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Today's Top Stories - Thursday April 16th, 2020


The Steuben County Public Health Department has received notification of the deaths of two people who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 18. One individual was a 71-year-old male who died in a nursing home in the Hornell area and the other was a 91-year-old female who died in a Bath-area nursing home.  11 more Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 171 confirmed cases. Five are from the town of Urbana, while new single cases have been reported in the towns of Bath, Dansville, Erwin, Hornellsville and the villages of Canisteo and North Hornell. Additional cases have also been reported from Fred & Harriett Taylor Health Center in Bath. 

A 39-year-old Alfred State College employee from Hornell has died from the coronavirus. Monroe Bates was a member of the facilities crew. College President Dr. Skip Sullivan said Bates was recently promoted to Maintenance Assistant in the Facilities' trades group. Bates tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester April 6th and immediately placed on a ventilator but later improved when he was taken off of the ventilator allowing him to rest more comfortably. While attempting physical therapy at the hospital this past weekend, his condition declined.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's stepping up his measures to keep residents from spreading COVID-19. He signed an executive order yesterday requiring face coverings for everyone when people go out in public that takes effect tomorrow and will apply to people who cannot keep six feet away from others in public settings, such as inside a grocery store.

During this morning's press briefing, Governor Cuomo announced NY PAUSE will continue through May 15th. Cuomo also made a few clarifications on yesterday's face mask Executive Order, adding that riders on public transit must wear masks as well as in private transportation carriers or when in for-hire vehicles. All operators of transportation services must now wear a mask at all times. Cuomo also said this morning that the hospitalization rate in the state is decreasing with 1,000 less people in the hospital statewide yesterday than the day before. 

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection announces an alert to consumers about personal data privacy settings for many online conferencing apps.  Video conferencing applications developed originally for companies to use on their internal systems connecting only with specific external parties as needed, do not always contain enough default privacy protections for broad use. A few of their precautions include: making the meeting private, requiring a password, turning off screen-sharing when you don’t need it and checking your app’s privacy settings.

WHEC TV News reports an antibody test that was developed in Rochester's OCD's Ortho Global Center of Excellence for R&D has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The OCD said the tests are expected to be ready in a few weeks and will allow researchers to look for antibodies that indicate if a person was exposed to the coronavirus and recovered from it. Tests will run on machines that are already in over a thousand labs across the country. 

Local Southern Tier area libraries that include Avoca, Cohocton, Prattsburgh and Corning Libraries announced they have free seeds available to the public. The libraries offer free seeds to the communities this year and encourage those interested in receiving seeds to message the local library Facebook pages to ask about what kind of seeds are available and how to get your free seeds. 

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