health & wellness

Orleans, with 329 active Covid cases, sets new high during pandemic

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 December 2021 at 7:04 pm

Genesee second highest in NY with highest Covid positivity rate in past 7 days, while Orleans third highest

Orleans County has 329 active cases of Covid today, the most since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The 329 is up from the previous pandemic high of 315 on Thursday, according to data from the Genesee and Orleans County health Departments.

The county has 151 new confirmed cases since Thursday, and 135 more recoveries or people who completed their 10-day isolation and have been removed from mandatory isolation.

Orleans currently has 14 people hospitalized due to Covid, which is down from 17 on Thursday. The county is reporting another death from Covid, a person over age 65. That brings the total to 97 in Orleans County who have passed away due to Covid during the pandemic.

The number of active cases in Genesee County dropped from 243 on Thursday to 226 today, even though the county has 236 new confirmed cases in the past four days. The county also is reporting 250 more recoveries.

Genesee has 35 people hospitalized due to Covid, down from 39 on Thursday. The county is also reporting two more death due to Covid, a person under age 65 and one over 65. That brings the total deaths from Covid in Genesee to 146.

Genesee County also the second highest Covid positivity rate in the state over 7 days. Genesee’s rate is at 14.0 percent, about three times the state rate of 4.8 percent. Lewis County has the highest positive rate at 14.5 percent and Orleans is third highest at 13.7 percent.

Health Department urges flu vaccine with cold weather pushing people indoors

Posted 4 December 2021 at 10:06 am

Press Release, Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments

The smell of the evergreen trees, the taste of warm hot cocoa, and the cheerful Christmas songs are some lovely things that bring family and friends together during this festive season.  With cold weather moving people indoors, there is also an increased risk of the spread of illnesses such as the flu, also known as influenza.  However, there are ways to lower your risk of getting sick with the flu.

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is December 5-11. NIVW is an annual observance in December to remind everyone that there is still time to get vaccinated against the flu to be protected during the upcoming winter and holiday months.

“You can protect you and your family members by getting vaccinated against the flu each year,” said Paul Pettit, Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “The vaccine lowers the chance of getting you and those around you sick with the flu.  We also encourage those that have not received the Covid-19 vaccine, to get vaccinated as soon as possible ahead of the holidays.”

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. Experts say that flu viruses are spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.

The runny nose, sore throat and slow development of symptoms which are common for a cold, are not as common for the flu which tends to appear suddenly and includes a fever, body aches, chills, fatigue, chest discomfort and cough. Although a cold can be a bother, you usually feel much worse with the flu and sometimes influenza’s complications could be deadly.

Everyone 6 months or older should get a flu vaccine every year. It’s best to get the flu vaccine early in flu season, ideally by the end of October. That way, the body develops antibodies in two weeks’ time which provides protection from the influenza virus. You might wonder, is it too late to get vaccinated?  The simple answer is no.

“Getting the vaccine later is better than not getting it at all,” Pettit said. “Once you have the flu vaccine, research shows that the vaccination reduces the risk of severe illness if you do get the flu.”

Below are the number of reported flu cases for Genesee and Orleans Counties since 2018 according to the New York State Department of Health. You will notice that there was limited flu in 2020-2021 because people were practicing public health precautions such as frequent hand washing, social distancing, limiting social gatherings, wearing face coverings and staying home when ill.

In addition, less germs were spread because people were staying home and limiting their contact with people outside of their household as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Flu seasons are unpredictable every year, so there is a new flu vaccine developed to potentially provide protection for the viruses that are considered to have the most potential to cause serious illness.  As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination should continue throughout the flu season in order to protect as many people as possible. If you have not received your annual flu vaccine this year, now is the time! It generally takes 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine for your body to develop immunity.

Talk with your primary care provider or visit your local pharmacy to get the flu vaccine. To make an appointment for the Covid-19 vaccine, visit the GO Health website by clicking here. If you want to see weekly flu updates, you can use the NYS Flu Tracker (click here).

For more information about Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments, visit You can also visit Facebook at Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments, Twitter, and Instagram: @GoHealthNY.

