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Another resident at Orchard Rehab & Nursing dies from Covid-19

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 July 2020 at 5:06 pm

Orleans has now suffered 55 deaths from coronavirus

Another person has died from Covid-19 in Orleans County, bringing the county’s total confirmed deaths from Covid-19 to 55.

The latest death was a resident of Orchard Rehab & Nursing Center in Medina. That nursing home has now had 24 residents die of Covid-19. (The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center has had 30 residents die from Covid-19. A community resident also has died from Covid-19.)

The death reported today by the Genesee and Orleans Health Departments is the first since the 54thdeath was reported on June 29.

The Health Departments also reported today there are no new Covid-19 cases in Orleans, while Genesee has two new confirmed cases.

The two new cases in Genesee include a resident of Alexander and a person in Pembroke. One is in the 20s and the other is in the 40s.

The positive individuals were not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.

Genesee also has one new recovery and has had 173 recoveries from the community.

The Health Departments also said 27 more people from Genesee are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.  Genesee now has 35 on precautionary quarantine due to travel.

Orleans has one more on precautionary quarantine for 21 total.

More from Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments:

• Travel Advisory: New York is requiring travelers from the following 22 states with high coronavirus rates to self-quarantine for 14 days: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

• Traveler Health Form: For all out-of-state travelers from NYS restricted states, whether arriving by land or air, must self-identify by completing a traveler health form or be subject to a $2,000 fine. Click here for the traveler health form.

• Antibody Testing: This is a current snapshot (as of July 14) of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results we have received and will be updated periodically, but not daily.

  • Genesee County: Of the 1,674 antibody test results received there were 52 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies.
  • Orleans County: Of the 721 antibody test results received there were 17 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies.

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NY passes 25,000 confirmed Covid-19 deaths

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 July 2020 at 1:11 pm

New York State has passed 25,000 confirmed deaths from Covid-19. The state had nine confirmed deaths on Tuesday from Covid-19, bringing the total to 25,003.

The daily deaths from Covid-19 have been in the single digits most days the past two weeks. That is down from the peak in early April, when there were usually more than 700 each day with a peak of 799 on April 8.

Orleans County has 54 of those deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic, with 30 at the Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center in Albion, 23 at Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Medina, and one other resident in the community.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state has made significant progress reducing the daily deaths and infections from Covid-19.

“New Yorkers brought the curve down by making big changes, and we see that work reflected in the numbers every day,” Cuomo said. “But we must continue to be smart – by wearing a mask, social distancing and washing our hands, we all have a role to play in protecting the progress we’ve made and leading the rest of the nation by example.”

Cuomo also announced today the state was named most responsible state in fighting Covid-19 according to a new study by The Truth About Insurance.

“We’ve used data and science to drive this fight and fuel our re-opening strategy, but make no mistake, this distinction is shared by every single New Yorker who did the right thing these last months, ignored the politics, socially distanced and wore a mask,” Cuomo said. “Together, we climbed this terrible mountain and came down on the other side, but we can’t stop now. We must remain disciplined and we must remain New York Tough. We’ve come too far to go back to where we were.”

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No new Covid-19 cases in Orleans, Genesee has 2 more

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 July 2020 at 4:18 pm

There are no new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Orleans County while Genesee County has two more, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments reported this afternoon.

There two new positive cases in Genesee include a Batavia resident and Pembroke resident. One of the new cases is a person in the 40s and the other is in the 60s. The positive individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.

Genesee now has had 236 people test positive for coronavirus while Orleans has had 269.

Genesee also has had two more recoveries and now has 172 total in the community. No one in Genesee is currently hospitalized from Covid-19, while Orleans has six who are hospitalized with Covid-19.

More from Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments:

Travel Advisory: New York is requiring travelers from the following 22 states with high coronavirus rates to self-quarantine for 14 days: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

Traveler Health Form: For all out-of-state travelers from NYS restricted states, whether arriving by land or air, must self-identify by completing a traveler health form or be subject to a $2,000 fine. Click here for the traveler health form.

