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Today's Top Stories - Thursday September 17th, 2020

Steuben Reports Two More COVID Cases
The Steuben County Public Health Department reports two County residents tested positive for COVID-19 which brings the total to 348 confirmed cases, 16 of which are currently active. Individuals are residents of the towns of Campbell and Corning. Officials say the individuals are isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department. All those known to have direct contact with the individuals have been notified. Public Health Director, Darlene Smith said she is concerned that people may be starting to relax their prevention efforts in their daily lives.

County Police Reform is Underway; Feedback Encouraged Via Survey
Police reform in Steuben County is well under way, according to Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard. Allard recently told the county Legislature’s Public Safety and Corrections Committee the core working group has met with stakeholders and special interest groups as part of their review. The review looks at current police deployments, procedures, policies and practices in Steuben in line with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s police reform directive June 12th. Allard said of the group launched in early August: “Personally, I have been able to understand more clearly the challenges our citizens face daily due to their race, ethnicity, or gender identity. The ability to communicate in a setting of collaboration and partnership has been enlightening for all of us…” Allard encourages the public to give their feedback by completing the online survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T8CCMXW


Bath Central School Reports No COVID Cases
Bath Central School District reports there are no current COVID-19 cases impacting their staff or students. According to the daily-updated state school tracker, among the total school population of 896, zero have tested positive. The tracker also indicates no positive cases in Prattsburgh, Hammondsport or Campbell-Savona schools.


NYSAC Annual Conference Goes Digital
The New York State Association of Counties annual fall seminar, like other conferences this year, has gone digital. NYSAC Deputy Director Mark LaVigne says this training that began Tuesday will continue through the remainder of the month, as opposed to condensing the information exchange into a three-day in person session. The virtual seminar began by covering the state’s new early voting laws and COVID-19 election reforms, budget challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and police reforms mandated by the Governor’s executive orders.


NYS Health Dept. Shortens Nursing Home Visiting Window
Starting today, the New York state health department shortens the amount of time nursing homes must go without a positive COVID-19 test before they can allow visitors. The window will be cut in half from 28 to 14 days. The original 28-day window was met with criticism by families of nursing home residents and advocacy organizations for shutting out visitors.


SNAP Benefits to Receive Boost in October
Standard deductions for some Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits will receive a small boost starting October 1st due to federal government required benefits. Changes include: the maximum homeless shelter deduction will increase by $167 and Shelter deductions will also receive a slight boost in early October. Standard utility allocation amounts for heating, air conditioning, and basic services in the Steuben County region will remain the same. Maximum food benefits through the Thrifty Food Plan will also increase depending on household size as follows :

Household Size Maximum Household Income Maximum SNAP Benefits

• 1 - $1383 $204

• 2 - $1,868 $374

• 3 - $2,353 $535

• 4 - $2,839 $680

• 5 - $3,324 $807

• 6 - $3,809 $969

• 7 - $4,295 $1,071

• 8 - $4,780 $1,224

• 9 - $5,266 *

• 10 - $5,752 *

add $153 for each household member

For more information, call the Steuben County Department of Social Services at (607) 664-2000.

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