riders was limited because riders are getting on the bus from the rear doors. The Onondaga County Health Department is contacting people who may have been at risk of exposure and is asking them to quarantine.
3:05 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon says there are now 277 cases of COVID-19 in the county, up 28 from yesterday. 27 people are hospitalized, 14 in critical condition. "Sobering data," McMahon said.67 people have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.55% of cases involve people under the age of 50.
Breakdown of cases, by age:
- Teens: 8
- 20s: 60
- 30s: 42
- 40s: 43
- 50s: 49
- 60s: 40
- 70s: 23
- 80s: 10
- 90s: 2
3:00 p.m. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is giving his daily briefing. There are nine new cases in the county, bringing the total to 55. Watch live:
2:55 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will give his daily brieing at 3 p.m. Watch live:
12:45 p.m. Cuomo says this is going to be a "transformative" experience. "We're never going to be the same again. We're not going to forget what happened here. When will things get back to normal? I don't think it will get back to normal. I think we get to a new normal like we're seeing in so many parts of society right now," Cuomo says.
12:40 p.m. Cuomo says he's still getting reports of young people, especially in New York City, not following social distancing. "It is still a problem." He is ordering all New York City playgrounds closed. Open area will still be open.
12:37 p.m. Cuomo says models suggest 16,000 New Yorkers could die from the virus. But the virus will continue through the country. "It's a New York problem today. Tomorrow it's a Kansas problem and a Texas problem and a New Mexico problem." Cuomo says the only way to slow the anxiety is to have more tests. "Rapid testing, at-home testing would quell the anxiety as well as light a fire under the economy. The testing is going to be the best way of getting there."
12:30 p.m. Cuomo says the models the state is looking at suggest an apex of cases at the end of April. "Another month of this," Cuomo said. He said the models suggest that with minimal social distancing, the state will need 110,000 hospital beds. With stricter social distancing, the state would need 75,000 beds.
12:20 p.m. New numbers from Gov. Cuomo: 83,712 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. 12,226 are currently hospitalized, 3,022 in ICU. 1,941 people in New York have died.
12:15 p.m. Gov. Cuomo is holding his daily briefing. Watch live below:
10:30 a.m. SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley says the college will postpone its commencement ceremonies, and will reschedule them to a later date. The college did not announce a new date for commencement, but Stanley says the college will stay in touch with students and let them know when a new date is picked.
9:20 a.m. Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announce over $2.2 million in federal funding for central and western New York, the Capital Region, Rochester, Hudson Valley, and North Country. The funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will be used to support health centers providing care to communities affected by COVID-19.
8:35 a.m. Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) has announced new respiratory triage tents now open outside the emergency departments of St. Elizabeth and St. Luke’s hospitals. The triage tents are for patients with respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, congestion, etc.) and will help identify those who have symptoms of coronavirus/COVID-19 before they enter the facility. The hope is to significantly minimize their exposure to other patients and staff.
Note: The triage tents are not for coronavirus/COVID-19 testing.
6:45 a.m. March came in like a lion and left like, well, a much bigger lion. The past month has felt like a year, but it's finally over. Gov. Cuomo will give his briefing later today. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will give his briefing at 3 p.m. Live video will be here when the briefings begin. In the meantime, here are some top stories.
- More cases, more deaths. Statewide, more than 75,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in New York, and more than 1,500 have died.
- In Onondaga County, the number is up to 249. 31 people are hospitalized, 12 in critical condition. Other counties continue to see increases in cases as well. Oneida, Madison and Herkimer counties also announced new deaths due to the coronavirus.
- The coronavirus has had, and will continue to have, a big impact on the state budget. It was due at midnight, but lawmakers are still working to pass budget bills. One thing that won't be in the budget: legalized recreational marijuana.
We'll have more updates throughout the day.
Tuesday, March 31
7:30 p.m. Madison, Herkimer, and Oneida counties all announced new deaths due to the coronavirus today. In Herkimer County, officials said a 73-year-old with underlying health issues died as a result of the virus. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said a county resident was already hospitalized with COVID-19 passed away yesterday. No other information was given. And Madison County officials only said a county resident had died. It is the second death reported in Madison County from COVID-19.
4:05 p.m. Onondaga Community College says it will continue distance learning for all classes through the end of the semester. According to a news release, the decision was made after consulting with SUNY. The college says no decision has been made yet about commencement, which is scheduled for May 16.
3:07 p.m. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is giving his daily briefing. He says there are eight new positive cases in the county, for a total of 46. he also says the county has reported its first death due to the coronavirus. Picente has ordered all camping and RV sites in the county closed until July 1. Watch live below.
3:02 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon says there are now 249 positive cases in the county, up 21 from yesterday. 31 are hospitalized, 12 in critical condition. 54% of cases are in people under the age of 50. "These are sobering statistics. This virus is tough," McMahon said. 55 people have recovered and been released from mandatory isolation.
Breakdown of cases, by age
- Teens: 7
- 20s: 53
- 30s: 36
- 40s: 39
- 50s: 46
- 60s: 39
- 70s: 19
- 80s: 9
- 90s: 1
2:55 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will give his daily briefing at 3 p.m. Watch live below.
2:25 p.m. Cayuga County officials held a briefing today to say that there are still four confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, but also to say that supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing swabs are very low. See the full briefing below.
1:55 p.m. Gov. Cuomo today apologized for the delays people are experiencing trying to file for unemployment benefits. The state Department of Labor website has gotten tens of millions of hits over the last week, and the department, which usually gets about 50,000 calls a week, saw 1.2 million calls Monday, and 7 million calls last week. "It is not working as smoothly as I would like to see it," said Cuomo. "It's compounding people's stress. You're unemployed, you're trying to get on some darn website, you can't get on the website. We have literally hundreds of people working on it. I apologize for the pain. It must be infuriating to deal with. The site is so deluged that it keeps crashing because you have hundreds of thousands of people trying to get on the site and it continues to crash" The Department of Labor says when are able to get through and file for unemployment benefits, they will be retroactive to the date the became unemployed.
12:00 p.m. Cuomo is again stressing staying at home. "You want to go out and act stupid for yourself, that's one thing. But your stupid actions don't just affect you. You come home, and you can infect someone else and you can cause a serious illness or even death by your actions. And people really need to get this and internalize it, because it can happen to anyone," he said.
11:55 a.m. "The point is...stay home. You can infect other people," Cuomo says. "Everyone is subject to this virus. I don't care how smart or how rich you are. This virus is the great equalizer." Cuomo talks about his brother's diagnosis. "He's going to be fine. But there's a lesson in this. You go out there, the chance you get infected is very high."
11:50 a.m. Cuomo says "When does this end? When we have fast-track testing. An at-home test, 15 minute testing. That's when people can go back to work."
11:48 a.m. As Gov. Cuomo gives his daily breifing, his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, announces he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) March 31, 2020
11:45 a.m. Cuomo seems frustrated in his briefing today. "I'm tired of being behind this virus. We've been behind from day one. You don't win at catching up," he says. Cuomo also says there needs to be a "social acceptance" of expectations. "Everyone wants to know whan it will be over," Cuomo says. "Nobody knows. But it's not going to be soon."
11:37 a.m. New numbers from Gov. Cuomo: Total number of cases of COVID-19 in New York is up to 75,795 with 1,550 deaths. 10,929 people are hospitalized, with 2,710 in ICU.
11:10 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will give a briefing at 11:30 a.m. Watch live below. (The video player will appear once the briefing begins).
10:30 a.m. The state education department is telling school districts that their April breaks have been canceled. Most districts have been doing remote instruction since schools closed because of the coronavirus, but many were planning to take the break week off. New guidance from the education department released yesterday says that "districts must continue to provide remote instruction, meals for students, and child care for essential workers every day between April 1, 2020 and April 14, 2020, even if the district is scheduled to be on spring break during that time."
10:00 a.m. Oneida County is taking a new approach to keeping children and the community busy while people are home during the pandemic. Each morning at 10 a.m., members of the sheriff's department will read a story to kids, and do safety demonstrations. See today's video below.
7:15 a.m. It's official: Every county in New York now has at least one confirmed case of the coronavirus. Seneca County had not reported a positive case until last night. Health officials say the person is in isolation and people who had contact with that person are being identified, and close contacts will be quarantined.
7:00 a.m. Good morning. As usual, we'll post video for Gov. Cuomo's briefing later today and for Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon's briefing at 3 p.m. We'll also post any other briefings from around the region as they become available. Here are a few top stories:
- "Staggering": That's the word Gov. Cuomo used yesterday to describe the number of deaths attributed to the coronavirus in New York. As of yesterday there were more than 1,200 deaths and more than 66,000 cases. He's asking any healthcare worker from across the country not dealing with a crisis to come to New York to help, pledging that New York healthcare workers will do the same in other states.
- Onondaga County's cases continue its sharp rise. The county has 228 positive cases as of yesterday, but the good news, according to County Executive Ryan McMahon, is that more people are starting to recover. He said the county is purchasing $1 million in personal protective equipment (PPE) to help Syracuse hospitals.
- Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul says what's happening in New York City may actually help upstate prepare for the virus, since the peak in NYC is likely to come before the peak upstate. Hear Hochul's full conversation with Morning Edition host Leah Landry.
We'll have more updates throughout the day. Stay tuned.
Monday, March 30
4:35 p.m. Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup said today that he has signed an executive order authorizing state and local authorities to enforce the state's ban on nonessential gatherings. "We have shared this message with the public repeatedly over the last week or so, but it has become apparent that many members of our communities have not taken this seriously," Weatherup said. Additionally, the city of Fulton is closing all city playgrounds, and city parks will be under strict social distancing adherence. See the full message below from Weatherup, Fulton Mayor Deanna Michaels and Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow.
3:10 p.m. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is holding a briefing. Watch below:
3:05 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon says there are now 228 cases in the county, up 34 from yesterday. 23 people are hospitalized, seven in critical condition. 10 have been released from the hospital. 41 people who have recovered and are released from mandatory isolation, which McMahon says is "very good news."
Breakdown of cases, by age:
- Teens: 7
- 20s: 48
- 30s: 35
- 40s: 35
- 50s: 40
- 60s: 36
- 70s: 19
- 80s: 7
- 90s: 1
2:55 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will hold a briefing at 3 p.m. Watch live below.
1:50 p.m. State Sen. James Seward, who represents parts of central New York and the Mohawk Valley, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently hospitalized. In a statement, he says he is recovering, and should be released from the hospital soon. Seward's wife has also tested positive.
— James Seward (@SenatorSeward) March 30, 2020
1:35 p.m. Cuomo is calling for unity in dealing with the pandemic. "The president calls this a war. I agree with that. This is a war. Then let's act that way, now. And let's show a commonality and a mutuality and a unity that this country hasn't seen in decades. Because the Lord knows we need it more than ever before."
1:30 p.m. Cuomo is asking any healthcare worker in another state not dealing with a crisis to come to New York to help. "This is the time for us to help one another," he said.
1:25 p.m. Cuomo says the public has a responsibility to stay home to try to slow the spread of the virus. "I know the isolation can be boring and repetitive. But that's better than the alternative," Cuomo said.
1:20 p.m. New numbers from Gov. Cuomo: Positive cases of COVID-19 is up to 66,497. 9,517 are currently hospitalized, 2,353 in ICU. 1,218 people in New York have died as a result of the virus.
1:00 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's daily briefing will begin soon. We'll post live video when the briefing begins. (Refresh the page if it's after 1:00 p.m. and you don't see the live video).
11:30 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City today, welcoming the USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship that will accommodate 1,000 patients. He'll give his daily briefing at 1:00 p.m. We'll post live video when it begins.
Welcome to New York, @USNSComfort.
We knew from the outset that expanded hospital capacity was critical.
We asked and the federal government answered.
This ship is a step forward in our fight against Coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/r6Hj8NL9JH
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 30, 2020
10:00 a.m. Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck says an employee of the sheriff's office has tested positive for COVID-19. Schenck says the person is recovering, and 10 other employees have been placed under a voluntary quarantine. He said the person did not have any contact with the public or with inmates, and that the person does not live in Cayuga County. The county has four confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far.
8:30 a.m. A new poll out this morning From Siena College gives high marks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo over his handling of the coronavirus. 87% of those polled said they approve of the job Cuomo is doing, while just 41% said they approve of the job President Trump is doing. More details on the poll here.
7:45 a.m. SUNY Potsdam says five students have tested positive for the coronavirus. In a letter to the campus community, college president Kristin Esterberg said the five students returned to campus between March 14-March 20. One of the students showed mild cold symptoms, the four others had no symptoms. They were all tested because they had traveled to areas of high incidence of COVID-19. All five students have been isolated, and officials are contacting any other students, staff and faculty that may have been exposed.
7:30 a.m. Good morning. Gov. Cuomo will hold a briefing later today, and Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will hold a briefing at 3 p.m. We'll post live video feeds here when they become available. In the meantime, here are some of our top stories.
Gov. Cuomo has extended the mandatory closure of all nonessential businesses and ban on gatherings in New York for another two weeks, through April 15. That time period includes the Passover and Easter holidays. Cuomo said he knows it will be difficult, but as the rate of the virus in New York continues to climb, it seems necessary to extend the ban through the spring holidays.
Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise around the region. Onondaga County is up to nearly 200, while statewide numbers approach 60,000 with more than 1,000 deaths.
One industry that's really hurting right now is travel. One CNY travel agent who specializes in trips to Italy says business is pretty much non-existent right now, but expects things to pick up again later this year.
We'll have more updates throughout the day. Stay tuned.
Sunday, March 29
5:00 p.m. A lot of counties around the region are reporting a big jump in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 today. Yates County was one of two counties in the state that had not yet reported any cases. But it is now reporting its first case. Seneca County is the last county to not report any cases as of yet. Be sure to check the map above for the latest updates.