Precautionary Quarantine: Everyone (including children) who has traveled to/from any restricted states (for more than 24 hours) are required to self (precautionary) 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 14 days. Businesses including childcare providers should include a travel question in their regular health screening for their staff and clientele/children. For general inquiries contact or call the Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or click Ask A Question.

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NY adds 4 more states to travel advisory – Ohio, Minnesota, New Mexico and Wisconsin

Posted 14 July 2020 at 10:53 am

People traveling from those states to NY will need to self quarantine for 14 days

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that four additional states meet the metrics to qualify for the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from those states, all of which have significant community spread, to quarantine for 14 days.

The newly-added states are Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin. Delaware has been removed. That puts 22 states on New York’s travel advisory.

The quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced a travel enforcement operation will commence today at airports across the state to help ensure travelers are following the state’s quarantine restrictions and to help contain the rates of COVID-19 transmission in New York State.

“New Yorkers showed incredible courage and resiliency throughout this pandemic, and nowhere is their work more evident than in the numbers we release every day, including in New York City, once a global hotspot,” Governor Cuomo said. “However, the success of our efforts depends on citizens’ willingness to comply with state guidance, socially distance, wear masks and wash their hands, and rising cases around the country continue to threaten our progress, which is why four new states have been added to New York’s travel advisory.”

The 22 states on the advisory include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

“It’s also clear based on contact tracing that many of the new cases in New York are a result of a lack of compliance during the July 4 weekend and illustrate how quickly the virus spreads, with one party, for example, infecting more than a third of attendees,” Cuomo said. “I cannot be more clear: Look at what’s happening in the rest of the country — if we are not smart, if we don’t wear masks and socially distance, cases will spike. No one wants to go back to the hell we experienced three months ago, so please stay vigilant.”

State and local contact tracing efforts found that 35 percent of people who attended a Fourth of July weekend party in Suffolk County – or more than 1/a third of the entire party – became infected with COVID-19, demonstrating how quickly the virus can spread.

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Orleans and Genesee each report 1 new case of Covid-19

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2020 at 6:18 pm

Orleans and Genesee counties each have one new confirmed case of Covid-19. Orleans has now had 269 people test positive while Genesee has had 234 test positive for coronavirus.

In Orleans, the new positive case is a person from Yates in the 20s. The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments reported today.

Orleans also has one more recovery from Covid-19, for 114 recoveries from community members. In Orleans, there are seven people hospitalized with Covid-19.

The new positive case in Genesee County is a person from Oakfield in the 20s. The individual was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.

Genesee also is reporting one more recovery for 170 total. No one in Genesee is currently hospitalized with Covid-19.

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 16 people currently on precautionary quarantine due to the advisory, while Genesee is reporting 8 people on precautionary quarantine.

At-risk: Please continue to make sure you are practicing social distancing especially if you have underlying health conditions or are over 65 years old. Wear masks/face coverings whenever you are out in public, especially if you cannot maintain a 6-foot space between non-household members. Wash or sanitize your hands and shared items often.

The most important thing to remember is if you are having any type of symptoms to STAY HOME! Some of the symptoms people have been reporting are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste and/or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, headaches, fatigue nausea or vomiting and/or diarrhea.

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.)

Antibody Testing: This is a current snapshot of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results in both counties.

  • Genesee County: Of the 1,639 antibody test results received there are 51 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies.
  • Orleans County: Of the 709 antibody test results received there are 17 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies.

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NY has lowest Covid-19 hospitalizations since March 18

Posted 11 July 2020 at 12:44 pm

With 730 new cases, state passes 400K infections of Covid-19

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today updated New Yorkers on the state’s progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Hospitalizations dropped below 800 for the first time since March 18, and the three-day average death toll—7—is the lowest since March 16.

“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve made progress by recognizing that state and local governments can’t fight the virus on their own—the efforts of everyday New Yorkers to socially distance, wear masks and wash their hands are central to our ability to slow the spread and save lives,” Governor Cuomo said.

