We appreciate input from our readers, and we publish letters to the editor without charge. While open speech and responsibility are encouraged, comments may be rejected if they are purely a personal attack, offensive or repetitive. Comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Orleans Hub. Although care is taken to moderate comments, we have no control over how they are interpreted and we are unable to guarantee the accuracy of comments and the rationality of the opinions expressed. We reserve the right to edit letters for content and brevity. Please limit the length of your letter (we suggest no more than 500 words) and provide your name, telephone number, mailing address and a verifiable email address for verification purposes. Letters should be emailed to email@example.com.
268 have tested positive in Orleans, while 233 cases in Genesee
Orleans County’s streak of seven days in a row without a new confirmed case of Covid-19 ended today with the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments reporting one new case in Orleans, a person in the 30s from Carlton. The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
Orleans has now had 268 people test positive for Covid-19.
Genesee County has two new confirmed cases. Both are Batavia residents. One is in the 20s and the other is in the 60s.
Genesee has now had 233 people test positive.
The three new cases pushes the combined total in the two counties past 500 to 501.
Genesee is reporting three more recoveries from Covid-19, for 169 total from residents in the community.
Genesee doesn’t currently have any residents hospitalized with Covid-19, while Orleans has six.
More information from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments:
• Nursing Home Visitation: Limited visitation and activities will be allowed in those regions in which the nursing home is in Phase 3. Click here for the guidance.
• Precautionary Quarantine: Everyone (including children) who has traveled to/from any restricted states (for more than 24 hours) are required to self quarantine and self-monitor their health upon entering New York. This means the individual(s) cannot leave to go shopping, visiting, daycare and are only allowed to go for emergency care for the first 14 days back in New York.
Businesses including childcare providers should include a travel question in their regular health screening for their staff and clientele/children. Click here for the guidance. For general inquiries contact or call the Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or click Ask A Question.
As of July 7, the 19 states in the travel advisory include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. Those violating could be subject to a judicial order and mandatory quarantine and potential fines.
In Orleans, there are 14 people currently on precautionary quarantine due to the advisory, while Genesee is reporting 11 people on precautionary quarantine.
• Masks/Face-coverings are still required to be properly worn (covering nose & mouth) for all employees who work with the public. They are to be worn with direct contact (and all food service workers are to properly wear coverings when preparing and serving food – no exceptions) with the public as well as with co-workers when social distancing of 6 feet or more is not able to be kept.
All residents over the age of 2 years old and able to medically tolerate a face-covering are required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in public and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining social distance of 6 feet or more.
• Social Gathering Sizes: According to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders 202.42 and 202.45, all non-essential gatherings of up to 50 of individuals of any size for any reason (graduation parties, celebrations, or other social events) unless otherwise designated (ex. religious gatherings) are now allowed for those regions in phase 4. This is as long as requirements are followed for appropriate social distancing, and wearing cloth masks/face coverings over the mouth and nose.
• Community Testing Sites: Check with the testing site for any specific criteria necessary for testing such as illness, contact with someone who tested positive, essential worker, required for reopening/business, etc. Many need to have a doctor referral/prescription. Always call first.
- Oak Orchard Health: 301 West Ave Albion, NY 14411. Call (585) 589-5613 to be screened and to schedule an appointment – no walk-ins.
- WellNow Urgent Care: 4189 Veterans Memorial Drive Batavia, NY 14020.
- Rochester Regional Health Urgent Care: 16 Bank Street Batavia, NY 14020. (Rochester Regional Health has transitioned Covid-19 evaluations from the tents at 127 North Street to Urgent Care.)
MEDINA – The phone system is expected to be down for two more weeks after it was damaged by a lightning strike on June 23.
The lightning hit the City Hall and Fire Department annex, and took out phone lines, computer servers, two computers and damaged the HVAC system. Fifteen phones were “fried” from the lightning.
Medina Mayor Mike Sidari said it may cost about $30,000 to fix or replace the damaged items. The village’s insurance company will cover all of the costs except Medina’s $1,000 deductible.
The Village Board met today to discuss the situation. Sidari said it won’t be a simple fix and could take another two weeks.
The drive-through window remains open at the Village Office on Park Avenue. For all emergency calls for the fire department and police department, dial 911, Sidari said.
For non-emergency calls for fire and police, call (585) 589-5527, which goes to the dispatch center at the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.
ALBANY – The State Department of Health announced today that visitors will be allowed in nursing homes and long-term care facilities – for the first time since March 13.
Residents can have up to two visitors, DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said.
This applies to nursing homes that haven’t had a Covid-19 case for at least 28 days, a threshold set by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
“I know how painful it has been for residents of these facilities to endure such a long period of time without seeing family and loved ones, and my hope is that this adjustment to the visitation policy will provide some comfort to everyone,” Zucker said.