4:30 p.m. Hamilton College officials say one of its employees has tested positive for the coronavirus. College President David Wippman says this is the first known case at the college. In a news release, officials say because students have been gone since March 16, and the college has been operating with minimal staff, the person's contact with the college community has been "very limited." The college is working with the Oneida County Health Department to trace the person's potential contact with any other faculty, staff, or students.
3:20 p.m. Oswego County is reporting five new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 15. Health officials say cases have been identified in the cities of Fulton and Oswego and the towns of Palermo, Constantia, Hastings, Richland, Schroeppel and West Monroe. The ages of infected range from a young child to senior citizens and include people in their 20s,30s, 50s and 60s. "We expect the number of positive cases reported in our county will continue to increase,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang in a statement. "Health care providers, first responders, and the county and state health departments are working closely together to mitigate the disease’s impact on our community. It is important to understand that this virus is everywhere, not just in communities where tests have so far indicated."
3:03 p.m. New numbers: Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon says there are now 194 positive cases of COVID-19 in the county, 48 more since yesterday. 20 people are hospitalized, seven in critical condition. Seven have been released from the hospital. 5 people who have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation, which McMahon says is good news. 55% of positive cases are in people under the age of 50.
Breakdown of cases, by age:
- Under 19: 6
- 20s: 44
- 30s: 29
- 40s: 28
- 50s: 33
- 60s: 31
- 70s: 17
- 80s: 5
- 90s: 1
2:57 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will give a briefing at 3 p.m. Watch live below:
12:48 p.m. Health officials cannot stress enough the importance of staying home, even if you are healthy. But if you are sick, and have been tested for COVID-19, officials say it is IMPERATIVE that you stay home. In Clinton County in the North Country, officials say a man who was sick, tested positive for COVID-19 and was symptomatic, continued to go out into the community.
"Individuals who were considered to have had close contact at Beekmantown Central School, SUNY Plattsburgh, Sawatdee Restaurant, Koto Restaurant, Eclipse Gym, Hannaford and a taxi company have been notified. During the time when this person was symptomatic, several visits were made to Walmart as well. Unfortunately, the case-patient was unable to specify the exact times of day when he went to Walmart, but states he was there most days between 3/11 and 3/24 and that he used self-checkout," according to a news release from the Clinton County Health Department. "This incident underscores the critical importance of staying home if ill, even if you have not been tested or do not believe you have COVID-19,” emphasized Erin Streiff, Director of Health Care Services for the Clinton County Health Department. “It also represents the enormous challenge of containing a viral illness like COVID-19 without the full cooperation of the community.”
Officials say being in the same location as someone with COVID-19 doesn't mean they've been exposed, and the risk is still low, but people should stay at home and watch for symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath.
12:35 p.m. Cuomo's extension of his executive order banning gatherings and non-essential work through April 15th means people won't be able to go to out for Easter or Passover. "It's difficult," Cuomo said. "But it's necessary. You look at what happened in New Rochelle, where the virus spread rapidly. It spread because of a religious gathering. It's not a good idea." Cuomo also said that "patient zero" in New Rochelle has since been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.
12:28 p.m. Cuomo's message of the day is a simple one: We are going to be ok. "I know we feel that we are under attack, but we will make it through. We've been through worse, we will get through this," he said. "No one is going to deprive New York of what it needs. There is no state better prepared and better mobilized than New York."
12:22 p.m. Cuomo is remembering a few of the healthcare workers and police officers who have died from COVID-19. "We're all afraid. You think they're not afraid to leave their house? But something is more important than their fear. It's their passion and their belief in helping others, and that overcomes their fear," Cuomo said.
12:17 p.m. New numbers: 59,513 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19, 8,503 currently hospitalized, 2,037 in ICU, 3,572 have been discharged from hospitals. 965 have died.
12:15 p.m. Cuomo says, in regards to "when this will end," When there is a test that can be produced in volume. "If you can test millions of people tomorrow, they can go back to work tomorrow," he said.
12:13 p.m. Cuomo is extending his order to keep non-essential workers in the state home until at least April 15.
12:12 p.m. Cuomo is asking public and private health system to work together. He says upstate hospitals may need to be a "relief valve" for downstate hospitals that are overwhelmed with COVID-19, and vice-versa if upstate hospitals become overwhelmed.
12:05 p.m. Gov. Cuomo says local healthcare providers need to be prepared for the apex of cases, and they need to work together. He says the state's apex is coming in 14-21 days, but it will vary around the state and nation. The "top of the curve" in upstate New York will come. It may not be as high as we're seeing in New York City, and it may come later, but it is coming. He says "just because it may not be bad now, that doesn't mean you're not going to have a real situation to deal with," he said.
11:56 a.m. Gov. Cuomo will give a briefing at noon. Watch live below:
7:30 a.m. Good morning. Get those indoor activities planned, because it's going to be a rainy day outside. Gov. Cuomo will hold a briefing later this morning. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will have a briefing at 3 p.m. We'll post live video here when it's available. In the meantime, here's a recap from yesterday.
- The number of cases of COVID-19 statewide is over 50,000 with more than 700 deaths. Gov. Cuomo delayed the state's April 28 presidential primary. It will now be held June 23, the same day as the congressional and state legislative primaries. Meanwhile, after saying he was considering a quarantine for the NY/NJ/CT region, President Trump said he would issue a travel advisory, not a quarantine.
- Onondaga County is up to 146 cases, with 20 people hospitalized. Tompkins County is up to 56, Oneida and Madison counties are at 28. The city of Oswego confirmed its first case, for a total of 10 in Oswego County.
- St. Lawrence and Lewis counties were two of the last in the state to announce positive cases, but the virus is spreading. St. Lawrence County's cases nearly doubled in the last day, up to 11. Lewis County announced it's first two positive cases last evening. See the latest numbers on the map above. It's updated several times each day.
That's all for now. We'll post more updates through the day.
Saturday, March 28
5:15 p.m. After being one of the last counties in central and northern New York to report a positive case of the coronavirus, St. Lawrence County is seeing a spike in cases. Yesterday, county officials said they had six positive cases. Today, it's up to 11. In a statement, health officials say testing in the county is limited, and it's likely the virus is spreading undetected through the county.
4:45 p.m. Herkimer County is reporting its second death due to the coronavirus. Health officials say the person was a 73-year-old resident with underlying health issues. The total number of cases in the county is currently 11.
4:15 p.m. Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow says the city has its first confirmed case of COVID-19. That brings the total number of cases in Oswego County to nine. See Barlow's full update below.
3:07 p.m. Oneida County says there are four more positive cases of COVID-19 in the county, for a total of 28. Watch County Executive Anthony Picente's briefing below.
3:02 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon says over the last three days a large number of tests have come back, meaning there are more positive cases coming in. There are now 146 positive cases in the county, up 23 from yesterday. McMahon says 20 people are currently hospitalized, eight are in critical condition. Three people who were hospitalized have been released and are recovering at home.
Breakdown of cases, by age:
- Under 19: 6 (all teenagers)
- 20s: 31
- 30s: 21
- 40s: 21
- 50s: 25
- 60s: 19
- 70s: 16
- 80s: 3
- 90s: 1
2:55 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will give a briefing at 3 p.m. Watch Live below.
12:45 p.m. Moving New York's presidential primary from April 28 to June 23 has implications in central New York. A special election in the state Senate's 50th district in the Syracuse-area was also scheduled for April 28, which will also likely be delayed until June.
12:40 p.m. The number of deaths in New York is up to 728. "The longer you are on a ventilator, the less of a chance you have to recover," Cuomo said.
12:37 p.m. New numbers: 52,318 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York, 7,328 people hospitalized, 1,755 in intensive care. Cuomo says "if you're looking for good news today, I wouldn't put a lot of stock in it, ICU admissions, meaning people who need ventilators, went down to 172 compared to 374 the day before."
12:33 p.m. Cuomo is delaying New York's presidential primary from April 28 to June 23, which is when congressional and legislative primaries will also be held. The state tax filing deadline will also be extended to July 15.
12:30 p.m. Cuomo says he spoke with President Trump this morning and the president has approved four new temporary hospitals in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. Each of the temporary hospitals will accommodate 1,000 patients. Cuomo says the state will open up three "COVID-only" hospitals. 600+ beds will be dedicated in three locations in New York City and will only serve patients will COVID-19.
12:26 p.m. Cuomo says it may be necessary for the state to step in and move patients from downstate hospitals to upstate hospitals "if those hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases," Cuomo said. He's also asking regional health systems to work together to shift resources around if they need. He's also asking pharmacies in the state to deliver medications at no charge. He said he will be talking to major chains today.
12:20 p.m. Why hasn't New York used the ventilators it has been given yet? Cuomo says they aren't needed yet. He says the apex may come in 14-21 days. "You go to war with what you have, not with what you need," Cuomo said. He said the state has enough personal protective equipment in stock for the short term, but not for the long term.
12:15 p.m. Cuomo shows an example of a bag valve mask, which can be used if there is a lack of ventilators. The state has bought 3,000 of these masks and are buying another 4,000. But Cuomo says you need a person available 24 hours a day to squeeze the mask manually. But he says that would take a monumental effort. Short answer is, no thank you," Cuomo said.
12:10 p.m. Cuomo says this is a very disorienting experience for most people. "If you are feeling disoriented, it's not you...it's everyone," he said. New York's first case of COVID-19 was 27 days ago, the state "shut down" 8 days ago. "It feels like a lifetime," Cuomo said. But he then says this started in China 12 weeks ago, South Korea 9 weeks ago, Italy 8 weeks ago. "Keep that in perspective during this disorienting time when one day is blurring into the next," he said.
12:00 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is giving his daily briefing. Watch live below.
7:30 a.m. Good morning. We've got some rain moving into our region this afternoon, so if you want to get outside, do it this morning (while remaining socially distant, of course). Gov. Cuomo will have a briefing later this morning, and Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will hold a briefing at 3 p.m. We'll post live video when it's available. In the meantime, here are a few of yesterday's top stories.
- Statewide, the number of cases of COVID-19 is approaching 50,000 with nearly 600 deaths. Gov. Cuomo will have updated numbers later today. In Onondaga County, the number of cases is up to 123. At a briefing yesterday Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said after a number of complaints of young people not following social distancing guidelines, especially at city basketball courts. So the city removed the rims from the baskets. He also said city golf courses don't open until May 1. "If LeBron James and Tiger Woods can take some time off, so can you,” Walsh said. “Your game won’t suffer too much.”
- President Trump claimed during Friday's White House coronavirus briefing that the federal government shipped droves of ventilators to New York. What did New York officials do in response? According to Trump, they ignored the new supply and instead attacked the White House for not doing more to assist the state. "We sent thousands of ventilators to New York, and they didn't know about it at the time they were complaining," Trump said. "They were going there in large numbers." An aghast New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had this reply to Trump's accusation: "That is incorrect and grossly uninformed."
- Here's a really good FAQ on the virus that answers some of the most asked questions, like "Does the virus live on clothes?"
We'll have more updates through the day.
Friday, March 27
3:45 p.m. More cases of COVID-19 are being reported around the region. St. Lawrence County officials say they have a community spread of the coronavirus. They are up to six cases. Broome County now has three deaths associated with the virus, and 17 cases total. Otsego County has it's first death as well. Other counties will release updated numbers over the next few hours. Check the map above for the most recent updates. You can hover your mouse over a county (or tap if you're on a mobile device) for the most recent results.
3:10 p.m. New numbers in Onondaga County: 123 positive cases, up 12 from yesterday. McMahon asks people to get tested if they don't feel well. "The way we flatten the curve is to get people tested, because we have the tests," McMahon said. 18 people are currently hospitalized, six are in critical condition. 349 are in a mandatory quarantine. 57% of positive cases are under the age of 50.
Breakdown of cases by age:
- Under 19: 5 (all teenagers)
- 20s: 30
- 30s: 16
- 40s: 19
- 50s: 22
- 60s: 16
- 70s: 12
- 80s: 3
3:07 p.m. Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway is also at today's briefing. He's there to address rumors that there is a curfew or travel ban in Onondaga County. Conway says there is neither a travel ban, nor a curfew in the county. He says the department is getting calls of people not following social distancing guidelines. "We will respond to each complaint that comes into 911. And we will do what we feel is the best course of action. But each circumstance is unique, but we expect people to cooperate with us," Conway said.
3:03 p.m. Here is a PSA the city and county put together to spread the word on slowing the spread of COVID-19.
3:00 p.m. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh is joining McMahon at today's briefing. He says while most people are following social distancing guidelines, some younger people are not. Walsh says a number of kids were playing basketball, and Walsh decided against calling the police. "Ultimately, we decided to take down the hoops and we will continue to do that until they are all down," Walsh said. He said while parks remain open, use of the equipment is not available.
2:57 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will give his daily briefing at 3 p.m. Watch live:
12:39 p.m. New York State Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay says Republican Assemblyman Brian Miller has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently hospitalized in Utica. Miller represents the Assembly's 101st district, which is based in Utica, but snakes through the Catskills toward New York City. His district covers parts of Oneida, Herkimer, Otsego, Delaware, Ulster, Sullivan, and Orange counties. Barclay said Miller was last in Albany March 18. He was tested March 20, and had been at his home since. Miller is the fourth member of the Assembly to test positive for COVID-19.
12:07 p.m. Cuomo, not referring to Trump by name, responds to Trump's comments last night saying New York didn't need 30,000 ventilators. "I don't have a crystal ball, everyone has an opinion. I don't operate on opinions. I operate on facts, data, numbers, and projections. I hope we don't need 30,000 ventilators. The numbers say we may need 30,000," Cuomo said.
11:55 a.m. Cuomo says if there is any good news, it's that the rate of hospitalizations has declined. 10 days ago, the number of people being hospitalized doubled every 2.5 days. Last week, it was doubled every three days, it is currently every four days. "We want to see the rate slowing," Cuomo said.