Orleans again leads state with Covid positivity rate now at 15.1%

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 December 2021 at 6:22 pm

County also at new pandemic high for active cases

Orleans County is again at the top of the state for percent of positive Covid tests with 15.1 percent coming back positive in the past seven days. That is well ahead of the state’s 4.61 percent positive rate in the previous 7 days.

The four GLOW counties are all over 10 percent in positivity rate over the 7 days with Genesee at 14.0 percent, Livingston at 10.6 percent, Orleans at 15.1 percent and Wyoming at 14.5 percent.

Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming are the three highest positive test rates in the state.

Orleans also had the highest Covid positivity rate in the state with a 7-day average of 11.9 percent on Nov. 22. The state’s 7-day rate was 3.30 percent on Nov. 22.

Orleans County also is reporting 174 new positive Covid cases since Monday, and 79 more recoveries or people who completed their 10-day isolation and have been removed from mandatory isolation.

The county has 315 active Covid cases, a new pandemic record. It’s previous high was 281 on Nov. 12.

Orleans also has 17 residents hospitalized due to Covid, up from 15 on Monday, according to the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

Genesee County is reporting 140 new cases since Monday and 138 more recoveries. The county has 39 people hospitalized due to Covid, up from 30 on Monday.

The county also had another person die from Covid, a resident over age 65. This is the 145th Genesee resident to pass away from Covid during the pandemic since March 2020.

Active Covid cases fall in past week but hospitalizations up in Genesee, Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 November 2021 at 7:14 pm

2 counties report 507 new cases in past week, and 3 more deaths

The number of active Covid cases is down from a week ago but the number of people hospitalized due to Covid has increased in both Genesee and Orleans counties.

A week ago the two counties combined for 633 active cases, the most during the Covid pandemic dating back to March 2020.

Today, there are 463 active cases with 222 in Orleans (down from 237 a week ago) and 241 in Genesee (down from 396 on Nov. 22).

The two counties both have an increase in people hospitalized due to Covid. Orleans is at 15, up from 12 a week ago and four on Nov. 18. Genesee has 30 residents hospitalized from Covid, an increase from 19 a week ago and 9 on Nov. 18.

The two counties have had 507 more people test positive for Covid in the past seven days, the Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments reported today.

Orleans has 200 more cases in the past week, and 210 more recoveries or people who completed their 10-day isolation and have been removed from mandatory isolation.

Genesee has 307 new cases in the past seven days, and 459 more recoveries.

Orleans also had a resident under age 65 pass away from Covid, while Genesee has two more deaths, who were people over age 65. According to the state, Orleans has now had 96 people die from Covid and Genesee has had 144 since March 2020.

Orleans and Genesee continue to have a positive Covid test rate well above the state average. The 7-day average for positive Covid tests in the state is 4.12 percent. However, that positive rate over seven days is 12.6 percent in Genesee and 11.7 percent in Orleans. Wyoming County currently has the highest positivity rate in the state at 14.7 percent over the previous seven days.

Hochul allows Department of Health to limit elective surgeries to boost hospital capacity

Posted 28 November 2021 at 9:10 am

Omicron Variant not detected in NY yet, but governor says, ‘It’s coming’

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

Governor Kathy Hochul announced urgent action to boost hospital capacity and address staffing shortages ahead of potential spikes in Covid-19 cases this upcoming winter.

Through an Executive Order signed by Governor Hochul, the Department of Health will be allowed to limit non-essential, non-urgent procedures for in-hospitals or systems with limited capacity to protect access to critical health care services. Limited capacity is defined as below 10% staffed bed capacity, or as determined by the Department of Health based on regional and health care utilization factors.

The new protocols will begin on Friday, December 3, and will be re-assessed based on the latest Covid-19 data on January 15. The Executive Order will also enable New York State to acquire more quickly any critical supplies to combat the pandemic.

“We’ve taken extraordinary action to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and combat this pandemic. However, we continue to see warning signs of spikes this upcoming winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York State, it’s coming,” Governor Hochul said. “In preparation, I am announcing urgent steps to expand hospital capacity and help ensure our hospital systems can tackle any challenges posed by the pandemic as we head into the winter months. The vaccine remains one of our greatest weapons in fighting the pandemic, and I encourage every New Yorker to get vaccinated, and get the booster if you’re fully vaccinated.”