Today’s data is summarized briefly below:

  • Patient Hospitalization: 799 (-27)
  • Patients Newly Admitted: 75 (-12)
  • Number ICU: 177 (-1)
  • Number ICU with Intubation: 100 (+8)
  • Total Discharges: 71,477 (+106)
  • Deaths: 6
  • Total Deaths: 24,974

“As we allow ourselves to celebrate some good news—that hospitalizations have dropped below 800 for the first time since March 18 and the three-day average death toll is at its lowest since March 16—I urge residents to stay New York Tough and not give up the ground we’ve worked so hard to gain together, particularly in the face of rising cases throughout the country and compliance issues here at home,” Cuomo said.

Of the 69,203 tests conducted in New York State yesterday, 730, or 1.05 percent, were positive.

The Governor also confirmed 730 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 401,029 confirmed cases in New York State.

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Genesee-Orleans top 500 confirmed Covid-19 cases during pandemic

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 July 2020 at 4:33 pm

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.)

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NY allows visitors to nursing homes for first time since March 13

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 July 2020 at 3:52 pm

ALBANY – The State Department of Health announced today that beginning on Wednesday 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.”

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Local Health Departments urge vigilance against rabies

Posted 10 July 2020 at 3:04 pm

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.

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Orleans again reports no new Covid-19 cases

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 July 2020 at 4:57 pm

County hasn’t had a new confirmed case in past 7 days

Orleans County has made it seven straight days without a new confirmed case of Covid-19, according to the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

Orleans remains at 267 people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Genesee County has one new confirmed case, a person in the 50s from Darien. The individual was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.

Orleans and Genesee both have 11 people on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

Genesee doesn’t have anyone currently hospitalized with Covid-19, while Orleans has six who are hospitalized.

(Editor’s Note: The state Department of Health lists Orleans with more cases. The local Health Department issued this response: “NYS data has been off due to some results being linked to people with one of our county’s addresses but actually don’t live in either county. These results are transferred to the appropriate county of residence, but are not reflected on the State’s daily updates.”)

More from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments:

• 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.

• 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.)

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Albion couple retires after dedicated careers at GCASA

Posted 9 July 2020 at 9:32 am

By Mike Pettinella, GCASA Publicist

Provided photo: Albion residents Nick and Cyndi Mardino worked together at GCASA.

ALBION – Whether they were spending time at their Albion home or on the job at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Albion residents Nick and Cyndi Mardino are grateful for the opportunity to share their experiences together.

The Mardinos retired at the end of May after long careers at GCASA, primarily at the Albion clinic on East Avenue but also at the Batavia campus on East Main Street.

Cyndi began employment there in 2000, the last 18 or so years as the agency’s customer service supervisor, while Nick started in 2005, first as a part-time maintenance man while he worked his full-time job as a corrections officer at Orleans Correctional Facility and then, over the past year, in a full-time role.

Driven by a mindset focused upon togetherness and teamwork, and guided by a strong faith in God, the Mardinos made a tremendous impact upon GCASA staff and clients, alike.

“Both Cyndi and Nick were excellent employees. They always went above and beyond their job duties, and they were loyal and dedicated to GCASA,” said Kathy S. Hodgins, chief clinical officer, a close friend of Cyndi.

Hodgins said Cyndi, as support staff supervisor, “treated her staff with respect and valued each one of them,” while Nick made sure “the building and grounds in Albion were always immaculate.”

Interviewed by telephone on Wednesday, the Mardinos said that working at GCASA has been “a blessing” and while they miss the work, they miss their colleagues and clients even more.

“I have enjoyed my experience with GCASA and getting to know so many people who over the years had become like family to me,” Cyndi said. “I have enjoyed working with the front staff and Beth Collee and Rachel Patten were the most amazing people to work with and they were family to me.  The front office team was a joy and I was very sad to leave.”

Nick, an Air Force veteran, said his time at GCASA was “a pleasure,” and he especially enjoyed taking on all kinds of projects with co-workers Jeff Helenbrook and Ron Hall.

And they said it was extra special to be able to interact with each other at different times.

“We always worked well together, so if somebody needed something, I would say, ‘Nick, can you do this?’ Or if one of the counselors needed something done, I would ask him and he’d always take care of it.”

Cyndi said people would ask her how she could work with her husband and then go home. “I would say, ‘You know what? He’s my best friend.’”

