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Today's Top Stories - Monday, March 30th, 2020

Two more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed by Steuben County Public Health Department, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 21. The two new individuals are from Corning and Wayland and have been isolated and monitored by the County Health Department. Staff of Public Health say both people have no known exposure risks as they have followed public health protocols. People who have come into direct contact with the patients have been notified.

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced the "New York on Pause" policy keeping home nonessential workforce will be extended to April 15th as New York experiences a rise in positive tests for coronavirus and deaths from it. Cuomo urged private and public hospitals work together with a "rolling apex" coordination system. Meanwhile, the New York State Health Department is working to develop a faster, easier and less-intrusive saliva and short-nasal test for the Coronavirus that will be available for healthcare workers as soon as next week. 

For the last week, New York State Department of Labor has struggled to keep up with the demand as their phonelines and website frequently being busy and shut down. This week, the NYDOL says it will extend its hours to accomodate the sudden spike in claims with representatives working Saturdays for the first time. Officials tell the public to still expect longer-than-usual wait times. 

Governor Cuomo says the need for ventilators is still crucial after over 100 New Yorkers died from Coronavirus over the weekend.  Cuomo said that as the state seeks ventilators, he is looking to find a way to share the equipment between states. A need for space to treat patients also is growing as officials push for increased capacity at hospitals and dormitories. 

Triple A reports prices for gas in the Finger Lakes area has gone down to three cents a gallon compared to last week. The price range for gas in our region ranges anywhere from $2.20 to the $2.40's range. The national average price for gas has fallen to under two dollars.

New York Attorney General Letitia James warns the public of new coronavirus scams. A new wave of scams has scammers pose as federal agents and prey on those desperate for financial aid. James reminds residents to never give away personal information and never open e-mail links or attachments from someone claiming to be from the government. 

The Village of Bath Municipal Utility Commission is holding a special meeting tomorrow morning 9am at 7 South Avenue in Bath. The meeting will review the COVID-19 pandemic and utility operations of the Bath Electric, Gas and Water Systems and any matters that come before the commission. 

A Wayland man faces a series of felony counts after a domestic dispute reported in the Town of Bath. State Police report the arrest of 24-year-old Aaron Smith. He was charged with assault with intent to cause injury, criminal possession of a controlled substance involving a stimulant and felony possession of a weapon. All charges are high-level felony offenses. Smith was initially detained after arrest. 

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