The Hochul Administration continues to take comprehensive steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including mask protocols in health care and P-12 school settings, correctional facilities and detentions centers, public transportation and at transportation hubs, and implementation of the HERO Act which requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans in response to Covid-19.

The Administration continues to focus on boosting vaccination rates among New Yorkers, including bolstering the State’s network of vaccine access points, and working to expand testing supplies. That also includes acting on our comprehensive plan to vaccinate school-aged children 5-17, provide incentive programs, combat vaccine misinformation campaigns, increase vaccine awareness, deploy pop-up vaccines in targeted low-vaccination areas, and implement vaccine requirements for health care workers. On August 24, the vaccination rate among adults with one dose was 78.8%. Today, it is 90.2%.

Further, the Administration continues to ramp up booster shots and urges all New Yorkers to get the booster dose once fully vaccinated. As of November 24, over 2.2 million boosters and/or additional doses have been administered. Nearly 4,500 locations across are administering booster shots.

The Administration will continue to partner with local leaders to make vaccines, boosters and testing more widely available.

Genesee, Orleans pass 600 active Covid cases for first time

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 November 2021 at 10:12 pm

Hospitalizations are on the rise from Covid locally

The number of active Covid cases in Genesee and Orleans counties is more than 600 for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are currently 396 active cases in Genesee and 237 in Orleans for 633 total in the two counties.

That is up from 581 a week ago, the previous high for the two counties when there were 326 cases in Genesee and 255 in Orleans.

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments reported 237 new Covid cases in Genesee since Thursday, and 134 more recoveries or previously positive individuals who completed their 10-day isolation and have been removed from mandatory isolation.

Genesee also has 19 residents hospitalized due to Covid, which is up from nine who were hospitalized on Thursday.

Orleans has 104 more new Covid cases since Thursday and 137 more recoveries. The county currently has 12 residents hospitalized due to Covid, which is up from four on Thursday.

The county also is reporting a death from Covid, an individual over age 65. This is the 95th death in Orleans County from Covid since March 2020, according to the NYS Department of Health (click here).

The seven-day positive test rate in Orleans is at 10.9 percent and in Genesee it is at 9.9 percent, which is about three times the positivity rate in the state at 3.8 percent.

G-O Health urges people to take precautions from Covid when gathering over holidays

Posted 19 November 2021 at 6:14 pm

Press Release, Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments

With the recent increase in positive cases of Covid-19, colder weather and the upcoming holidays it is important to remember we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the beginning of flu season.

“We are currently seeing a surge of positive Covid-19 cases across Genesee and Orleans Counties, the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions,” stated Paul Pettit, Director of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.  “We want families to be able to enjoy the holidays together, however we are encouraging them gather safely.”

As we come together to celebrate Thanksgiving next week and Christmas and New Year’s next month, here are some tips for a safer holiday season:

  • If you aren’t vaccinated or have not gotten a booster, now is the time. Talk with your primary care provider to determine what is best for you or if you have questions or concerns.
  • Even if you don’t have symptoms, consider testing prior to any gathering to know your Covid-19 status so you are limiting potential spread.
  • The more people a person is in contact with, and for longer periods of time, the greater the risk of being exposed to and transmitting Covid-19. Limit time in large groups and increase space and/or wear face masks even if you are fully vaccinated.
  • Wash hands frequently and sanitize shared items.
  • If you are sick, experiencing Covid-19 or flu symptoms, are in isolation or quarantine, do not participate in any holiday activities until you are cleared and symptom free.
  • If you are planning to attend a holiday/seasonal gathering and start experiencing symptoms, stay home, consider getting tested for Covid-19.Isolate until you get your test results.
  • Limiting social contact is challenging for many people but there are still ways to be in contact without being in their physical presence. Consider having your “gatherings” over social media platforms. You can still connect and have fun in the safety and comfort of your own home.
  • If you do choose to participate in various activities, wear a face masks/coverings to minimize exposure indoors/outdoors when with people not in your household and when vaccination status is unknown.

If you are seeking a booster (all adults are now eligible) or start vaccination you can visit website and choose vaccination information. GO Health has clinics at their respective health departments. Registration is required for all vaccination clinics.