11:50 a.m. Cuomo says 138,376 people in New York have been tested, 16,272 in the last day. Total number of positive cases is up to 44,635. 585 people in the state have died. Cuomo says this number will go up, "which is the worst news." 6,481 are currently hospitalized in the state, 1,583 in intensive care.
11:45 a.m. Cuomo is again talking about increasing hospital capacity. He says the state is amassing a stockpile of medical supplies and personal protective equipment. Cuomo says with all of the work they have done, it won't add up to the number of beds the state needs. So, Cuomo will ask President Trump to approve four more temporary hospitals in New York City. this will provide another 4,000 beds. He also plans to use dormitories at SUNY schools downstate, and hotels and nursing homes to create additional beds.
11:36 a.m. Gov. Cuomo says all schools in the state will remain closed until at least April 15th. Most schools around the region had already decided to close until then. The state will continue to waive the 180 day requirement.
11:30 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is giving his daily briefing. Watch live:
10:00 a.m. The city of Oswego will soon be cracking down on people who don't follow social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow signed an executive order today expanding the powers of the police department and code enforcement office, because he said people are not adhering to the guidelines. "We will not tolerate inconsiderate and reckless behavior while the majority of our community is taking the necessary steps to stop the spread of COVID-19," Barlow said in a news release. He said residents can call the police if they see large gatherings of people at any hour and police will respond. He's also asking the city's codes enforcement department to monitor businesses that may still be open without being deemed essential by the state. Barlow said anyone hosting a social gathering is subject to arrest, and the address of the gathering, as well as the names of attendees, will be sent to the state health department. "The longer we do not properly social distance, the longer we have to do it," he said.
7:20 a.m. The House is expected to vote today on the $2.2 trillion dollar coronavirus relief package that passed the Senate this week. House leaders want to pass the bill by a voice vote, meaning not everyone needs to be physically in the chamber to vote. But some lawmakers are calling for a roll call vote, which would force all members to cast their votes in person.
North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) said she will vote for the bill, but said she thinks New York deserves more money in the package. "One concern I have is New York state is not getting as much support as I think we need regarding the funding for states and localities,” she told WWNY-TV in Watertown. "That's by nature of, when you have the Senate, the New York delegation in the U.S. Senate is the same as the North Dakota delegation, so each state is much more equal in terms of what each state is given and I believe New York needs more funding."
Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) also supports the bill, and said yesterday this may not be the last piece of legislation. "Is it a perfect package? No. Is it a step in the right direction? Absolutely, Katko said. "And as the situation develops, I’ll be surprised if there isn’t more legislation down the pike. Just don’t know where this is going to lead us, but this is a very good first step.”
7:15 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will give a briefing later this morning, and we expect him to have some words for President Trump. Cuomo has been saying all week that the state will need 30,000 ventilators to accommodate the surge in hospitalizations from the coronavirus. Last night, President Trump spoke on Sean Hannity's show on Fox News. He said he didn't think governors needed the equipment they were asking for. "I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they're going to be," Trump said. "I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators."
7:00 a.m. Good morning, here are a few of our top stories as we head into Friday.
- For the second straight day, Onondaga County had a big spike in cases of the coronavirus. There are now 111 cases, 16 people are hospitalized. Most counties around the region are seeing more cases as well. As of now, Lewis County is the only county in central and northern New York that hasn't reported any positive cases yet.
- Gov. Cuomo says the state still plans to finish the state budget by April 1. Cuomo said he wants to try something that’s never been done before. He wants to pass the budget by April 1 and then update the state spending plan quarterly. He would revise the amounts paid out to school districts, local governments, health care providers and all others who depend on state funding, based on how much money the state actually has collected from revenues. The governor said he does not expect the idea to be popular, but said it’s necessary.
- The Rescue Mission of CNY has had to lay off nearly 300 people due to the coronavirus. They've closed all Thrifty Shopper stores, which supply about 60% of its revenue.
We'll have more news updates throughout the day.
Thursday, March 26
7:30 p.m. Herkimer County officials say one of its residents has died as a result of the coronavirus. Health officials said in an announcement that the person was 85-year-old and had an underlying medical condition.
4:20 p.m. A number of counties are reporting new cases of COVID-19 today. Be sure to check the map above for the latest numbers as we have them. You can hover over a county to see the total. Here's a list of updates:
- Onondaga County: 111
- Oswego County: 8
- Jefferson County: 4
- St. Lawrence County: 4
- Cortland County: 6
- Madison County: 13
- Tompkins County: 32
- Oneida County: 16
3:15 p.m. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is also giving a briefing. The county is up to 16 cases of COVID-19. Watch below.
3:05 p.m. There's been another big jump in the number of cases of the coronavirus in Onondaga County. County Executive Ryan McMahon says 111 cases are now confirmed in the county. He attributes this to a large number of test results that have come in . He says more than 670 results came in in the last day.
Breakdown of cases:
- 4 in their teens
- 26 in their 20s
- 15 in their 30s
- 18 in their 40s
- 19 in their 50s
- 15 in their 60s
- 12 in their 70s
- 2 in their 80s
3:00 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is giving his daily briefing.
1:55 p.m. St. Lawrence University says one if its employees has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a report from North Country Public Radio. The university did not identify the person, but said the person does not live on campus and has not been on campus since March 16. St. Lawrence County confirmed its first case of COVID-19 yesterday, but the health department has not yet confirmed if this is an additional case.
12:00 p.m. Cuomo says for those who say they are tired of this, he says "this is not a sprint, this is a marathon." He says when you feel tired, think of the healthcare workers, first responders, those working in grocery stores, pharmacists.
11:55 a.m. New numbers: 37,258 positive cases in New York, 5,327 hospitalized, 1,290 currently in ICU. Cuomo says 1,517 patients who were hospitalized have since been discharged.
11:52 a.m. Cuomo said the state conducted more than 18,000 tests in the last day, by far more than any other state. But what concerns him is the number of deaths in New York is increasing. He says some patients have been on ventilators for 20-30 days. Longer stays without recovery lead to a higher death rate. "When you have older sicker patients stay on ventilators longer, there is usually a worse outcome," Cuomo said. He says 385 people have died from COVID-19 in New York.
11:50 a.m. Cuomo is talking about the state budget, which is due April 1. He says lawmakers will have to figure out how to handle the loss of revenue. He's not sure how much revenue is lost. He said the state will adjust down its revenue projections, and says they will adjust the budget through the year address actual revenue as the economic uncertainty remains.
11:45 a.m. Cuomo is talking about the economic consequences of the pandemic. He again says that New York is getting shortchanged in the Senate's $2 trillion stimulus bill. He says New York is facing an up to $15 billion budget deficit. He says New York is getting $5 billion from the stimulus bill, but says it can only be used for COVID-19 expenses. "The biggest problem is the lost revenue. This failed to address the governmental need," Cuomo.
11:30 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is giving a briefing. Watch live below.
9:55 a.m. With the news this morning that 3.3 million people filed for unemployment last week nationwide, the numbers in New York are just as staggering. The state Department of Labor said this week that on average, it takes about 50,000 calls per week. Last week...it took 1.7 million. It also saw more than 2.7 million visits to its website. Many people are still unable to call to file for unemployment, with people simply getting a recorded message to call back later. But the DOL says it is hiring more people and shifting employees to take more calls. They also say their benefits will be retroactive to the date they were laid off.
6:45 a.m. Good morning. Gov. Cuomo will hold a briefing later this morning. We'll post the live video link here when it's available. In the meantime, here are some of yesterday's top stories, and a few stories that aired on WRVO this morning.
- The number of positive cases of the coronavirus in Onondaga County took a big jump in the last 24 hours, rising from 60 to 81. Officials say that's due to a large numbers of tests that came back. More than 1,500 tests have been conducted in Onondaga County in the last week and a half.
- Largely lost in all the news about the coronavirus, the state budget is still due by April 1. Lawmakers say they still plan to get it done on time, and they'll take precautions to avoid meeting in large groups.
- The Syracuse Common Council held its first meeting in an online setting Wednesday. Despite the fact that meetings won't be held in public for the near future, the "virtual" meetings can still be viewed by the public online.
- A number of services that people depend on are being done in different ways, because of the outbreak, including people suffering from substance abuse disorder. WRVO's Leah Landry talked with the executive director of Farnham Family Services, Oswego County's largest provider of outpatient treatment for those dealing with substance abuse, about how they've had to shift their treatment strategy.
We'll have more updates throughout the day.
Wednesday, March 25
5:00 p.m. Oswego County has reported another case of COVID-19. Officials say the person is between 40-50 years old. This is the fourth positive case in the county. Officials say none of the four cases are from the same locality.
4:35 p.m. Tompkins County says a food worker in Ithaca has tested positive for COVID-19. Officials say the person worked two shifts at Mango Mango Dessert, located at 159 Dryden Rd., Ithaca. Anyone who was there on 3/14 from 1-5 p.m. and 3/15 from 11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. should self-quarantine in their home and watch for possible symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath.
3:35 p.m. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says there are three more positive cases there, bringing the total number of cases to 15. Watch his daily briefing below.
3:20 p.m. McMahon's tone is more angry than in previous days. He said people are not following social distancing guidelines. "If you go and get a test, I'm assuming you are sick. We need to be able to communicate with you. You are under a mandatory quarantine. If you break a quarantine, you will face charges," he said. He said he knows of a few cases of people traveling back and forth to New York City.
3:15 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said today there's been a big jump in cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. There are now 81 cases, a 35% increase in one day. McMahon said this was a result of a large number of test results coming in. 10 people are currently hospitalized, three of them are in critical condition. 248 people in the county are under a mandatory quarantine. 41% of cases involve people under the age of 40.
Breakdown of cases:
- 40 females
- 41 males
- 3 cases under age 19
- 20 cases involving people ages 20-29
- 10 cases involving people ages 30-39
- 9 cases involving people ages 40-49
- 11 cases involving people ages 50-59
- 12 cases involving people ages 60-69
- 10 cases involving people ages 70-79
- 2 cases involving people ages 80-89
3:00 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is giving his daily briefing. Watch live below:
12:10 p.m. There aren't many counties left in the state that have not yet had a confirmed case of COVID-19. St. Lawrence County was one of them...until today. The county confirmed its first positive test earlier today. Health officials say the person is a resident of the county, but didn't give any other information.
11:43 a.m. New numbers: Cuomo says more than 103,000 people have been tested in New York. There are now 30,811 cases in the state, more than half of those in New York City. 3,805 are hospitalized, 888 in intensive care. 285 have died as a result of the virus.
11:40 a.m. Cuomo says the Senate's $2 trillion coronavirus relief package would be "terrible" for New York. He says New York would receive $3.8 billion. 'That sounds like a lot, but we're facing a shortfall of 9, 10 15 billion dollars," Cuomo said. "New York City will only receive $1.3 billion? That is a drop in the bucket." Cuomo says in the House bill, New York would get $17 billion. In a news release this morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer said New York would receive more than $40 billion.
11:34 a.m. Cuomo says more than 40,000 retired healthcare professionals have signed up as a "surge healthcare force" to help with response to the virus. Cuomo also says more than 6,000 mental health professionals have signed up to help people with mental health issues as a result of the coronavirus.
11:30 a.m. Cuomo says the state is still "shopping around the world" for medical equipment. He says right now, and the foreseeable future, there is an adequate supply of medical supplies. That may not be the case in three weeks, Cuomo says, but for now it's adequate. The state needs 30,000 ventilators, the state will soon have 15,000, after purchasing 7,000 and the 4,000 being given to the state from the federal government. Cuomo said he's still talking to the feds about getting more ventilators.
11:27 a.m. Cuomo says the density control plans seem to be working, because the rate of hospitalizations has declined over the last several days. "This is a very good sign, and a positive sign. I'm not 100% sure it's accurate, but the arrows are headed in the right direction," Cuomo said.
11:25 a.m. New York City will try closing some streets to cars to give people more room to walk to try and slow the spread. New York City will also not allow close contact on playgrounds. If people don't follow the guidelines, they will close the playgrounds.
11:22 a.m. Gov. Cuomo says the rate of hospitalizations in New York is about 15%. He says the number of people needing to be hospitalized is higher than they originally thought. They expected about 110,000 hospitalizations, but the actual number may be closer to 140,000. "We are doing everything we can to slow the spread of the virus. Flatten the curve, slow the infection rate," Cuomo said.
10:55 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will give a briefing at 11:15 a.m. Watch live below.
9:30 a.m. Madison County has opened up a new drive-through test site for COVID-19. County officials say the test site, located at Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton, is by appointment only. People who think they should be tested should call the hospital first at 315-228-3022. If they meet the criteria for testing, they'll be told to go to the test site.
6:30 a.m. Good morning. Here is a recap of some of yesterday's headlines.
- Onondaga County reported it's first death related to the coronavirus, an elderly person who had been hospitalized. Officials did not give any other information. The total number of cases in the county is up to 60, with a majority of them involving people under the age of 50.
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned the federal government that the acceleration rate of the virus in New York is faster than they thought, and that the apex could come in 2-3 weeks. He warned the state will need 30,000 ventilators to treat serious cases, but has only a fraction of that.
- Some financial relief is on the way. The Senate agreed early this morning to a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package. Among other things, the bill would send a $1,200 check to most Americans, with an extra $500 per child. It would also expand unemployment benefits for those laid off or furloughed because of the pandemic. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill later today, the House is likely to support it, and the president is likely to sign it.
- School has been out for over a week now for most kids in the region. One child psychologist says parents should watch their children's mental health during what can be a scary time.
Later today, Gov. Cuomo will give a briefing. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will give his briefing at 3:00 p.m. We'll post video feeds here so you can watch live.