Nick agreed, simply stating, “We do everything together.”

Cyndi believes that working at GCASA was meant to be.

“Kathy (Hodgins) always said you’re here for a reason,” she said. “Because I grew up in an alcoholic family and my first husband was an alcoholic, so there’s always a reason.”

The Mardinos were always quick with a smile and a word of encouragement, traits of their outgoing personalities.

“I always enjoyed talking to the patients because you wanted to have a good rapport with them. I told the staff — my team – ‘Listen guys, they’re walking in here and a lot of times that first step is the hardest to do.’ When they walk in that door, they have to be treated as a human being,” Cyndi said. “They have problems and we can’t help them with that, but we can be that smiling face – that person who could be there if they have questions or if they just need someone to smile at them.”

The Mardinos were looking to retire a couple years down the road, but changed their plans, opting to close the full-time employment chapter of their lives at the young Social Security ages of 62 (Nick) and 63.

“God intervened and we said it was time,” Cyndi said.

They had anticipated to take a cross-country trip this summer, but that’s on hold due to the coronavirus.

Still, they said they have plenty of projects around the house, are welcoming family members (they have three grown children and six grandkids), love the time with Bella, their chocolate Labrador Retriever, and soon hope to be able to visit Nick’s mother who is in a nursing home.

The Mardinos met as a result of a blind date 33 years ago and were married in 1993. Cyndi lived in California, Oklahoma, Texas and Maine before returning to her hometown of Albion to stay. Nick is a native of North Collins in Erie County.

GCASA Executive Director John Bennett tried to keep the Mardinos on a bit longer, but that wasn’t in the cards. He did, however, manage to convince them to stay on as “per diem” employees.

So, in a pinch, GCASA employees may be able to share some moments with Cyndi and Nick once again – giving the Mardinos another chance to express their well-wishes, thanks and appreciation for two decades of service.

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No new Covid-19 cases for Orleans for sixth straight day

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 July 2020 at 4:30 pm

9 in Orleans on precautionary quarantine due to travel advisory

Orleans County has now gone six straight days without a new confirmed case of Covid-19, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments reported this afternoon.

The Health Departments reported for the first time that there are nine people on precautionary quarantine due to travel to one of 19 restricted states that are seeing a rise in Covid-19 infections.

Seven in the county remain hospitalized due to Covid-19.

The state Department of Health lists Orleans with more cases. The local Health Department issued this response: “NYS data has been off due to some results being linked to people with one of our county’s addresses but actually don’t live in either county. These results are transferred to the appropriate county of residence, but are not reflected on the State’s daily updates.”

Genesee has two new confirmed cases, bringing the Genesee total to 230. (Orleans has had 267 test positive.)

The two new cases in Genesee are a resident of Batavia and a resident of Darien. One is in the 40s and one is in the 60s. The two new positive individuals were not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.

Genesee has one more recovery for 166 total. Genesee also has six people on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. No Genesee residents are currently hospitalized from Covid-19.

More from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments:

• Masks: 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.

  • 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.)
  • Oak Orchard Health: 301 West Ave Albion, NY 14411. Call (585) 589-5613 to be screened and to schedule an appointment – no walk-ins.

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Oak Orchard Health dedicates Corfu location to Dr. Mary E. Obear

Provided photo: Oak Orchard Health on July 1 added the Pembroke Family Medicine to the healthcare organization that also has local sites in Albion, Lyndonville and Brockport. During a celebration on July 1, welcoming Pembroke Family Medicine, Oak Orchard Health also announced the Corfu site would be named in honor of Dr. Mary E. Obear, center. She is joined by Mary Ann Pettibon, CEO of Oak Orchard Health, and Gary Skoog, Oak Orchard’s board chairman.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 July 2020 at 7:51 pm

PEMBROKE – Pembroke Family Medicine’s three locations in Corfu, Alexander and Batavia are now operating with Oak Orchard Health. The Corfu location also has been named in honor of Dr. Mary E. Obear.

“Dr. Obear is the reason we’re here,” said Mary Ann Pettibon, CEO of Oak Orchard Health.