Orleans County vaccination clinics are scheduled for Tuesday, November 23rdat the Orleans County Health Department, 14016 Route 31 West, Albion, NY.

  • Moderna Boosters only – 10 to 11:30 a.m.
  • All doses (no pediatric appointments for 5 to 11-year-olds) – 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Genesee County vaccination clinics are scheduled for Wednesday, November 24that the Genesee County Health Department, 3837 West Main Street Road, Batavia, NY.

  • Moderna Boosters only – 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
  • All doses (no pediatric appointments for 5 to 11-year-olds) – 10:30 a.m. to noon

Genesee, Orleans report 249 more Covid cases in 3 days

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 November 2021 at 8:05 am

Genesee and Orleans counties combined are reporting 249 more Covid cases from Monday to Thursday, with 133 in Genesee and 116 in Orleans.

The number active cases remains near a record high during the pandemic at 577 in the two counties. That is down slightly from the 581 on Monday, when the two counties combined had their most cases since the pandemic started in March 2020.

Genesee is at 298 active cases (down from 326 on Monday) and Orleans is at 279 (up from 255 on Monday).

Orleans has four people in the hospital from Covid, and the county is reporting 91 more recoveries, or previous positive individuals who completed their 10-day isolation and were removed from mandatory isolation.

Genesee currently has nine people hospitalized due to Covid and reported 159 more recoveries.

The seven-day positivity rate for Covid tests in Orleans was at 11.3 percent on Thursday, and Genesee is at 9.1 percent. That is well above the state’s 7-day average of 3.58 percent.

Orleans no longer has the highest 7-day average. Washington County is the highest at 12.9 percent, followed by Fulton at 12.8 percent, and Cattaraugus at 12.1 percent.

Hochul announces state will pay tuition for 1,000 new registered nurses

Posted 18 November 2021 at 10:35 am

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

Governor Kathy Hochul today, at a breakfast hosted by the Association for a Better New York, announced a State University of New York and City University of New York Scholarship Program called the Nurses For Our Future Scholarship that will cover tuition for 1,000 new healthcare workers to get RNs at SUNY and CUNY. The program comes in an effort to help address the shortage in healthcare and lack of workers in hospitals around the state.

“Just a year ago, we were celebrating our healthcare workers as the heroes they are, and the pandemic has shown us that we cannot afford a labor shortage in the healthcare industry,” Governor Hochul said.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, hospitals have been facing a labor shortage and a massive influx of patients. This scholarship program is designed to recruit and retrain nursing and health care professionals to serve in NYSRNs which are most in need. There are currently more than 9,300 openings for Registered Nurses in New York State. The Nurses For Our Future Scholarship will mean 1,000 more students can enter a nursing program in either SUNY or CUNY. Students will be able to complete their programs with a flexible schedule, either part-time or full-time.

This effort will incentivize New York State residents active in the health care field to upskill their career path and advance their education through the SUNY or CUNY system.

In addition, the New York State Department of Labor will help market these new opportunities to existing and unemployed workers, including opportunities available through regional SUNY Educational Opportunity Centers for entry-level nurse certifications in high demand including Certified Nursing Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse and Nursing Home Aide.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, “With more than 70 nursing programs spanning every degree from LPN to BSN and that are found in every corner of New York State as well as online, SUNY stands ready to meet the growing demand for nurses who are the heartbeat of healthcare.”

New York State Nurses Association Executive Director Pat Kane, RN, said, “Nobody has put more on the line than those of us on the front line during this pandemic, and Governor Hochul’s visionary investment in helping us rebuild our nursing ranks is exactly the kind of support we need to keep delivering the care New Yorkers rely on.”

With high Covid positivity rate in Orleans, health director urges precautions, recommends vaccine

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 November 2021 at 8:09 am

ALBION – Orleans County has one of the highest positivity rates for Covid tests in the state, with 11.8 percent of tests coming back positive in the past seven days ending Monday.

Only Washington County, at 12.7 percent, tops Orleans. That county moved past Orleans for the highest 7-day average after having 27.3 percent of its tests – 84 out of 308 – test positive on Monday. (Orleans had 15.3 percent positive on Monday with 27 out 177.) Neighboring Genesee County is at 9.2 percent for its 7-day average.