Tuesday, March 24
7:20 p.m. Our final update today is a bit of good news. Anyone who lives near Lake Ontario in Oswego County knows that Rudy's Lakeside Drive-in is the quintessential place to eat during the summer. And a sure sign of spring is when Rudy's opens for business every March. They delayed their opening this year due to the coronavirus, but they'll be open for the season starting tomorrow. For now, they're only offering takeout service and they'll have a limited menu, but its small reminder that spring and summer are on the way.
5:00 p.m. Oswego County has confirmed a third case of COVID-19. Health officials say the person is a county resident between the ages of 60 and 70 and they are recovering at home. The person had recently been traveling and has been quarantined since being tested.
4:00 p.m. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said today there are two new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing its total to 12. Watch his full briefing below.
3:10 p.m. McMahon is stressing that young people can get this virus, and they are getting this virus. He said three teenagers in the county are recovering from the virus. He tells parents "Keep your kids at home with you, where they are safe."
3:02 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said just eight days ago the county had its first case of COVID-19, and now there are 60 cases, with one death. 8 people are currently hospitalized, three are in critical condition.
Breakdown of cases:
- 31 males
- 29 females
- Under 19: 3
- 20-29: 13
- 30-39: 7
- 40-49: 9
- 50-59: 11
- 60-69: 7
- 70-79: 9
- 80-89: 1
2:59 p.m. Onondaga County Executive is giving his daily briefing. Watch live below.
2:50 p.m. Onondaga County has reported its first death releated to the coronavirus. Health officials say the person was elderly and was hospitalized, so there is no risk of exposure to the general public. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will have more details during his 3 p.m. briefing.
2:20 p.m. The Syracuse City School District says two of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a robocall that went out to district staff today, and reported by syracuse.com. According to the call, the employees work at Roberts Elementary School and Syracuse Institute of Technology. Schools have been closed since March 16.
2:15 p.m. During a town hall meeting today, Maj. Gen Brian Mennes, commander of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, said that more than 1,000 soldiers currently deployed to Afghanistan would be coming home early due to the coronavirus. Mennes said it is likely the returning soldiers will be quarantined for 14 days so they don't spread the virus. Watch the full town hall meeting below.
12:20 p.m. In a letter to parents, Solvay School District Superintendent Jay Tinklepaugh says a district employee has tested positive for COVID-19. He said the district has been working with the Onondaga County Health Department to identify and contact anyone who may have had contact with the employee. He said if a parent has not been notified by the health department, then their child was not exposed to the coronavirus.
11:45 a.m. Cuomo had some stark words today, saying it's not worth risking lives to restart the economy.
My mother is not expendable. Your mother is not expendable.
We will not put a dollar figure on human life.
We can have a public health strategy that is consistent with an economic one.
No one should be talking about social darwinism for the sake of the stock market.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 24, 2020
11:37 a.m. Onondaga County health officials say a person who attended the Bethany Baptist Church on Beattie Street in Syracuse has tested positive for COVID-19. Anyone who attended the church on Sunday 3/15 may have been exposed. Anyone who was in close contact with the person has been notified, but anyone who was in the building that day should watch for symptoms, including fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing until 3/29.
11:26 a.m. New numbers: Confirmed cases are up to 25,665. 3,234 are hospitalized. 210 deaths. More than half of the cases are in New York City.
11:22 a.m. Cuomo is pushing back at comments made by President Trump about wanting to restart the economy. "It's a false choice to say public health or restart the economy. Nobody's gonna make that choice, and by the way, if you have to make that choice it's public health. Because you cannot put a value on a human life." He says instead of sending people back to work won't work. He says you can ramp up the economy with people who are not as vulnerable to the virus while also protecting older people. "Restart our economy with our younger tested workers. We can do both, we must do both."
11:20 a.m. Cuomo is speaking with some urgency today. He warns that what is happening in New York will happen in other states. "New York is the canary in the coalmine. What is happening in New York is going to happen to California, to Washington, to Illinois," Cuomo said.
11:14 a.m. Cuomo is again calling on President Trump to utilize the federal Defense Production Act to compel companies to start making medical equipment. He says the federal government has a stockpile of 20,000 ventilators, but isn't releasing them. "New York has 25,000 cases! It has 10 times the problem that California has, that Washington has. You deploy your resources to where they are needed."
11:09 a.m. Cuomo says even if every hospital increased their capacity by 50%, it wouldn't be enough to reach the 140,000 beds the state will need. He said he's talking to hotel owners about taking over hotels and converting them to hospitals. He's also talking to SUNY campuses about using dorms. "But without staff, a bed is useless," Cuomo said. He's asking any retiree to help. And Cuomo said its all about equipment. The state has 7,000 ventilators, but will need 30,000." "You can't buy them, you can't find them. Everyone needs them. This is a critical and desperate need for ventilators," Cuomo said.
11:06 a.m. Cuomo said the "inescapable conclusion" is that the apex of cases in New York is higher and sooner than everyone thought. "We have to increase hospital capacity dramatically, and we have to do it now," he said.
11:02 a.m. Gov. Cuomo says the rate of new infections is going up, doubling every three days. "We're not slowing it, and it's accelerating on its own," Cuomo said. He said the number of hospital beds needed may increase from 110,000 to 140,000. The state has 53,000 beds currently. "Those are troubling and astronomical numbers, and are higher than previously expected." He says the peak may not come for another 14-21 days.
11:00 a.m. Gov. Cuomo has begun his daily briefing. Watch live here.
9:45 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will make an announcement at 11:00 a.m. at the Javits Center in New York City. We're not sure if this will be his daily briefing, but the state, with help from the federal government, is building four temporary field hospitals inside the Javits Center, which will allow for up to 1,000 patients to be treated. We'll post the live video feed here when it becomes available.
7:10 a.m. Good morning. As usual, Gov Cuomo will hold a briefing later this morning, as will county leaders from around the region. We'll post live video feeds when they're available. In the meantime, here's a recap of some of yesterday's stories, and a few stories that aired on WRVO this morning.
- The number of cases of COVID-19 in the state is over 20,000, with more than half of those in New York. That number s sure to go up when the latest numbers are announced later this morning. In Onondaga County, the number of cases is up to 53. County officials are also concerned because a person who tested positive worked at Ascioti's Market in Solvay. If anyone was at that market on 3/17, call the Onondaga County Health Department.
- There's growing concern over the spread of the virus in the state prison system. So far, a number of prisoners and employees have tested positive, and there's fear the virus could spread rapidly.
- How are schools handling distance learning during the outbreak? WRVO's Leah Landry spoke with the principal of Oswego County P-Tech about how students and teachers are coping so far.
We'll have more news throughout the day. Stay tuned.
Monday, March 23
7:30 p.m. Syracuse University has canceled its commencement ceremonies this year due to the coronavirus. In a note to the campus today, Chancellor Kent Syverud said he would survey students a replacement for commencement. "Very soon, all members of the class of 2020 will receive a survey from me, soliciting your input as to alternative approaches to celebrating and recognizing your academic achievement," Syverud said. "We will act quickly on your feedback and share a plan for alternative commencement celebrations promptly."
4:15 p.m. Oneida County has reported three new cases of COVID-19 today. County Executive Anthony Picente said today that of the three new cases, one is a county resident being treated in another county, one is a county resident recovering at home, and one is a resident that is currently hospitalized. There are now 10 confirmed cases in Oneida County. Watch Picente's full briefing below.
3:45 p.m. Here is the breakdown of cases in Onondaga County by location:
- City of Syracuse: 18
- Salina: 8
- Clay: 6
- Cicero: 4
- Onondaga: 4
- Camillus: 3
- Manlius: 3
- Skaneateles: 3
- Lysander: 2
- Pompey: 2
3:30 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon had a serious message for parents during his briefing today: stop having playdates. He said there are people having "recess parties" at local playgrounds. He said this is how the virus spreads, and people should stay home.
3:05 p.m. There are now 53 cases of COVID-19 in Onondaga County, County Executive Ryan McMahon announced today. That's an increase of eight cases since yesterday. He said the numbers will continue to go up, because of the high number of tests done over the last several days. He said 42% of the positive cases in Onondaga County involve people under the age of 40. Officials are asking anyone who went to Ascioti's Market in Solvay on 3/17 between 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m. to contact the health department. Anyone in the store at that time may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
3:00 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is giving his daily briefing. Watch live below.
2:45 p.m. SUNY Cortland is the latest college to postpone its commencement ceremony. In a statement today, college president Erik Bitterbaum said he hopes to reschedule the ceremony, but no new date has been set.
2:25 p.m. Two inmates in the state prison system, along with two parolees and at least 17 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a report from North Country Public Radio. The Cuomo administration has already suspended visitation at state correctional facilities and is taking other measures to slow the spread of the virus in the state prison system.
11:45 a.m. Centro is waiving all fares to ride its buses until further notice, including its Call-A-Bus service. Anyone who needs to ride the bus will be required to enter and exit through the rear door (for buses that have rear doors). Centro has also closed its indoor waiting areas at transit hubs in Syracuse and Utica. Centro will continue to operate its normal schedule on weekdays and weekends until further notice.
11:23 a.m. Cuomo says people need to settle in and let this virus slow down. But he says again that people do not need to panic. "Life is going to be quieter for several months. Things will still function. You won't be at work. You won't be sitting in restaurants. Less noise can be a good thing," Cuomo said. "Many people will get this virus, but few people are truly endangered."
11:17 a.m. Cuomo talks about the impact on the state's economy. "You can't stop the economy forever," Cuomo said. He said there needs to be a discussion of whether to send people who are not vulnerable to the virus back to work. "We implemented New York Pause. We need to think about New York Forward," he said.
11:15 a.m. New numbers: 20,875 confirmed cases, 2,635 are hospitalized, a 13% hospitalization rate. 157 people in New York have died as a result of COVID-19.
11:02 a.m. Cuomo is asking any retired healthcare professional to volunteer to help in hospitals. He says they have had 30,000 responses so far. As far as supplies, Cuomo said "We have made strides" but he says states are competing with each other for supplies and equipment. He again calls on the president to utilize the Defense Production Act, which would force a company to manufacture medical supplies during a national emergency.
11:01 a.m. In 10 days, New York State went from testing 1,000 people per day to 16,000 per day. "We're doing more testing than anyone," Cuomo said. There are multiple drive through testing locations in the state. Cuomo is issuing an emergency order today mandating hospitals to increase their capacity by at least 50%. The state has 53,000 hospital beds. "We need 110,000," Cuomo said.
11:00 a.m. Cuomo says the key is to reduce the spread of the virus, and to increase hospital capacity. "We have taken every action government can take," Cuomo said. He says the greatest density control issue is in New York City. He said people are not practicing safe social distancing. "Young people can get it. You will get it, and you can transmit it. It is reckless."
10:45 a.m. Gov. Cuomo's briefing is underway. Watch live below.
9:55 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will hold his daily briefing at 10:45 a.m. We'll post the live video for you to watch when it becomes available.
7:30 a.m. Good morning. Unless you're an essential worker in New York, chances are you're at home to start the work week. All non-essential businesses are closed, people are working remotely if they can, and the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to rise. Gov. Cuomo will hold a briefing later this morning, as will other county officials. We'll post live video of the briefings when they become available. In the meantime, here are a few of yesterday's top stories.
- Central New York's first death from the coronavirus is in Madison County. Officials there say an elderly woman with an underlying medical condition passed away as a result of contracting COVID-19.
- Oswego County announced its first two cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Two women, both who had been traveling, became sick after returning home. One is in her 20s, one in her 30s.
- The number of cases in Onondaga County is up to 45. Officials announced yesterday that 13 of the cases involve people under the age of 29.
- Gov. Cuomo chided New Yorkers yesterday for ignoring social distancing orders, especially in New York City. “I don’t know what they’re not understanding,” Cuomo said, his voice rising. “This is not life as usual. This is just a mistake! It is a mistake! It is insensitive. It is arrogant. It is self-destructive,” Cuomo said. “This is not a joke and I am not kidding.”
We'll have more updates throughout the day. Stay tuned.
Sunday, March 22
5:00 p.m. Oswego County officials say the two people confirmed to have COVID-19 both range in age from 20-40. Oswego County has tested 104 people, 64 are being monitored under a voluntary quarantine, and 5 are under a mandatory quarantine.
4:30 p.m. Cayuga County has announced two new cases of COVID-19. Officials say the cases involve a woman in her 20s and a woman in her 30s. One of them knows the person who previously tested positive. They say there are currently 45 tests still waiting for results.
3:20 p.m. Oneida County has announced two more positive cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to seven. Officials say one person is hospitalized. Additionally, Oswego County has announced its first two positive cases of COVID-19. Officials say they will have more information at 5 p.m.
3:05 p.m. There are 11 new cases of the coronavirus in Onondaga County, for a total of 45. County Executive Ryan McMahon said that number is likely to go up as more test results come in. He said people with confirmed cases are from all over the county. "We have a situation where we have a community spread," he said.
- Women: 25
- Men: 20
- Age 29 and under: 13
- Ages 30-39: 6
- Ages 40-49: 7
- Ages 50-59: 6
- Ages 60-69: 5
- Ages 70-79: 7
- Ages 80-89: 1
3:00 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is giving his daily briefing. Watch live below:
1:15 p.m. Jefferson County has reported its second case of COVID-19. In a statement, Jefferson County officials said the person is a resident of Jefferson County, and works at Carthage Area Hospital. The person is under a mandatory quarantine, and all other employees and/or patients that had been in contact with the person have been notified. Health officials say the hospital remains open.
11:55 a.m. Madison County officials have announced a total of three positive cases of COVID-19. Officials announced one case yesterday. That person is in mandatory isolation. Officials have since had two more positive results. Both of those people had already been in isolation, but officials are contacting anyone that may have come in contact with the people who have tested positive. Full briefing from Madison County officials below.