The visitors must undergo temperature checks, wear face coverings and socially distance during the visit. At least one of the two visitors must be at least 18 years of age or older. For each facility, only 10 percent of the residents can be allowed visitors at any time.
Nursing Homes accepting visitors will be required to send their visitation plan to the state Department of Health and affirmatively attest that they are following the guidance outlined here.
“With the knowledge we now have about how Covid-19 came into nursing homes – mainly through asymptomatic staff and visitors through no fault of their own – it is critical that as we resume visitations to these facilities we do it in a smart and cautious way to ensure the health and safety of residents and staff,” Zucker said. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation in each facility, and make adjustments based on the facts and data moving forward.”
6 animals have tested positive for rabies this year in Genesee, Orleans
Press Release, Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments
As stay-at-home restrictions progressed in New York State due to COVID-19, many people took this opportunity to adopt a new pet to spend their time with.
Animal shelters all over the state were reporting increased adoptions and some ran out of animals altogether. Now that it is summer and your new pets are going outside more, it is a perfect time to remind everyone how dangerous rabies can be and what you can do to prevent exposure to you, your family, and your pets.
Rabies is an infectious disease that can be fatal once symptoms (signs) show up. Rabies is a central nervous system disease which attacks the brain and causes death. It is most often spread through bites, scratches, and contact with infected saliva.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that any mammal, including humans, can get rabies but it is most common in wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes so it is wise to stay away from these animals (alive or dead).
In New York State, cats are the most frequently diagnosed domestic animals. The best way to prevent rabies exposure is to prevent your pets from contracting the virus by keeping their rabies vaccine up-to-date, so that they do not bring it into your home. Even indoor-only pets require a vaccination.
Sarah Balduf, Environmental Health Director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments, reported that so far in 2020, the two counties have tested 22 animals and six tested positive for rabies. Additionally, 111 dogs and cats were observed in 10-day confinement.
An animal is subject to 10-day confinement if they are involved in an incident (i.e. biting a human) while apparently healthy. The animal’s health is monitored for 10 days to determine if rabies may be present and if further action is required. Complete details below.
One of the first signs of rabies in animals includes a change in the animal’s behavior.
“Animals may become unusually aggressive and try to bite you or other animals,” Balduf said. “A wild animal might act friendly or move slowly so that you could easily get close to it. Other symptoms include staggering, convulsions, choking, excessive drooling at the mouth, and paralysis.”
When humans are infected with rabies, they may not show symptoms for up to three months. Early symptoms of rabies are often flu-like and include fever, headache, and general weakness. As the disease progresses, symptoms include anxiety, confusion, agitation, hallucinations, hydrophobia (fear of water), and insomnia. Once symptoms have developed, rabies is almost always fatal to both humans and animals so it is crucial to report any possible exposures as soon as they occur.
To protect yourself from rabies, people are encouraged to avoid feeding, touching, or adopting wild animals and stray domestic animals such as cats and dogs that have not been properly rescued and vetted by a shelter and veterinarian. People are required by NYS law to keep their pets (dogs, cats, and ferrets) up-to-date on their rabies vaccination. It is recommended, though not mandatory, that livestock animals, especially valuable ones, are vaccinated as well. It is also recommended that people keep a close eye on children who are playing outdoors and telling them the dangers of playing with wild or stray animals (alive or dead).
Anyone who has been bitten by any animal or who otherwise may have been exposed to rabies needs to take immediate action. If you can do so safely, being careful not to damage the head/brain, capture the animal and call your local health department or a doctor to report the incident. Capturing the animal is vital in order for it to be tested for rabies. Testing will confirm if the animal is infected with the virus or not, making sure that only those who need treatment get it. Additionally, make sure exposed wounds or bites are cleaned thoroughly with soap and water and call your health care provider for further instructions.
(*If a bat is found in a room where there are unattended children, someone sleeping or someone who cannot speak for him/herself or your family pet, do not let the bat out of the house. To learn how to capture a bat safely, view a short video by clicking here.
A doctor in consultation with the health department will determine who needs to be vaccinated with rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (RPEP). A person who is exposed and has never been vaccinated against rabies may need to receive 4 doses of rabies vaccine on the following schedule: immediately, day 3, day 7, and day 14 after exposure. People who have weakened immune systems may require a fifth dose and some people required only 2 doses, as determined by a doctor.
The cost to treat an individual varies considerably based on weight, number of doses, and insurance. In 2020, treatment costs have ranged from $2,360-$6,130. Local health departments will work with the patient’s insurance company but what is not be covered by insurance is ultimately the responsibility of the taxpayers.
So far in 2020, Genesee County has had to treat six people with RPEP and Orleans County has had to treat three. It is important that all individuals do their part to prevent rabies in the community by vaccinating their pets and practicing caution around wild or stray animals.
