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Today's Top Stories - Tuesday May 19th, 2020

Steuben County Office of Emergency Services has received a shipment of Cloth Face Masks that will be provided free of charge to the general public courtesy of FEMA through the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and distributed by the Steuben County Office of Emergency Services. Cloth Face Masks are being distributed in a drive-thru format today while supplies last. Drive-thru locations include the Bath Volunteer Fire Department at 50 E. Morris Street and Hornell City Fire Department on 110 Broadway in Hornell.


Federal funds needed to stabilize Steuben County’s finances were among the issues county legislators addressed when they met in a teleconferenced regular session yesterday morning. County legislators unanimously called for the state to release the Enhanced Federal Medicaid Matching Funds Steuben is entitled to through the federal Affordable Care Act. But Steuben legislators are concerned Governor Cuomo will use the funds for state purposes under Medicaid Redesign, which he proposed earlier this year to restructure the state’s healthcare entitlement system. In other action, legislators accepted the state’s Extreme Winter Recovery and Pave-NY Funding totaling $1.6 million. If the funding remains in place, county Public Works Department will add to its current roadwork schedule.


The Steuben County Public Health Department reports two additional Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the total to 251 confirmed cases with 6 currently hospitalized.  The individuals are residents of the towns of Wayland and Erwin and are currently isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department. 

Citing the “24-7” response and personal sacrifice by the members of emergency medical services (EMS) teams throughout Steuben County, county Legislature Chairman Scott VanEtten has declared this current week of May 17-23 to be Emergency Medical Services Week in Steuben County. VanEtten noted EMS personnel are being called to even greater efforts and at greater personal risk during the health crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic.


The HEROES Act, which is the second economic stimulus bill during the COVID19 crisis, has barely passed in the House. Local Congressman Tom Reed says the Democratic-sponsored bill was a bill full of pork-barrel spending and anticipates a more flexible bill will emerge early next month. Currently, Reed is introducing a bill today that he co-sponsored with bipartisan support in the House and Senate and aims to create a “SMART” fund that provides aid to states and communities. 


Yesterday began state ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes going into effect while also prohibiting pharmacies from selling tobacco products that include e-cigarettes as part of the state's Fiscal Year 2021 Enacted Budget. Since yesterday, if a retailer is caught selling tobacco products, they may be fined up to $100 per prohibited item they have in possession. 


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