11:45 a.m. Cuomo says this will not be a short term situation. He says it's likely that 40-80% of people will end up contracting COVID-19. "It's going to be hard, I'm not minimizing it and I don't think you should either. But it is going to be ok," Cuomo said. "Grocery stores are going to function, there will be food. Pharmacies will be open. There's not going to be chaos. Life is going to go on. Different, but life is going to go on. There's no reason to go to the grocery store and hoard food. Toilet paper is going to be there."
11:35 a.m. New numbers as of today: 15,168 positive cases in New York with 114 deaths. 70% of those who have died were over age 70. 80% of those under 70 who have died had an underlying condition.
11:32 a.m. Cuomo says young people need to be careful. Cuomo said 53% of cases in the state involve people between ages 18-49. Young people can get it, and they can transfer it to people who can then die from it. Cuomo said he was n New York City yesterday and saw parks full of people. "None of this is life as usual. You would think there was nothing going on. I don't know what they are not understanding. It is a mistake. It is has to stop and it has to stop now. It is not a joke and I am not kidding," Cuomo said.
11:30 a.m. Cuomo says hospitals are being mandated to increase capacity by a minimum of 50% with the goal of 100%. All non-critical elective surgeries will be canceled as of Wednesday. "This is a matter of public health, and we're starting this today," Cuomo said. The state is also repurposing existing healthcare facilities.
11:20 a.m. New York will start a drug trial this Tuesday using anti-malaria drugs. He says the state has secured 70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 doses of zithromax and 750,000 doses of chloroquine. Cuomo said there's a good possibility this will work. "We don't know, but let's find out and let's find out quickly."
11:17 a.m. Cuomo says New York received no funding from the first coronavirus bill, due to a technical mistake in the bill. He says New York has 15 times more cases than any other state, and has the greatest need for funding. He's asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to erect temporary field hospitals at Stony Brook, Westbury, Westchester and the Javits Center in Manhattan. Each field hospital can serve 250 patients each, but they don't come with staff or supplies. He says in his view, construction on these hospitals can begin tomorrow. FEMA will also erect four federal hospitals at the Javits Center. These hospitals are fully staffed and equipped.
11:09 a.m. Cuomo is calling on President Trump to use the Defense Production Act to force companies to produce masks, gowns and ventilators. "If I could do it in New York, I would do it," said Cuomo. He says utilizing the DPA would save money by avoiding price gouging and competition by states and hospitals.
11:05 a.m. Gov. Cuomo says the federal government needs to nationalize medical supply acquisition. He says states simply cannot manage it. "States are competing against other states. I'm trying to buy the same masks California is trying to buy. Masks used to cost 85 cents. Now they cost $7.00. This is just an impossible situation to manage."
10:30 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will give a briefing at 11:00 a.m. Watch live below.
7:00 a.m. Good morning, and happy Sunday. We expect Gov. Cuomo to hold a briefing later this morning, and Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will hold a briefing at 3 p.m. We'll post links to watch the briefings live when they become available. In the meantime, here are a few of yesterday's top stories.
- Gov. Cuomo is "scouring the globe" for more ventilators to treat serious cases of COVID-19, as the number of cases continues its sharp rise. He's looking to increase the state's hospital bed capacity from 50,000 to 75,000 and is asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to set up four temporary field hospitals, each equipped to treat 250 patients.
- There was a big uptick in positive cases in Onondaga County. County Executive Ryan McMahon announced 21 new cases yesterday, primarily due to the hundreds of test results that came back. He said there will likely be another big increase in positive cases, because hundreds of more test results are due back in the next few days.
- Starting at 8 p.m. tonight, if you're driving on the NYS Thruway, you won't take a ticket when getting on the highway, and you won't pay cash when getting off. Instead, when exiting the Thruway, you'll tell a toll booth operator your license plate number and where you got on, and you'll be sent a bill within 30 days.
- All state and county-run DMV offices are closed, and road tests are suspended until further notice. A number of services are available online, but any drivers license, non-driver ID, or registration that expires after March 1 will be extended until further notice.
Saturday, March 21
7:20 p.m. New York State is closing all state and county-run DMV offices and road tests are suspended until further notice, the state announced today. Drivers will still be able to renew drivers licenses, non-driver IDs and registrations online, but all in-person transactions are suspended. Any drivers license, non-driver ID or registration set to expire after March 1 will be extended until further notice. Th 45-day temporary registration issued by auto dealers will also be extended. A number of online transactions can still be done. Click here for the full list.
6:15 p.m. Madison County has announced its first case of COVID-19. County officials plan to say more at a press conference tomorrow morning. The person is currently under quarantine and officials are contacting anyone that may have come in contact with the person. The county has 44 tests that are pending.
3:20 p.m. Two new cases of COVID-19 are being reported in Wayne County, officials announced this afternoon. That brings the total number of cases in the county to three. Health officials say all three are being treated in area hospitals. The cases involve a female in her 80s, a male in his 70s and another male in his 60s.
3:10 p.m. Onondaga County Ryan McMahon says there has been a big spike in cases since yesterday, due to the number of test results that came back. 700 test results came back yesterday, 21 of them positive. The county now has a total of 34 positive cases. 80 people are currently under a mandatory quarantine, and McMahon says "at least some of them will come back positive."
Breakdown of cases:
- 19 females
- 15 males
- 13 cases involved people under age 40
- 9 cases involve people aged 40-60
- 9 cases involve people over age 60
- 2 people currently hospitalized
2:55 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is holding a briefing at 3 p.m. Watch live below:
2:45 p.m. Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup said today there are 91 people tested or scheduled to be tested for the coronavirus, 52 people are being monitored, but there are still no confirmed cases. County Administrator Phil Church says there is a shortage of personal protective equipment in the county. He's asking all manufacturers of apparel in the county to offer supplies to the county before selling it elsewhere.
2:30 p.m. Oswego County Chairman James Weatherup will give a statement on the coronavirus in the county at 2:45 p.m. As of noon today, Weatherup said there were still no confirmed cases in the county. Watch below:
2:15 p.m. The New York State Thruway Authority has put emergency toll procedures in place due to the coronavirus. Starting tomorrow at 8 p.m., if you do not have EZ-Pass, you will no longer collect a ticket when entering the Thruway, or pay cash when you exit. Instead, when drivers exit they will be asked where they entered the Thruway, and their license plate number. The driver will then be sent a bill within 30 days that can be paid with a credit card online.
2:12 p.m. Broome County has reported its first death related to the coronavirus. County Executive Jason Garnar said today that a person with a newly confirmed case of the virus died at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton. Health officials are reaching out to anyone that may have come in contact with the individual.
12:10 p.m. During the governor's briefing, a map showed new cases in the state. Oswego County was listed as having a new case of COVID-19. But Oswego County officials say that is an error. County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup says that as of noon today, there are no confirmed cases in Oswego County. He believes two positive cases from Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester County were mistakenly attributed to the Town of Hastings in Oswego County. County officials say they will alert the public if/when there is a confirmed case in the county.
11:40 a.m. Cortland County has confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19. Health officials say one is a child under five, the other a person in their 50s. They are unrelated. Health officials are working to identify anyone who came in contact with the cases. 12 people in the county are under a self-quarantine and are not showing symptoms.
11:35 a.m. Cuomo is asking therapists and psychologists to volunteer their time to help people who are struggling with the stress and anxiety of the pandemic. "It would be all electronic, over the phone or Skype. Cuomo says if enough people volunteer, the state would set up a mental health center.
11:30 a.m. Cuomo says "We are all first responders. We are going to get through this." But he says it's going to take months, not weeks, to get through. "How long and how well it takes to get through it is up to us. It depends on what we do."
11:26 a.m. Cuomo chides younger people who are not complying with social distancing. "You are wrong," said Cuomo. "You are not superman. You are not superwoman. You can get this virus and you can transfer this virus."
11:25 a.m. "Stop listening to rumors. There's going to be food in the grocery stores. There's no reason to buy 100 rolls of toilet paper. There's not going to be a roadblock," said Cuomo.
11:23 a.m. Cuomo says the hospitalization rate in New York is about 15%. 1,603 out of 10, 356 cases are hospitalized.
11:18 a.m. New Numbers: total number of positive cases in New York is 10,356. Cuomo says the "hotspot" of Westchester is slowing, which is "good news," according to Cuomo. Cuomo says Oswego County has its first confirmed case.
11:17 a.m. Cuomo says the goal is to find more positive cases. "The more tests you take, the more positives you will find," Cuomo said. New York is taking more tests per capita than China or South Korea. 45,000 tests have been conducted in New York.
11:15 a.m. New York State is asking the federal government four field hospitals, four Army Corps of Engineers hospitals, medical supply assistance, and is asking NY's Congressional delegation to increase New York's assistance to $6 billion. Cuomo said this was due to a technical error. This is part of the major disaster declaration approved by President Trump yesterday.
11:10 a.m. Cuomo says the state is increasing hospital capacity, canceling elective surgeries, reconfiguring space, hiring more staff. The state is also looking at large sites that can be used as extra hospital space. Cuomo will visit a number of sites today. Cuomo says there is a drastic undersupply of medical supplies like masks. Apparel manufacturers in the state are being converted to make masks.
10:30 a.m. Governor Andrew Cuomo will deliver a briefing on the coronavirus at 11 a.m. Watch live below:
7:30 a.m. Good morning. Gov. Cuomo and Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon will both hold briefings today. We'll post links to watch live when they're available. He's a recap of some of yesterday's top stories:
- New York is on "pause." Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ordering all non-essential businesses shut down at 8 p.m. Sunday to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus. There are exceptions to the rule, including grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and yes...liquor stores.
- Onondaga County has 13 confirmed cases, but officials are expecting a spike in positive cases. More than 1300 people have been tested in the county since Monday. Meanwhile, health officials want anyone who went to the America's Best Eyeglasses store on Erie Blvd. East in DeWitt recently to watch for symptoms. An employee at that store has tested positive and had interaction with customers. More information here.
- Some counties around the state still don't have confirmed cases, but officials say it's just a matter of time. Meanwhile, President Trump has approved New York's request for a major disaster declaration. That will allow federal funding and resources to help New York's fight against the coronavirus.
Friday, March 20
7:00 p.m. President Trump has approved New York's request for a major disaster declaration, which will provide the state with federal funding to help with the coronavirus outbreak. The approval will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide resources and assistance. New York has more than 7,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
6:30 p.m. Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) will hold a telephone town hall meeting on the coronavirus this coming Monday at 5:15 p.m. Katko will be joined by representatives from Upstate Medical University and the CNY Food Bank to answer questions from callers. Anyone who would like to join the call can sign up here, but you need to sign up by 12:00 p.m. Sunday.
5:25 p.m. Tompkins County officials say 11 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 515 individuals are in quarantine and being monitored by the county health department. There are 280 test results that are still pending.
5:20 p.m. Oswego County health officials say as of Friday afternoon, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, however, some individuals are still awaiting testing and 54 people are being monitored.
4:28 p.m. Here's just a small silver lining in all the news on the coronavirus: parking in the city of Syracuse will be free for the next 30 days. Mayor Ben Walsh says parking meter enforcement will be suspended until April 19. Walsh said eliminating meter fees will make it easier for essential employees and for carry-out food establishments to run. Other parking regulations, including alternate side, handicapped, restricted zone, and no parking, will still be enforced.
3:20 p.m. Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow is creating a $250,000 fund to offer no-interest loans to help small businesses impacted by the health pandemic. Buinesses with fewer than 25 employees are eligible for up to $10,000 with no payments due until September 2020 and no closing costs. The applications will be available starting Monday. Barlow says the funds will be distributed to businesses within 10 days of the city's receipt of the application.
12:55 p.m. Novelis, the aluminum manufacturing plant in Oswego County, is shutting down some of its plant today due to the temporary shutdown measures that U.S. automakers are taking in response to COVID-19. The partial closure is scheduled to last until the end of the month, at which time the company will reevaluate the situation. Affected employees will be paid during the closure according to a company spokesperson. The remainder of the plant will stay open, subject to any federal or state government directives, to continue supplying aluminum for the beverage can and specialty markets.
12:40 p.m. Madison County has its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Colgate University says one of its students has tested positive for the coronavirus. The student traveled from campus to their home state on Monday. They were tested Wednesday, and got a positive result on Thursday. Health officials are working to inform anyone that came in contact with the student that they may have been exposed to the virus.
12:15 p.m. The community testing site in Syracuse has seen over 800 people since opening on Monday. "Monday feels like a month ago, but it was Monday," said McMahon.
12:10 p.m. Onondaga County asks anyone who went to the America's Best Contacts and Eyeglasses located at 3401 Erie Blvd East in DeWitt to watch for symptoms because an employee at that store has tested positive for COVID-19. People who were at the store at the following times may have been exposed:
- Monday 3/9 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
- Tuesday 3/10 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
- Wednesday 3/11 10:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
- Thursday 3/12 9:30 a.m. -3:30 p.m.
12:10 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announces six new cases of COVID-19 in the county for a total of 13 cases. Two out of the 13 are hospitalized. Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta says "young people are vulnerable to this disease." Several of the cases in Onondaga County are people in their 20s and 30s.
12:05 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is delivering his daily briefing. Watch below:
11:37 a.m. Cuomo says he knows businesses and lives will be disrupted. But the reason he is doing this...is to save lives. "The philosophy that always worked for me is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. When we look back at this situation, I want to be able to say 'I did everything we could do.' This is about saving lives," he said.
11:35 a.m. Cuomo said 16 days ago, there were zero cases in New York. Today there are over 7,000. "This is why we're taking these actions today," Cuomo said.