The state 7-day average is currently 3.40 percent, putting Orleans more than three times the state average. The positivity rate varies around the state. Orleans is in the Finger Lakes Region which has a positive test rate of 8.73 percent, the highest in the state and just ahead of the 8.52 percent for Western New York. New York City has the lowest rate at 1.41 percent.

“It’s not just in Orleans and Genesee,” said Paul Pettit, public health director for those two counties. “We’re seeing increases throughout Finger Lakes and Western New York.”

The increased screening and surveillance testing is picking up more positives, he said.

And seasonal changes are bringing people back inside for gatherings, meetings and parties.

“This environment is more conducive to the spread of respiratory illnesses, including Covid,” Pettit said.

As the pandemic stretches to 20 months and counting, there is also fatigue from the public with less adherence to current CDC recommendations on masking, distancing, and staying home if symptomatic, Pettit said.

The Delta variant also spreads with a high infectivity rate and there is reduced efficacy in vaccines over time in preventing Covid, Pettit said. About 25 to 30 percent of the new Covid infections are “breakthrough cases” of people who had been vaccinated.

He continues to strongly recommend the vaccine to protect the public from Covid. “The vaccine is very effective in preventing severity of disease, including hospitalization and death.” He encourages people to get the vaccine booster shot “to get vaccine efficacy back up for increased protection.”

Pettit offered this advice to slow the spread of Covid: “Wear a mask when in crowded areas, stay home if you have symptoms, get vaccinated which will lessen the severity and get the booster.”

Treasure Island fundraiser raises $36,000 for Orleans Community Health

Provided photos: Laurel Carney looks over baskets and bids from her phone during the Treasure Island fundraiser on Nov. 6. 

Posted 16 November 2021 at 11:14 am

Press Release, Orleans Community Health Foundation

MEDINA – After two years, Treasure Island was brought back on November 6th at a new location with a new bidding format.

With the introduction of a mobile bidding app, bidders could participate not only at the event at Shelby Fire Hall, but they could also do so from the comfort of their home. Anyone from anywhere could be bidding on the donated items during the auction.

Heather Smith, OCH Foundation Executive Director and Kimberly Gray, OCH CNO and Director of Surgical Services, enjoyed the fundraising event.

Although some missed the silent auction bidding sheets, it was evident that this new format brought a different element of bidder excitement and in the end it helped them exceed their goal.

This year’s event was a part of the 2021 “Together We Are Stronger” Fundraising Campaign that was built to benefit several different departments all across the Orleans Community Health system.

Treasure Island was specifically dedicated to raising funds for the purchase of a new stress test system in the Cardiac Services Department and the purchase of new patient lifts for our patient care area on the second floor of Medina Memorial Hospital.

There was an assortment of over 170 gift baskets and certificates that were donated by community members, hospital departments, local businesses, and also by several businesses located from the Finger Lakes to Buffalo. Some of the featured items were a trip to Myrtle Beach, overnight stay to local & regional hotels that included dinner, museum memberships, area golf course memberships, sporting goods & events, Coach purses, an assortment of furniture, a high-end bourbon tasting and local winery tasting parties.

Nearly 150 guests were on site to enjoy a wonderful buffet dinner provided by Zambistro’s Catering. In-person guests were also able to exclusively participate in the live auction, the Lucky Cork wine pull, door prizes and a 50/50. The event also boasted a small cash raffle with five different cash prizes.

During the event we heard from OCH Foundation Executive Director Heather Smith and guest auctioneer Wes Pickreign who both kept everyone up to date on how the bidding was going through the night. They were excited to close out the evening by announcing that they had met the goal of $35,000! Additional cash donations came in over the next few days that pushed the event past the goal and helped raise just over $36,000.

A highlight of the evening was hearing from the events honorary chairperson, Kimberly Gray, Orleans Community Health’s Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Surgical Services. During Kim’s speech she addressed the community as a whole, “Whether you are clinical practitioners, executive directors, administrators, health care workers, state/federal employees, social workers, work in academics, or community members supporting our local hospital – Thank you for the work that you do in serving our community. We need leaders and hard workers like you in all sectors working together to improve and maintain our local rural hospital.”

Kimberly was selected by the Treasure Island Steering Committee for her dedication to providing compassionate care to every patient we serve and her love of this community.