“She started this practice many years ago. It was her dream to bring primary care to this community and it grew to two more locations. We’re excited to welcome Pembroke Family Medicine patients and providers into our organization.”

All three Pembroke locations will remain the same and their patients will retain the same primary care provider. The only change they’ll see are the signs for Oak Orchard Health on the Pembroke locations in Batavia, Alexander and Corfu.

The change to Oak Orchard became effective on July 1. Both healthcare organizations provide services to everyone regardless of medical insurance status.

“I’m really moved by this occasion,” Dr. Obear said. “We’re so pleased to have found a partner in Oak Orchard Health. They align perfectly with our current model of practicing high-quality, patient-centered care. It has always been about our patients.”

Both organizations were recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as Patient Centered Medical Homes which focuses on improvements in quality of the patient experience, growing staff satisfaction, and reducing health care costs.

Oak Orchard Health was founded in 1966. It has grown from a migrant health project into an integrated health center with multiple locations providing health care services. Oak Orchard currently serves over 22,000 patients at locations in Albion, Brockport, Lyndonville, Hornell and Warsaw.

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Orleans extends streak to 5 days without new confirmed Covid-19 cases

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 July 2020 at 4:25 pm

Orleans County, for the fifth straight day, doesn’t have any new confirmed cases of Covid-19.

The county has one new recovery, bringing that total to 113 people in the community who have recovered after contracting Covid-19.

There are seven Orleans County resident currently hospitalized with Covid-19, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments reported this afternoon.

Genesee County also doesn’t have any new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and has one more recovery. Genesee has now had 165 recoveries in the community.

The two counties have had 495 people test positive for Covid-19, with 267 in Orleans and 228 in Genesee.

More from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments:

• Masks: 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.

  • 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.)
  • Oak Orchard Health: 301 West Ave Albion, NY 14411. Call (585) 589-5613 to be screened and to schedule an appointment – no walk-ins

• Antibody Testing: This is a current snapshot of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results in the two counties.

  • Genesee County: Of the 1,639 antibody test results received there were 51 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies.
  • Orleans County: Of the 709 antibody test results received there were 17 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies.

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No new cases of Covid-19 in Orleans past 4 days

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 July 2020 at 4:33 pm

County has only added one new case in the past week

There are no new Covid-19 cases to report in Orleans County, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments said this afternoon.

The local Health Departments updated the confirmed cases in the two counties today for the first time since Thursday.

Orleans County has only had one new case in the past week. The county remains at 267 cases with seven people currently hospitalized from Covid-19.

Genesee has three new confirmed cases, and now has had 228 people test positive for Covid-19.

The positive individuals reside in Batavia, Bethany and Oakfield. One of the positive individuals is in the 30s, one is in the 50s, and the other is in the 70s.

Two of the positive individuals were not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive. Genesee also has had three more recoveries, with that total now at 164. Genesee doesn’t have any residents hospitalized from Covid-19.

Click here to see an online map of confirmed cases in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

The facility breakdown is only showing the total positive cases from those facilities with positive cases of Covid-19.

More information from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments:

• Social Gatherings – According to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders, 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. So long as appropriate social distancing, wearing cloth masks/face coverings over their mouth and nose, requirements are followed.

• Stay vigilant with social distancing – Please continue to make sure you are practicing social distancing especially if you have underlying health conditions or are over 65 years old. Wear masks/face coverings whenever you are out in public, especially if you cannot maintain a 6-foot space between non-household members. Wash or sanitize your hands and shared items often.

The most important thing to remember is if you are having any type of symptoms to STAY HOME! Some of the symptoms people have been reporting are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste and/or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, headaches, fatigue nausea or vomiting and/or diarrhea.

• Travel Advisory – New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut announced that travelers from states with high coronavirus rates will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

As of July 2 those states include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. Those violating could be subject to a judicial order and mandatory quarantine and potential fines. These states may change at any time.

• 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.

  • 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.)
  • Oak Orchard Health: 301 West Ave Albion, NY 14411. Call (585) 589-5613 to be screened and to schedule an appointment – no walk-ins
  • To find additional test sites nearest you, please click here.

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