11:25 a.m. New numbers: 7,102 confirmed cases, with 35 deaths in New York. Most of them are in New York City, but numbers are expected to continue to rise across the state. Cuomo says again, higher numbers are the result of more testing. "We have done a great job of ramping up the number of tests, but you're going to get more positive cases," Cuomo said. He said 10,000 tests were done last night. He said the rate of hospitalization is 18% (1,255 out of 7,102 cases).
11:20 a.m. Gov. Cuomo is now mandating 100% of workers stay home. Only essential services will be allowed to have workers going to work. Cuomo says people must remain indoors "to the greatest extent." "We're going to close the valve," Cuomo said. "When I talk about the most drastic action we can take, this is the most drastic action we can take."
"What you do can affect my health," Cuomo said. He says businesses that stay open will face civil fines and mandatory closures for businesses that are not in compliance.
11:15 a.m. "Ventilators, ventilators, ventilators. That is what we need," Cuomo said. Any regulated facility that has a ventilator is being asked to give it to the state, and the state will pay.
11:10 a.m. Gov. Cuomo says the state needs more hospital beds. He says capacity needs to be increased by 50%. The state is canceling all non-critical elective surgeries. He is also asking all product providers to help make more personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. "We will pay a premium for these products," Cuomo said.
11:04 a.m. Oneida County has confirmed another case of COVID-19, bringing their total to five cases, according to Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente.
11:00 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is giving his daily briefing. Watch below:
9:45 a.m. Oswego County says it is currently monitoring 42 people for possible exposure to the coronavirus. 60 county residents have been tested for COVID-19 so far, but there are no positive results as of yet. Residents with questions about the coronavirus are urged to call the county's COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
7:45 a.m. If you need to get a haircut, want to get your nails done, or you need that last minute tattoo or piercing, do it today. Gov. Cuomo has ordered all barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo shops and piercing parlors close by 8 p.m. tomorrow. This is in addition to the extension of the governor's order yesterday, mandating that businesses keep at least 75% of their employees home, with certain exceptions for essential services.
7:40 a.m. Add Kohls to the list of stores closing down over the coronavirus. Yesterday, Dick's Sporting Goods, Marshalls and TJ Maxx announced they would be closing their stores for the next two weeks. Dick's will still take online orders and provide curbside pickup. Kohls will be closing its stores "through at least April 1." Employees will be paid for the next two weeks. Customers can still order items online, and items will be shipped to people's homes.
6:30 a.m. Good morning. Before we get started for today, here are a few of yesterday's headlines:
- The number of people statewide with the coronavirus is over 5,200 now as of last night, and that number is expected to keep growing quickly as more people get tested.
- There were seven confirmed cases in Onondaga County as of yesterday, but again, that number is expected to rise. The city of Syracuse is starting an interest-free loan program for small businesses affected by the coronavirus.
- Local musicians are also being hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. With most public places closed, they have nowhere to play. But some are holding "virtual concerts" online.
We'll have more updates throughout the day.
Thursday, March 19
7:45 p.m. Remember the state's ban on single-use plastic bags? It went into effect March 1, even though it feels like a year ago. When the ban went into effect, the state DEC said it wouldn't penalize stores until April 1. That has been pushed back because of the coronavirus. An order signed in State Supreme Court this week pushes that enforcement date back to May 15.
7:30 p.m. TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores will be closed for the next two weeks due to the coronavirus. Company CEO Ernie Herrmann said all stores and online businesses will be shut down, with some employees working remotely.
7:00 p.m. Ontario County announced its first cases of the coronavirus today. Three people have tested positive in the Finger Lakes county. One of the cases is a student at Canandaigua Middle School. Officials say the student and their family is under quarantine and the teenager is recovering.
4:20 p.m. Cazenovia College has extended its remote instruction period due to the coronavirus. The college will now hold classes online for the rest of the semester. All on-campus events through the rest of the semester have been canceled. Commencement ceremonies are being postponed.
SUNY Oswego has closed down to all but essential personnel. This morning, President Deborah Stanley sent a message to the campus community asking students to not come back to campus after spring break, except students with extenuating circumstances. Students who stayed on campus can remain, but most buildings on campus are closed and services will be limited. But Stanley encouraged any students left on campus to leave if they can. Stanley also said that classes would be held remotely until further notice. (Disclosure: WRVO's main studios are on the SUNY Oswego main campus. Most of our staff is working remotely during this time.)
3:55 p.m. The NYS Department of Labor says it doing its best to keep up with an unprecedented increase in the number of calls and web traffic for unemployment insurance claims. The labor department says web traffic is 400% higher than normal, and they've seen a 1000% increase in claims from some parts of the state. They are increasing server capacity to help web traffic, and shifting more people to help answer phone calls. They also plan to extend hours to allow more time for people to file.
We are experiencing an unprecedented increase in the volume of calls/traffic for UI claims. This surge has created intermittent interruptions in service.
Here's how we're working to address the situation so everyone who is entitled to benefits receives them in a timely manner: pic.twitter.com/8ZovCM3SIC
— NYS Dept of Labor (@NYSLabor) March 19, 2020
3:02 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announce the creation of an emergency loan program to help small businesses stay in business. The Syracuse Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) will be providing $500,000 worth of loans to small businesses in Syracuse affected negatively by the coronavirus. The loans will be zero interest for six months. Small businesses with less than 50 employees can apply. They are expecting most loans will be around $10,000.
“The purpose is to prevent staff reductions, allow business operations to continue, to offset losses related to the coronavirus, and help companies sponsor sick pay for workers,” Walsh said.
12:30 p.m. Onondaga County reports another positive case of COVID-19, a man in his 30s. This brings the total number of cases in the county up to 7. County Executive Ryan McMahon will hold another briefing at 3 p.m.
12:15 p.m. A drive-up testing site for potential COVID-19 cases is opening in Watertown at the Samaritan Medical Center. It is by appointment only. In order to be tested, people must first call the Samaritan Resource Line at 315-755-3100, which is open 8 a.m.–9 p.m. 7 days a week.
11:35 a.m. Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) says he will self-quarantine after coming in contact with another member of Congress who has tested positive. Brindisi said he came in contact with Utah Rep. Ben McAdams, and "on the advice of the Attending Physician of the United States Congress, I will self-quarantine until March 27." Brindisi said in a statement. He said he is in good health and shows no symptoms.
Out of an abundance of caution and on the advice of the Attending Physician of the United States Congress, I will self-quarantine until Friday, March 27, 2020.
I am not exhibiting any symptoms and remain in good health. (2/4)
— Rep. Anthony Brindisi (@RepBrindisi) March 19, 2020
11:30 a.m. Oneida County has confirmed two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive cases in the county to four.
11:10 a.m. State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says a third member of the Assembly has tested positive for COVID-19. Kimberly Jean-Pierre tested positive yesterday after a family member became sick. Heastie said she did not have any contact with other Assemblymembers or staff, and that she is back at home under a quarantine.
10:50 a.m. Gov. Cuomo says the state will offer 90-day mortgage relief for those with financial hardships. There will also be no fees for overdrafts, ATMs and credit card payments. (See his full briefing below).
10:45 a.m. Gov. Cuomo says the number of new cases in the state has risen to 4,152, the most in the nation. 19% of people are hospitalized. He calls this a healthcare crisis, saying there are around 5,000 ventilators in the state, and 30,000 will be needed.
10:35 a.m. Gov. Cuomo announces that businesses in New York cannot have more than 25% of its employees in-house. Yesterday, he announced that 50% must work remotely, but he is extending it because of the continued spread of the coronavirus.
10:30 a.m. Governor Cuomo said during his daily briefing that he spoke to President Trump last night and that the government is "stepping up to the plate."
9:55 a.m. Dick's Sporting Goods announced today that they will close all of its stores until Thursday, April 2. People can still order merchandise online and they will provide curbside pickup from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.
9:40 a.m. Expect the numbers of positive cases of COVID-19 in New York to go up by a lot over the next several days. During an appearance on CNN this morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York did 8,000 coronavirus tests overnight. "We don't have the results of the 8,000 tests, but when you do 8,000 tests, the numbers are going to go up exponentially," Cuomo said. "And, again, reality in all of this, it doesn't mean that it is indicative of how many people have the virus, it is how many people you are testing. And when you do 8,000, you're going to see a major increase."
7:50 a.m. Walmart stores are changing their hours to keep up with demand due to the coronavirus. Starting today, Walmart stores will be open from 7 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. This will allow employees more time to clean and restock shelves. Walmart is also joining other grocers in allowing seniors to shop first. Starting next week, anyone age 60 and up can shop at Walmart each Tuesday an hour before the stores open for everyone else.
7:00 a.m. Central New York Reps. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) are pushing the Trump administration to issue a major disaster declaration for New York in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The two sent a letter to the administration yesterday asking the president to issue the declaration as soon as possible. The declaration would free up federal money and resources to help the state deal with the outbreak. 14 other members of Congress from New York also signed onto the letter.
6:50 a.m. Gov. Cuomo signed an executive order last night that requires workplaces in the state to reduce their in-person workforce by 50% by 8 p.m. Friday. Essential services are exempt from the rule, including healthcare, grocery stores, pharmacies, infrastructure, trash collection, news media, etc. You can see the full list of exceptions here.
6:40 a.m. Good morning. Here's a brief recap of some of yesterday's top stories:
- The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Onondaga County is up to 6. Three new cases were announced yesterday afternoon. Officials expect that number to keep climbing as more tests are done.
- The Central New York Community Foundation has announced the start of a fund to help nonprofits and charities that work with people affected by the coronavirus. Organizations can fill out an online form to apply for grant funding.
- It's an unprecedented time in Albany, as state lawmakers are still trying to get business done. Lawmakers are trying to get a simplified state budget done this week. The state budget deadline is April 1. Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo signed into a law a bill last evening guaranteeing paid sick leave for anyone under a mandatory or precautionary quarantine because of the coronavirus.
- Most churches around the region have canceled Sunday services, but many churches, some that run food pantries, remain open.
We'll have more updates as the day goes on. Stay safe, and wash your hands!
Wednesday, March 18
7:45 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill that will guarantee paid sick leave for anyone under a mandatory or precautionary quarantine from the coronavirus.
I just signed into law paid sick leave to guarantee pay for those under mandatory or precautionary quarantine.
In New York we stand with our workers in sickness and in health. pic.twitter.com/jkKpTyCtp8
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 18, 2020
7:30 p.m. Cayuga County has its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Health officials say a man in his early 30s traveling through the area felt sick and sought care in the county. The person has been quarantined since March 14, and is recovering.
6:30 p.m. Tompkins County reported more cases of COVID-19. Health officials say there are now six positive cases. 86 people are currently under quarantine in the county and 93 tests are pending.
4:00 p.m. The Central New York Community Foundation announced the start of a fund meant to help local nonprofits and charities that are working with vulnerable people and those who have been hurt economically, by the coronavirus outbreak. It will focus on safety net issues like food security, housing and child care. The foundation is working on a simple online form that organizations can use to apply for the grants. The foundation is making an initial contribution of $300,000 to the fund. They are soliciting donations and anyone, including institutions and local businesses, can contribute by going to cnycf.org/covid19.
3:25 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon says there are three new positive cases of COVID-19. McMahon said one is a person who traveled from New York City, one had traveled to Spain, and one is a person in their 20s.
— Tom Magnarelli (@TomMagnarelli) March 18, 2020
3:10 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ordering that all indoor shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys in the state close effective tomorrow night at 8 p.m. New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut are all doing the same. Earlier today, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon ordered the closure of Destiny USA, Shoppingtown Mall and Great Northern Mall at 5:00 p.m. today.
3:00 p.m. Tops Markets is joining other chains in offering seniors the chance to shop first each day. Starting tomorrow, anyone age 60 or older can shop from 6-7:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. Price Chopper is also allowing seniors to shop exclusively from 6-7 a.m.
12:20 p.m. From earlier today, President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to temporarily close the U.S - Canadian border to non-essential traffic. This is sure to have a big impact on parts of the North Country, where a lot of people regularly cross the border. Here's more from North Country Public Radio.
12:07 p.m. In his daily briefing, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announces a third positive case of COVID-19 in the county. McMahon said the person is a woman who was visiting New York City. She is currently recovering at home. He said this case is not related to the first two cases.
11:55 a.m. Cuomo stressed during his briefing that people should not panic because the number of confirmed cases jumped so quickly. He says it's because the state is able to do more testing. 108 people who had COVID-19 and were hospitalized have recovered and have been discharged.
11:50 a.m. Gov. Cuomo said that he will sign an executive order saying no business in New York can have more than 50% of their workforce report to work. This is a mandatory requirement. Essential services will be exempt, including grocery stores, pharmacies, shipping, etc. The full list of businesses exempt will be released later today. Cuomo said the order could be expanded if the spread of the virus doesn't slow down.
11:45 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus jumped by more than 1,000 since yesterday. As of this morning, there are 2,382 confirmed cases, with 20 deaths. Cuomo said the federal government is sending a hospital ship, the USNS Comfort to New York. It's an extra 1,000 hospital beds.
10 a.m. President Donald Trump has announced that the U.S. - Canada border will be closed to all non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected.
We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2020
9:50 a.m. Oneida County has confirmed its second positive case of COVID-19. County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. will provide more information in an update briefing this afternoon at 3 p.m. in the Oneida County Legislators Chamber on the 10th Floor of the County Office Building in Utica.
8:25 a.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon has signed an executive order closing all shopping malls in the county effective at 5:00 p.m. today. That means Destiny USA in Syracuse, Shoppingtown Mall in Dewitt and Great Northern Mall in Clay will all close. McMahon said he's ordering the malls closed in order to maintain social distancing protocols to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus.
6:20 a.m. Cayuga County, which has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at this time, announces that government services will continue with adjustments to ensure the safety of both staff and residents, effective today, Wednesday, March 18. Officials are asking that residents visit county offices only for time-sensitive and immediate needs. County staff should be contacted in advance of any visits to government offices, as assistance is often available over the phone or by email. The county provides information on office closures and contact information on the Cayuga County COVID-19 response website.