To protect your pets from rabies, please visit one of the upcoming rabies vaccine clinics (subject to change due to COVID-19, watch GOHealthNY social media for updates and instructions to follow COVID-19 guidelines for everyone’s safety.):
- Genesee County: Thursday, August 13 at the Genesee County Fairgrounds, 5031 East Main Road, Batavia from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Orleans County: Saturday, August 15 at the Town of Shelby Highway Building, 4062 Salt Works Road, Medina, NY from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
MEDINA – The votes are in and Medina’s new K-9 will be named Phoenix.
The department welcomed community feedback for the dog’s name. The options included Bandit, Erie, Phoenix, Gunner, Apollo and Raider.
Phoenix and Jacob Reeves, the department’s K-9 handler, have started a 14-week training program.
Phoenix is a Belgian Malinois. The K-9 team will train in patrols and drug detection.
Phoenix will replace Kye as the department’s K-9 in the fall after the training is complete. Kye has been the Medina PD’s K-9 for eight years.
Reeves also will replace Lt. Todd Draper as the department’s K-9 handler.
Jeremy and Tracy Van Ameron opened Van’s Pit Stop right before Covid-19 pandemic hit
CLARENDON – An Albion businessman and his family are being welcomed into the town of Clarendon, and applauded for committing to a new business during the recent pandemic.
Jeremy Van Ameron and his wife Tracy purchased the convenience store and gas station on Route 237 in October. They spent months cleaning and remodeling, with plans to move his auto repair shop there.
“We started selling food and gas in February, and then the pandemic hit,” Tracy said. “We had to shut down our seating area inside.”
“Then gas prices dropped off because nobody was going anywhere,” Jeremy said. “But the Clarendon community helped us a lot. They provided a ton of support.”
Tracy said they were in awe of the amount of support the community provided.
“That’s what us locals do,” said Nyla Gaylord, coordinator of the Clarendon Farmers’ Market, which the Van Amerons invited to set up this year on their property. “We like to hang out and talk, and the Van Amerons put tables out in front for us.”
Gaylord commended the Van Amerons for not giving up when things were so difficult. She said Tracy, who is a software engineer for L3 Harris Corporation, not only had to work her job during the pandemic, as well as the new business, but she was faced with home schooling her children: Justin, 16 and Ali, 12. A son Zach was a student in college.
Jeremy grew up in Albion, but moved back to Clarendon in 1997. Since purchasing the convenience store they call Van’s Pit Stop, they have expanded the menu to include wings, chicken tenders, hot and cold subs, steakburgers, various sides and a pit plate of two hamburgers or cheeseburgers, fries or home fries, macaroni salad and meat sauce. A variety of breakfast sandwiches are also available.
A Friday night fish try has become very popular, Jeremy said. They use only fresh, skinless haddock, with comes with fries, cole slaw or macaroni salad.
They just recently added ice cream.
The store is open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The kitchen closes each night one hour before the store closing.
CLARENDON – The Clarendon Farmers’ Market opened for the season on Thursday at its new location at Van’s Pitt Stop on route 237, just north of Clarendon’s four corners.
Participation was light for the first day, because of a late growing season, said Nyla Gaylord, who is the market coordinator. Things will pick up as the season progresses, she said.
Vendors for the first day included Theresa Jewell of Holley with alpaca socks and boot liners, homemade masks and sunbonnets; Terry Garrison of Albion with handmade kitchen towels and crocheted baby blankets; Dawn Pulcino of Holley with baked goods, homemade jellies and lemonade; Luchiya Zbanke of Holley with paintings and hand-painted Panama hats; and Gaylord with eggs.
Gaylord originally started the market on the grounds of the Historical Society, but said they made the decision to move to Van’s Pitt Stop on Route 237, hoping for more traffic and to support the new local business.
“Together, it’s a win-win situation,” Gaylord said.
The vendors who braved the hot temperatures to be at the market’s opening day were all happy to be able to participate and showcase their wares.
Jewell and her husband Chuck own Stoney Meadows Alpacas and Stone Mountain Looms at their farm on Glidden Road. They are members of the Empire Alpaca Association and support fiber growers from all over the area, who bring their fiber to the Jewells, who then send it to the mill. The Jewells also support Medina FFA and have donated animals for teacher Todd Eick and his students.
Theresa Jewell said she and her husband will take their alpacas to a show in Syracuse in October, along with the Medina FFA, where they will explain fiber growing to the public.
Clarendon Town Supervisor Dick Moy visited the Farmers’ Market Thursday to show his support.
“He is very supportive of us,” Gaylord said. “He makes Clarendon ‘friendly’.”