The Treasure Island Committee would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of this year’s sponsors, volunteers, participants and donors.  It is because of all of your generosity that this event was a success and we are grateful for your continued dedication to the services we provide here at Orleans Community Health.

A special thank you to Shelby Fire Hall for donating the hall and to our corporate supporters: Baxter Healthcare, Cooper Funeral Home, Generations Bank, Jr. Wilson’s Sportsman Club, Lake Country Pennysaver, OCH Medical Staff, Takeform, Visiting Nurses Association of WNY and WNY Energy.

This group enjoys the Treasure Island event. From left include Ken and Carol Baker, Gloria Brent, Michael Snyder, Brianna Pasnik and Angel Wolf.

Orleans has highest Covid positivity rate in state

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 November 2021 at 6:55 pm

Active cases climb in Genesee to all-time high of 326; Orleans sees slight dip after hitting record on Friday

Orleans County currently has the highest Covid positivity rate in the state with a 7-day average of 11.9 percent. That is well above the state’s 7-day rate of 3.30 percent.

Orleans on Friday had the second-highest Covid positivity rate in the state, behind Cattaraugus. Orleans was at 11.1 percent and Cattaraugus was at 11.5 percent.

The rate in Orleans has continued to climb since then, while Cattaraugus is down to 11.0 percent, the fourth highest 7-day average today. Washington County is at 11.4 percent, with Montgomery at 11.2 percent and Fulton at 10.7 percent.

Genesee is also well above the state average at 9.0 percent for its 7-day average.

The number of active Covid cases in Genesee and Orleans counties is at 581 today, up by two from Friday when the two counties together set a new pandemic high of 579 cases in the two counties.

Genesee is driving the increase from Friday, going from 298 active cases to 326 today, a new record high for Genesee during the pandemic since March 2020.

Orleans is down from its record high of 281 active cases on Friday to 255 today, according to the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

Orleans has 83 new positive cases since Friday, and 109 more recoveries or previously positive individuals who completed their 10-day isolation and been removed from mandatory isolation.

There are currently 4 from Orleans hospitalized due to Covid.

Genesee is reporting 166 new positive cases in the past three days, and 127 recoveries.

There are currently 22 Genesee residents who are hospitalized due to Covid.

Genesee has also had six residents die from Covid in the past three weeks, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments reported. That includes five people over age 65, and one under age 65.

“We do not provide any further information to protect the privacy of the individuals and their families,” the Health Departments said in a news briefing. “Our deepest condolences are extended to the family and friends of these individuals.”

Active Covid cases at new record high for Orleans, Genesee

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 November 2021 at 9:01 pm

2 counties pass 500 active cases for first time during pandemic; Orleans goes past 5,000 cases total since March 2020

Orleans and Genesee counties combined have passed 500 active Covid cases today for the first time since the pandemic.

Each county also has set a new record high for active cases. Orleans is at 281. It previously peaked at 279 on Jan. 7, 2021.

Genesee is at 298 today, past its previous high of 269 on Dec. 7, 2020.

The 579 active cases in the two counties is up from 481 on Monday, the last update from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments and the previous high for active cases.

Both Genesee and Orleans have Covid positivity rates well above the state average of 3.0 percent over the past seven days. Orleans is at 11.1 percent over the seven days, the second highest percentage in the state, only behind the 11.5 percent at Cattaraugus County. Genesee, at 8.9 percent, is at nearly three times the state positivity rate.

Orleans has 177 new positive cases since Monday, and now is at 5,006 positive cases since March 2020.

The county currently has three people hospitalized due to Covid, and is reporting 125 more of the previous positive individuals have completed their 10-day isolation and been removed from mandatory isolation.

Orleans has also had three people die due to Covid since Nov. 4, going from 90 deaths to 93.

Genesee is reporting 118 new positive Covid cases since Monday, and 62 more recoveries. The county currently has 22 residents hospitalized due to Covid, and also has had three people die from Covid since Nov. 4, bringing the total deaths from 135 to 138 during the pandemic.