6:00 a.m. Good morning. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is likely to give another briefing today, and we're expecting a sharp rise in the number of people confirmed to have COVID-19, mainly because of increased testing that's being done in the state. We'll update the numbers above when they're announced. Meanwhile, here is a recap of some of the bigger stories from yesterday:
- A part-time employee at Fort Drum has tested positive for the coronavirus. The person lives in Albany, but travels to the base for work. Jefferson, Oneida and Broome counties also announced their first cases yesterday.
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said yesterday that city residents should be prepared to "shelter in place" for 48 hours, but Gov. Cuomo said that would be a state decision and he's not considering a shelter in place order right now.
- Onondaga County had no new positive cases of COVID-19 yesterday, but County Executive Ryan McMahon said he expects numbers to rise quickly. That's because more than 200 people have been tested at the community test site in Syracuse, which opened Monday. He expects the results of those tests by Thursday or Friday.
- Tompkins County reported a third case of COVID-19, and ordered all licensed daycare centers in the county to close starting today. Meanwhile, Onondaga County is making 250 daycare slots available for children of healthcare workers and first responders who are working while schools are closed.
- Most grocery stores in the area are reducing the hours they're open so they have more time to clean and restock items. Wegmans, Tops, and Price Chopper will all be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Price Chopper will allow seniors to shop exclusively from 6-7 a.m. at its stores. Dollar General stores are also instituting a policy to allow seniors to shop during the first hour after opening.
We'll have more news updates throughout the day, so keep checking in.
Tuesday, March 17
7:45 p.m. More grocery stores are adjusting their hours to try and keep up with customer demand. Earlier today, Wegmans announced it was changing its hours to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tops and Price Chopper will also be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., to give staff more time to clean and restock items. While Price Chopper will open at 7 a.m. to the general public, seniors can shop exclusively from 6 a.m.-7 a.m.
7:30 p.m. Tompkins County has ordered all licensed daycare centers in the county to close starting tomorrow lasting until April 14th. Health officials say the closure is to promote social distancing and protect high-risk individuals. This comes on the same day Onondaga County announced 250 spots will be available for children of healthcare workers and first responders at county daycares.
7:15 p.m. Jefferson County has announced its first case of COVID-19. Health officials say the person has been under a mandatory quarantine. This is the first county resident to test positive, but the second person in the county. Earlier today, a part-time Fort Drum employee, who lives in the Albany area, tested positive.
6:30 p.m. Broome County has reported it's first positive case of COVID-19. Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said the person isn't a resident of Broome County but is being treated at a county hospital.
5:40 p.m. Tompkins County has announced a third confirmed case of COVID-19. Health officials haven't released any information about the person, other than to say they have been in isolation since being tested.
4:45 p.m. Monroe County has seen its first death related to COVID-19. Monroe County health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said he could not release any additional details, other than to say that there were "complicating factors that contributed to the death."
3:00 p.m. Fort Drum announced that a part-time employee at the base, who lives in Albany, tested positive for COVID-19 today. The individual was most recently on base last week. The Education Center where the employee worked has been closed and base personnel are investigating whether the employee came into contact with others at Fort Drum.
3:00 p.m. Two colleges have announced that they will extend online classes through the end of the semester. Both LeMoyne and Ithaca College will continue online instruction, and Ithaca College President Shirley Collado says graduation will be postponed. She set a "target date" of August 1 for graduation.
3:00 p.m. The husband and wife in Onondaga County with COVID-19 are both doing well, according to Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. The woman is in the hospital, while the husband is recovering at home. McMahon said as of now there are no other confirmed cases, but he expects that number to go up, because tests conducted at the community test site in Syracuse that opened Monday will be in by Thursday. McMahon said as of this afternoon, more than 200 people in Onondaga County have been tested. Watch his full afternoon briefing below.
2:50 p.m. In partnership with Child Care Solutions, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced 250 prioritized slots for day care to the children of parents working in health care, nursing homes and first responders. Call 315-446-1220. Some who work in child care say it's a safer choice than being in schools, which are closed in New York State for at least two weeks.
2:30 p.m. Wegmans is adjusting its store hours again in response to the coronavirus. All stores will now be open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. so employees can clean and restock shelves.
1:00 p.m. Destiny USA has announced that while it will stay open, it will operate on reduced hours starting tomorrow. The mall will be open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
12:30 p.m. Dollar General has announced it will allow seniors to shop before anyone else each morning. Starting today, the first hour of operation at each store will be open for seniors to do their shopping. Dollar General stores will also close one hour early to allow employees to clean and restock shelves.
12:00 p.m. Hospitals in Syracuse are canceling some elective surgeries over the coronavirus. Crouse Hospital is canceling all elective procedures, and Upstate University Hospital says it will postpone all elective procedures "that can safely be postponed for up to two months."
11:30 a.m. A sharp increase in laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits strained New York state’s online application system. The surge came after Cuomo announced the state is waiving its seven-day waiting period for workers to claim unemployment insurance if they have been put out of work by the coronavirus. Department of Labor spokeswoman Deanna Cohen said in an email Tuesday there were “glitches on and off due to the rapid influx of users,” but that the system was working Tuesday.
10:30 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says more closures could be coming in the future, especially for businesses and other non-essential services and organizations. He hopes to partner with more states in the area for these additional closures. There have been five new deaths in the past 24 hours, with an updated total of 12. There are now 1,374 confirmed cases in New York state.
When asked specifically about steps to quarantine or "shelter in place," as are in place in San Francisco, Cuomo indicated he is hesitant to impose something of that kind (any limiting of mobility). The governor says other options are being considered -- mainly to limit density.
10:20 a.m. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says the county has its first confirmed case of COVID-19. He said the person traveled abroad and has been quarantined since March 13. The person remains at home in isolation.
10:15 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is holding a briefing on the coronavirus. Watch live here.
9:45 a.m. Syracuse University is offering free bus tickets to students who are still on campus and need to get home. Tickets will be available to students going to New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Rockaway, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Students are being asked to take as many of their belongings with them as they can. The first buses leave at noon today.
7:45 a.m. Good morning, and happy St. Patrick's Day. Here is a recap of a few things that happened yesterday:
- Onondaga County has its first two confirmed cases of COVID-19. An elderly woman with an underlying condition was taken to a local hospital. Her husband also tested positive.
- As of now, all bars, restaurants, and cafes in the state are closed for dining. Most places remain open for take out or delivery. Gyms, casinos, movie theaters and any other place where a lot of people gather are also closed.
- Childcare is a big concern for a lot of people who need to work. In the city of Oswego, Mayor Billy Barlow is partnering with the Oswego YMCA and Little Lukes Childcare Center to provide free child care to kids while school is closed. Preference is given to health care workers and first responders.
- SUNY Oswego is asking all non-essential employees to work remotely through at least April 13. The college had remained open, and previously told students they could stay on campus during spring break and after if they wished. Classes were expected to be held online through mid-April.
You can find more information by scrolling down. We'll have more updates today as events unfold.
Monday, March 16
6:30 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order closing schools statewide for at least two weeks beginning March 18 and ending April 1, at which time the state will reassess the situation. The state will waive the 180-day instructional requirement. As part of the order, school districts will be required to develop a plan for alternative instructional options, including distance learning; distribution and availability of meals; and daycare, with an emphasis on children whose parents are first responders and healthcare workers.
5:45 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order delaying village elections in the state until April 28, the same day as the presidential primary. "Public health officials have been clear that reducing density is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread, and delaying village elections will help ensure poll workers and voters are not potentially exposed to the virus and at the same time maintain integrity in our election system," Cuomo said in a statement.
5:30 p.m. Oneida County has announced a new telephone hotline for county residents dedicated to answering questions about COVID-19. People can call 315-798-5431 for questions about the coronavirus and COVID-19.
5:00 p.m. Madison County has announced it is reducing staff at county offices. Those who can work from home, will. Non-essential services are temporarily suspended.
4:45 p.m. The Oswego County Health Department has announced it is monitoring four people for possible exposure to the coronavirus. All four individuals are in voluntary isolation, and are being monitored for symptoms. No one in Oswego County has tested positive for the virus as of yet.
4:35 p.m. The Onondaga County Sheriff's Department has announced it will end visitation at the Onondaga County Justice Center and the Jamesville Correctional Facility. Additionally, the sheriff's department will cut back on non-essential services. It will suspend the issuance of police/accident reports, Sheriff's ID cards, fingerprinting services and pistol permit services.
4:30 p.m. St. Joseph's Health is further limiting visitors to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus. As of tomorrow, no visitors will be allowed in most areas of the hospital. There are exceptions, like in the mother/baby unit. See the full list of exceptions.
4:07 p.m. Tompkins County health officials say they have a second confirmed case of COVID-19 in the county. Health officials didn't give any information about the person, other than the person has been in isolation since being tested.
3:30 p.m. Onondaga County has announced a second case of COVID-19 in the county. Health officials say the husband of the first confirmed case has also tested positive. He is currently at home and in isolation.
3:20 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced today that effective at the close of business tomorrow, 50% of county employees will work from home until April 1. Additionally, all county libraries will close at 4 p.m. today, and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo will close effective at 4 p.m. today. All recreational programs at Onondaga County parks are canceled through the end of April, and all buildings and bathrooms at county parks are closed immediately.
2:45 p.m. Syracuse University will transition to online classes for the remainder of the semester due to the coronavirus. Students who reside on campus have been told to make arrangements to depart for their permanent residence as soon as practically possible. The University pledged to assist students with this process, including those who need help with transportation and those who have no alternate residence available.
1:45 p.m. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces that the country is closing borders to people who are not citizens or permanent residents, with some exceptions. CBC News reports that U.S. citizens will be exempt from Canada's border restrictions. Only a handful of airports in Canada will allow incoming international flights.
11:30 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces new state numbers for coronavirus cases in New York. The new number of positive coronavirus cases in New York state is 950. There have been 7 COVID-19 related deaths. The few schools across New York state that remain open will be closed by Wednesday, according to the governor. More guidance on specifics will be announced this afternoon.
10:20 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces a "common set of rules" in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey to combat the spread of the coronavirus, including no gatherings of more than 50 people. The following establishments will be closed as of 8 p.m.: gyms, casinos and movie theaters. Bars and restaurants may only provide take out. The governor will provide a live update on the coronavirus at 10:45 a.m. You can watch Cuomo's latest updates online.
10:10 a.m. Onondaga County has its first confirmed cased of the coronavirus. Schools in the county will be shut down as of 4 p.m. today. According to County Executive Ryan McMahon, the individual has extensive medical history.
Scheduled for 10 a.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is providing an update on the coronavirus in the County Executive Conference Room at the civic center in downtown Syracuse this morning. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also holding a conference call with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. We'll keep you up-to-date on developments from these events.
8:25 a.m. WBFO is reporting that Tops Friendly Markets learned late Saturday evening that one associate who works out of the corporate headquarters in Williamsville, NY, near Buffalo, tested positive for COVID-19, but their offices remain open. The individual is under self-quarantine and had "limited contact with fellow co-workers at the corporate office," according to officials.
7 - 7:45 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo appears on multiple morning news shows to reiterate his belief that national standards need to be implemented to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. He also pushed again for federal assistance in increasing hospital capacity -- a point he made yesterday in his briefing and in an op-ed in the New York Times. Cuomo, on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" said he will announce more density control measures to combat the spread of the virus today, but the hospital system is still his focus.
6:15 a.m. A community testing site for the coronavirus opens today in Syracuse. It's located at the Syracuse Community Health Center on South Salina Street. It is primarily for people who do not have insurance or a primary care doctor. Anyone who thinks they need a test must first call a triage hotline set up by Upstate University Hospital. Volunteers will screen people and tell them if they should be tested. You can reach the hotline 24 hours a day by calling 315-464-3979.
6:10 a.m. Good morning. We'll continue to keep you updated here on the latest developments around the region. Be sure to scroll down for earlier updates. Most schools around central and northern New York are either closed as of today or will be closed by the end of this week. Madison County declared a state of emergency yesterday and all schools in the county will be closed by the end of the week. New York City announced last night that all bars, restaurants, cafes, movie theaters and clubs will be closing to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus. Restaurants will still be open for take out and delivery.
Sunday, March 15
A reminder that many schools around central and northern New York have decided to close. Please scroll down for updates.
10:40 p.m. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is encouraging those who need to contact them to do so by phone, email and/or attorney (if applicable), limiting in-person visits to WCB offices. Additionally, some offices are closed to the public starting Monday, March 15 – mainly downstate. Updates and additional guidance can be found on the WCB website.
7:30 p.m. Official numbers from the state have not yet been updated, but Monroe County is reporting eight new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total there to 10. Erie County is reporting four new cases, bringing the total there to seven.
7:00 p.m. Manlius Pebble Hill School will be closing immediately over concerns of the coronavirus. The school was expected to close starting Tuesday. Meanwhile, West Genesee schools will be open Monday, then closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but will be open for a half day Friday. Superintendent David Bills said that Monday, staff and students will prepare for "altered instruction." Then on Friday, students will pick up materials needed for remote learning. Schools will be closed through at least April 14.
5:00 p.m. Syracuse University has announced that only essential faculty and staff should report to campus starting Tuesday, lasting until at least March 30. Faculty and staff not required to report to campus can work remotely.
4:15 p.m. Cortland County and Wayne County have each declared states of emergency and will close their schools starting Wednesday, March 18, lasting until at least April 14.
2:30 p.m. Madison County Chairman John Becker has declared a state of emergency in the county, allowing schools to close "if they so choose." So far, Madison, Morrisville-Eaton and Stockbridge Valley schools will close starting tomorrow. Chittenango schools will close starting Tuesday.
