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Today's Top Stories - Tuesday December 15th, 2020

COVID Death Count Hits 115 in Steuben
137 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Steuben County.  This brings the total to 2,520 confirmed cases since the pandemic’s start with 426 cases currently active. Nine of the new cases involved residents of Bath. Meanwhile, four more deaths have been reported, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 115.  Two individuals were male residents of the Fred and Harriett Taylor Health Center, age 90 and 66.   One individual was a 76-year-old male resident of Absolut Care Three Rivers who died while hospitalized.  Another individual was a 64-year-old male, Town of Wayne resident who died while hospitalized. 


Free COVID Rapid Testing Available at CCC Today and Tomorrow
The Steuben County Public Health Department continues its partnership with Corning Community College to provide additional dates of free COVID-19 rapid testing at the Corning Community College Health Education Center (HEC) at 132 Denison Parkway East in Corning.  Testing will be available today and tomorrow. Participants should park in the building’s lot off Chemung Street. Testing will be available: today from 1 – 4 pm and tomorrow from 9 am – 12 pm and 1 – 4 pm. Testing is free and open to Steuben County residents.  Participants must pre-register in order to be tested at https://tinyurl.com/cccrapid. Masks and distancing required.


Hornell High School Removes to Full Remote Instruction
Hornell High School will move to full remote instruction following ongoing positive COVID-19 cases at the high school. The district announced the decision, effective immediately for grades 7-12, was made by considering the frequency of symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases confirmed within the district in the past week. Full remote instruction will remain in effect until January 4th and affects all in-person clubs and activities on campus. BOCES students who spend 100% of their time off campus, can continue their in-person instruction with BOCES. CTE programming for Hornell students will be fully-remote, with no option for in-person instruction until January 4th. Elementary schools remain on hybrid scheduling.


Wreaths Across America Committee Cancels Bath Ceremony
The Bath Wreaths Across America Committee announces due to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health guidelines, this year’s Wreath-Laying Ceremony is cancelled. In a recent statement, the committee said they determined that they “could not implement sufficient controls to mitigate the risks associated with hosting an event of this size under current and forecasted infection and transmission rates, while still conducting a respectful and honorable public event.” Officials also reference the steep hill at the Bath National Cemetery for the elderly and physically-challenged volunteers as additional reasons to cancel the wreath laying ceremony as the shuttle buses that get typically used are restricted to only allow three people at a time.The over 2,650 wreaths sponsored for 2020 ceremony will be forwarded to next year's event, which is scheduled for December 18th, 2021.  Sponsorships for next year are still able to be made online at: https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/16639/overview/?relatedId=25307


Finger Lakes Region at Risk of Full Shutdown Amid COVID Spike
As coronavirus cases rise across the state, the Finger Lakes region is again at risk of a full shutdown. According to Governor Cuomo, the area has one of the highest positivity rates in New York, with 8.09%. The region also has the highest percentage of people hospitalized per population. The two factors are part of the metrics the state is using this winter to determine new zoning restrictions. When asked about whether the micro-cluster approach is working or not, Cuomo said there was no alternative and unless the trajectory changes, New York could be headed to shutdown.  On Friday, he said big changes will come to Upstate regions and updated maps would be released on cluster zones. Cuomo also remarked that shutdown is something to worry about and prevent because businesses will be closed.


Stefanik Calls for Investigation of Cuomo Following Allegations
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York wants an independent investigation into Governor  Cuomo. This follows an allegation of sexual harassment made by a former aide, Lindsey Boylan, on Sunday. During Monday’s coronavirus briefing, Cuomo addressed the accusation and said the statements are "not true".


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