Tri-county group highlights resources for survivors of suicide loss

Posted 9 November 2021 at 7:52 pm

Press Release provided by the GOW Pathway to Hope Steering Committee and Orleans County Suicide Prevention Coalition Member, Meredith Minier

“My name is Meredith Minier and I am a suicide survivor.  That was so hard – impossible – to say and write for a long time, but it is true.

Many people think it refers to a person who has survived a suicide attempt.  Not true.  It means we lost someone we loved dearly – and still love – to suicide. Some days it seems like it was a long time ago, and sometimes is seems like my husband, Lee, died just last week.  If you know me or anyone who has lost someone to suicide, you are a suicide survivor – in fact, I can almost say everyone who is reading this is a suicide survivor. Perhaps it was a cousin, a work associate, your best friend’s mother, the neighbor down the road, or your spouse or child.

We ‘suicide survivors’ are a unique group of grievers with unique challenges; one of the most challenging is fighting the stigma associated with suicide. Many of us feel frozen, in so much pain we don’t know how to move forward. It is not something our loved ones would want for us. I felt that way for a long time until I finally took action to turn my pain into something positive and help those in my community find the help and resources they need to heal and be productive and honor the one they loved and lost.”

To help the process of healing, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ( has sponsored the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. AFSP sponsors this special day the Saturday before Thanksgiving of each November. The GOW Pathway to Hope Steering Committee and the Orleans County Suicide Prevention Coalition have planned a week of special online activities preceding the 20th for all the residents of Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming County communities to come together and reach out a hand to those grieving following the loss of a loved one to suicide.

Please go to the following Facebook pages Orleans County (, Wyoming County ( or the GOW Pathway to Hope page ( for positive thoughts, ideas and activities for positive action during the Week of November 15th.

International Survivors of Suicide Loss day is observed worldwide as a way of showing support to survivors who are struggling.  Please light a candle on Nov. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. to bring these survivors out of the darkness and into the light with your support.

If you are on Facebook, please take a picture and post it on your page and tag it #LightAPathway2Hope2021 so we can share it on our social media platforms. For those who are not on Facebook but would like to share a remembrance of a loved one or share words of encouragement for those who are grieving, you can send an anonymous message via survey monkey and we will share them as we are able:

“Suicide survivor’s put a face to suicide…by sharing their personal stories, they are able to turn their grief into action and communicate the urgent need to take concrete steps to prevent more deaths by suicide.  Their openness also sends a message of hope that there is always a tomorrow after suicide.” – Author unknown

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety and/or thoughts of suicide it is important to reach out for help.  The Care + Crisis Helpline is a free, confidential helpline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can call 585-283-5200 or text ‘Hope’ to 741741 and they will help connect you with appropriate assistance.

For the Genesee County Mental Health, call 585-344-1421.  The Orleans County Mental Health Department can be reached at 585-589-7066.  In Wyoming County you can reach out to Spectrum Health at 585-786-0220 or Clarity Wellness at 585-786-0790.  For veterans, please call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. If you are having a mental health emergency, please call 9-1-1 for assistance.

You are not alone, there are people who want to help.

Orleans has second highest Covid positivity rate in state

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 November 2021 at 11:25 pm

Genesee and Orleans report 217 more Covid cases since Thursday

Orleans County currently has the second highest percentage of positive Covid tests over seven days in the state at 9.8 percent.

The state-wide positivity rate is 2.6 percent, putting Orleans at nearly four times the state average. Only Allegany County has a higher positivity rate than Orleans at 11.1 percent. Genesee is at 7.9 percent.

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments reported the number of Covid cases in the two counties since Thursday, with Orleans having 105 more and Genesee another 112.

The number of active cases in the two counties is now up to 481, a pandemic high. It was at 472 on Thursday. Orleans is at 232 and Genesee at 249 today.

Orleans is reporting 105 new positive cases since Thursday and 114 additional recoveries, or people who have completed the 10-day quarantine and been released from mandatory isolation. Genesee has 112 new cases since Thursday, and 87 more recoveries.

Orleans currently has seven residents hospitalized due to Covid, and Genesee has 15 in the hospital from Covid.

Orleans County also had another resident die from Covid, bringing that total to 91 since March 2020. The individual who most recently passed away was over 65 years old.

“Our deepest condolences are extended to the family and friends of this individual,” the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments stated in a news briefing.