2:15 p.m. Tompkins County officials announced yesterday that it had a confirmed case of the coronavirus. Today, health officials say that the individual is a member of the Ithaca College community. The individual is in mandatory isolation at their home and became symptomatic March 5, right before the start of Ithaca College's spring break. Health Department officials say they are in daily contact with 12 individuals who were possibly exposed to the individual on March 5 or later, and have not said if the person is a student, faculty or staff member. Tompkins County Public Health Directo Frank Kruppa says officials do not believe there is any general risk to the community.
2:10 p.m. Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup has declared a state of emergency in the county, and has ordered all public and private K-12 schools in the county to close starting tomorrow, lasting until April 14. Weatherup says there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the county, and that this is being done out of an abundance of caution.
1:35 p.m. In his daily briefing, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said there are still no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the county. A triage hotline set up by Upstate University Hospital for people to call if they have questions about the coronavirus, or if they have symptoms and want to be tested, has seen more than 200 calls in 24 hours. The hotline is primarily for people who are uninsured or do not have a primary care doctor. People can call 315-464-3979, and will be told if they should be tested. Those without a primary care doctor or insurance will then be told to go to the Syracuse Community Health Center for testing, which will open tomorrow. McMahon says "the anxiety is real and we feel it every day. Take a break. Go take a walk."
1:07 p.m. A question from our capitol correspondent Karen DeWitt to Gov. Cuomo: If you're asking the private sector to stay home, why not state government? Why continue the legislative session? Cuomo says "Government is an essential operation. Government must function. If we can ask nurses to put on a hazmat suit and take blood, we can ask elected officials to sit at a desk and vote on legislation."
1:06 p.m. The state DMV will move to appointment only starting tomorrow to limit crowds. People can request an appointment online.
1:05 p.m. Cuomo says the most important thing is to increase hospital capacity. "I don't have the ability to turn SUNY dorms into hospitals. The US Army Corps of Engineers does. Cuomo is calling on President Trump to mobilize the military "to help save lives." He said "We have no option, otherwise we will be sitting here 9 weeks, 10 weeks, 13 weeks from now seeing a healthcare system overrun," Cuomo said.
12:55 p.m. Gov. Cuomo says the number of people tested for the coronavirus in New York is up to 5,272. The number of confirmed cases is up to 729, with 3 deaths. A 79-year-old woman with multiple underlying issues contracted the coronavirus and has died from it. 137 people with the coronavirus are currently hospitalized, 65 are in intensive care.
12:50 p.m. Gov. Cuomo says schools are closing, but it's not that easy to close school. "For many people, school is childcare." He says meals are an important concern for people, because breakfast and lunch are the most important meals for a lot of children. "If you can address those concerns, then close the schools," Cuomo said. He also said he can't have essential workers, like police, fire and healthcare workers staying home because their kids have nowhere to go.
12:45 p.m Gov. Cuomo is asking private businesses to "aggressively consider" work from home strategies or voluntary closing. "We may consider mandatory action later on." If the private sector does not respond voluntarily, he would consider mandatory measures. Cuomo is asking all non-essential state employees from Rockland County south to work from home.
12:40 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the way to slow the spread of the coronavirus is to increase testing, and to reduce the density of public places. He's concerned that the hospital system will soon be overwhelmed with cases. "We are looking at a new war that we have never seen before." He said 80% of the 3,000 ICU beds in the state are already occupied. He said the state needs to build more hospital capacity now, which has never been done before.
12:30 p.m. Gov. Cuomo is holding a briefing from Albany. Watch live here.
12:00 p.m. In an op-ed in the New York Times, Gov. Cuomo called on President Donald Trump to authorize states to expand testing capabilities, set federal standards for shutting down commerce and schools, and mobilize the military to bolster medical treatment capabilities. “States cannot build more hospitals, acquire ventilators or modify facilities quickly enough,” Cuomo wrote, saying the expertise and equipment of the Army Corps is “our best hope.” Read the full op-ed here.
11:00 a.m. At least one central New York grocery store is closing indefinitely due to a lack of supplies. syracuse.com reports that the Aldi on Route 57 in Clay will close today at noon, and a sign on the door says "we do not have a reopen date currently, but other Aldi locations are open 9 a.m. - 8 p.m."
10:15 a.m. Tops markets have revised their schedule, and will now be closed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. for cleaning and restocking. Tops had originally announced they would close its stories from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.
10:00 a.m. In a tweet this morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking people to stay home. "The decision each of us makes now will impact us all tomorrow. STAY HOME," he said.
9:00 a.m. Here's a great article from NPR and how it's not only important to wash our hands, but to also keep surfaces clean, including our phones!
8:30 a.m. More schools in Madison County will be closing because of the coronavirus. Chittenango schools will close starting Tuesday, March 17. Superintendent Michael Eiffe says school will be open tomorrow so students can pick up learning materials for an extended time. Eiffe says the closure is "indefinite at this time." Schools in the Madison school district will be closed starting Monday and lasting until at least April 13.
8:00 a.m. Walmart is joining other grocery store chains in closing overnight for cleaning and restocking. Many stores are having a hard time keeping items in stock, so Walmart stores normally open 24 hours will close at 11 p.m. and reopen at 6 a.m.
7:45 a.m. Good morning. It's Sunday, and that means a lot of people will be headed to church today. A lot of churches have canceled services, so be sure to check with your local church to see if they are still holding services. The Syracuse Catholic Diocese will still be holding mass, but Bishop Douglas Lucia has dispensed Catholics from the obligation to attend Sunday mass until further notice. The Bishop urges anyone who doesn't feel well to stay home.
Saturday, March 14
9:40 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said tonight that two members of the State Assembly have tested positive for COVID-19. Helene Weinstein and Charles Barron have not been in Albany since early March and have had little to no contact with their staffs or constituents. Cuomo said the Capitol and legislative office building will undergo intensive cleaning, and the Capitol will be closed to visitors effective tomorrow.
8:00 p.m. Cayuga County has declared a state of emergency, and all schools in the county will be closed through at least April 13. In Onondaga County, three school districts have announced they will close their schools immediatly, rather than wait until March 20. Skaneateles interim superintendent Dr. Jeffery Bryant said "because our affiliated educational extension center is the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES located in Auburn. This means the Skaneateles Central School District will be required to follow the closing directive from that Cayuga County." In the Fayetteville-Manlius school district, superintendent Craig Tice has decided to close schools starting March 16 "out of an abundance of caution." Jordan-Elbridge schools will also close as of Monday. Superintendent James Froio said teachers will begin distance learning this week.
7:40 p.m. 3 cases of the coronavirus are now confirmed in Erie County, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a telephone briefing with reporters. The total number of cases in New York is up to 613.
7:30 p.m. A second person is confirmed to have died from COVID-19, the disease connected to the coronavirus. An 82-year-old woman who had advanced emphysema died Friday at Wyckoff Medical Center in Brooklyn, where she had been in critical condition after being admitted last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Hours later, authorities in Rockland County confirmed that a 65-year-old with “other significant health problems” had died Thursday after contracting the virus. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he believes thousands of New Yorkers — perhaps tens of thousands — already have the disease. The true number of people with the virus in the state is unknown because testing is still being done across the U.S. on a very limited basis. “It has already spread much more than you know,” Cuomo said on a conference call with reporters. “The infection rate will be massive.”
5:15 p.m. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon has declared a state of emergency effective immediately, and says all schools in the county will close as of Friday, March 20 (See McMahon's full briefing below). McMahon says if there is a confirmed case of the coronavirus in the county, schools will close as of Wednesday, March 18. Schools will stay close until at least April 14. All non-essential school programs, including athletics, are canceled immediately. McMahon says the delay in closing is to give parents time to prepare for schools to close. If any parent doesn't feel comfortable having their child go to school, they can keep them home as of Monday and will not face repercussions.
5:10 p.m. All public schools in St. Lawrence County will close through April 17, joining nearly all other schools in the North Country.
4:45 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order ending the petitioning process at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 for candidates in the June primaries for Congress, state Senate, Assembly and judicial races. Candidates will only need to gather 30% of the statutory threshold. For Congress, candidates would need 375 signatures rather than 1,250. For State Senate, candidates would need 300 signatures rather than 1,000. For Assembly, candidates would only need 150 signatures rather than 500.
4:20 p.m. All schools in Jefferson and Lewis counties will close until at least April 17, according to WWNY-TV in Watertown. this includes Adirondack School District and Town of Webb schools. Teachers and staff will still report. This closes nearly every district across the North Country, after all 31 districts in Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Essex and Hamilton counties announcing today they will close until April 19.
4:00 p.m. Broome County Executive Jason Garnar has declared a state of emergency over concerns from the coronavirus. All schools in Broome County will be closed as of Monday, lasting until at least Monday, April 13.
3:00 p.m. The Utica Zoo announced that it will close at 5 p.m. today, and will remain closed until at least March 31. All programs and activities scheduled at the zoo over the next two weeks will be canceled.
2:45 p.m. After declaring a state of emergency this morning, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced this afternoon that all schools in the county, including the Rochester City School District will close as of Monday "until further notice." The closing includes all athletics and other extracurricular activities. Bello said school leaders and county officials will be reviewing things on a week-to-week basis to determine when it is safe to reopen schools.
2:00 p.m. Tioga County has its first confirmed case of the coronavirus. County officials say they are looking into who the person may have had contact with. Public schools in Tioga County will be closed until mid-April.
1:45 p.m. Two school districts in Madison County will close until at least next month. Morrisville-Eaton schools and Stockbridge Valley will close starting Monday, lasting through April 14.
1:30 p.m. Price Chopper will join other grocery store chains like Wegmans and Tops and close its stores overnight for cleaning and restocking. Wegmans stores will close from midnight to 6 a.m., Tops and Price Chopper stores will close from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.
1:00 p.m. The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) announced that as of 5 p.m. today, visitation at all correctional facilities will be suspended until at least April 11.
12:08 p.m. Upstate University Hospital has set up a COVID-19 public triage line. If you do not have a primary care doctor or are uninsured, call 315-464-3979 and someone will tell you if you should be tested. The number is staffed starting at noon today, and will be available from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m each day. If you are told you should be tested, go to the Syracuse Community Testing Site on South Salina St. in Syracuse. But if you do have a primary care doctor or are insured, your first call should be to your healthcare provider. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon says because the guidelines for testing continue to change, "as of today, if you are not sick, you won't be tested."
12:00 p.m. Onondaga County executive Ryan McMahon, in his daily update, says schools in Onondaga County are still open for now, but discussions are being held with district officials.
10:55 a.m. Tompkins County is reporting its first confirmed case of the coronavirus. County officials say the person has been isolated since they were tested and that county health officials have been investigating whether there have been any other exposures. Monroe County has reported its second case of the coronavirus. County Executive Adam Bello said this morning it involves a woman in her 60s who is currently hospitalized. Bello has declared a state of emergency in Monroe County.
10:30 a.m. New York has its first death related to the coronavirus. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the victim was an 82-year-old woman in Brooklyn who was previously suffering from emphysema. Cuomo said it's important to remember that most cases of COVID-19 are mild, and this person had an underlying condition. “Is it accurate to say that she passed away and she had the coronavirus? Yes,” Cuomo said. “It’s also accurate to say she had the coronavirus and was 82-years-old and had long been suffering with emphysema.” Cuomo also said the number of confirmed cases is up to 524, and the number of cases is expected to rise rapidly as more testing is done. The governor also encouraged people to take advantage of telemedicine, and that health insurers will be required to waive co-pays for it.
8:45 a.m. The Department of Defense has issued restrictions on domestic travel for all active duty members and civilian personnel, and their families starting Monday, according to Stars and Stripes. This will affect the more than 15,000 soldiers, civilians and their families currently stationed at Fort Drum in northern New York.
Friday, March 13
6:45 p.m. Tompkins County has declared a state of emergency and all public schools, including the Ithaca City School District, will be closed for the next month."While we do not take this decision lightly, we feel that this is in the long-term best interest of our community as we work together with our partners to navigate these uncharted waters," said Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino.
6:30 p.m. The city of Syracuse announced that all meetings held in Common Council chambers will be held online or through conference calls. Meetings are streamed on the city's YouTube channel.
5:30 p.m. Onondaga County announced that starting Monday, it will open a community testing center at the Syracuse Community Health Center at 819 S. Salina St. County Executive Ryan McMahon said the site is primarily for people who do not have a primary care doctor. People who wish to be tested must first call a hotline being set up by Upstate University Hospital. The number for the hotline will be released Saturday.
5:00 p.m. Oneida County has declared a state of emergency and has closed all public schools until April 14. Schools in Herkimer County will also be closed until April 14. Notre Dame elementary and high schools in Utica will be closed until April 14. Manlius Pebble Hill School will close and students will take classes online starting Tuesday. Syracuse Hebrew Day School will close and students will take online classes starting Monday.
4:30 p.m. Wegmans announced many stores will be closing between midnight and 6 a.m. for cleaning and restocking. Tops Markets that are open 24 hours will close from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. for cleaning.
3:30 p.m. Cornell University announced it is suspending classes as of today, two weeks earlier than planned. Cornell President Martha Pollack had previously announced that classes would move online for the rest of the semester after the university's spring break, which runs March 28-April 6. But Pollack said today it is ending classes now, and classes will resume online April 6.
1:00 p.m. Charter Communications says it will offer free Spectrum internet and wifi for households with K-12 and/or college students that currently are not Spectrum subscribers for 60 days. Charter says it will partner with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students learn remotely.
12:00 p.m. New York state opened its first drive-through coronavirus testing center Friday in hard-hit New Rochelle, aiming to break a testing bottleneck that Gov. Andrew Cuomo called a crisis. The six-lane testing center will soon handle 500 people a day, with priority given to residents of the New York City suburb and surrounding Westchester County, which has been at the center of a cluster of virus cases, Cuomo said.