Terry Garrison said she crochets all winter and her baby blankets and hand towels are a big hit. She prices her items reasonably, selling the hand towels for three for $5.
“I sell a lot of them,” she said.
Dawn Pulcino, who runs a bakery in Holley, said her first customer on Thursday bought all her homemade fudge, but she still had a large assortment of jellies, biscuits for 50 cents, lemonade, fruit crustadas and penny candy.
Her jellies included traditional strawberry, plum and orange marmalade, and combinations, such as strawberry rhubarb and raspberry habanero. She offered samples on crackers or pretzels. In the future, she will have homemade vanilla and orange extracts.
Luchiya Zbanke of Holley was thrilled to be part of the Farmers’ Market with her paintings, T-shirts and hand-painted Panama hats. A native of Romania, she has only been in the United States for four years and in Holley with her husband Marciel for the last two. She recently became a citizen, Gaylord explained.
The Clarendon Farmers’ Market will be open from 3:30 to 6 p.m. every Thursday.
A letter writer to the Orleans Hub from Yates, whom I have never met, and have never talked to, wrote: “Mr. Fine’s delusion is like most of the backwards-thinking liberal wokesters. He believes that all and everything wrong with society lays on the evil white man just by the happenstance that they were born that way.”
Perhaps this writer is projecting what he believes onto me, but in any case this statement is a lie, period. This lie throws into doubt other statements made by this writer. This writer also states that “The police force is more than half, in most cases, minority.”
However, The New York Times reported in April 8, 2015, “Minorities make up a quarter of police forces, according to the 2007 survey, the most recent comprehensive data available.”
The writer obviously has opinions, but they are not based on available facts. This letter writer makes gross generalizations without facts or data and throws about irrelevant opinions.
Village returns to in-person meetings on Tuesday
HOLLEY – The Village of Holley will have its election on Sept. 15, about three months later than was planned.
The village election is usually the third Tuesday in June. The election was pushed back by the governor due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Village election petitions can be picked up in the Village Office and must be turned in between July 27-30. All petitions must be signed by 70 percent of the statutory minimum. In Holley, that minimum is 35 signatures.
The mayor’s positions and two trustees are up for election.
The village also is returning to in-person meetings. Holley has been meeting through Zoom video conferencing since April.
The state has increased the meeting size maximum from 10 people to 25 and now to 50, as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.
Holley village officials announced on Thursday the next Village Board meeting on Tuesday will be back at the Village Office, 72 Public Square. The meeting starts at 6 p.m.
“There will be limited number of attendees allowed due to the overall occupancy of our meeting room being reduced to maintain proper social distancing,” the village announced on its Facebook page. “Attendees will need to wear a face covering.”
Faced with a large number of Covid-19 Pandemic regulations that would have to be met in order to play the Niagara Orleans Football Association (NOFA) Board of Directors voted Thursday evening to delay the season with an eye to instead playing next spring.
In announcing their decision the NOFA Board stated “Niagara Orleans Football Association (NOFA) has been delayed due to COVID 19 pandemic to a date to be determined. The NOFA organization is tentatively looking to plan for our 2020 season of football and cheer to commence, if possible, in March 2021. As well, NOFA intends to commence the regularly scheduled 2021 season the last week of July 2021.”
“As much as we all love football it just wasn’t worth it. It’s the safety of the children and their families that must come first,” said Board member Geno Allport. “With all the regulations that would have to be met we just couldn’t do it. It isn’t worth it to try. It just wouldn’t be football. So delaying the season was the only way to go. Hopefully by spring things will be eased enough and we we’ll have guidance from the state so that we can have the season then.”
Practices for the NPFA season were scheduled to begin the last week of this month with games to have started in August
Photo by Cheryl Wertman
CARLTON – The storm clouds are forming over Lake Ontario this evening off the shore of Lakeside Beach State Park. There was wind, thunder and lightning, and Circle R’s hail guns were booming, but initially there wasn’t any no rain. That came later. Cheryl Wertman, who took the photo, said the lake water turns gray when a storm is approaching.
Today the high temperature was 98 in Buffalo at the airport. That exceeded the daily record of 92 for July 9, and tied the second warmest temperature ever recorded for Buffalo, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo. It was also the hottest day in Buffalo since 1953. Buffalo has now hit 90 degrees seven straight days.
The high of 97 in Rochester today was the hottest day in Rochester since July 17, 2012, according to the National Weather Service.
Friday is forecast to reach a high of 92 in Orleans County. A heat advisory is in effect until 8 p.m. on Friday.
Photo courtesy of Randy LeBaron
ALBION – These trees fell down across West Countyhouse Road just before 9 tonight. They are blocking the road, east of Long Bridge Road.
The area is getting some much-needed rain tonight. The weather has turned stormy with thunder and lightning.