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Leg leader: Quiet downtowns, light traffic are a good sign Orleans heeding call to stay home

Photo by Tom Rivers: There weren’t any cars on East Bank Street in Albion last evening. The governor has ordered most businesses to be closed in the wake of the coronavirus.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 March 2020 at 8:39 am

ALBION – Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson said there has been a noticeable drop in traffic in the county in the past week or more. And there are few cars in the downtown business districts.

Normally, that would be a sign of alarm. But Johnson said it is an indication that Orleans County residents are taking seriously the threat of the coronavirus and are staying home.

That has been the message from President Trump and Gov. Andrew Cuomo: stay home as much as possible to reduce the chance of spreading the virus.

“I am proud of the residents of Orleans County,” Johnson said during Wednesday’s County Legislature meeting. “You drive through Orleans County and see very few cars. The residents are listening to the warnings. They are staying home. They are going out only for necessities. We are being safe. We are being smart.”

Johnson encouraged residents to check in on their neighbors, especially senior citizens.

In Orleans County, three people have tested positive for the virus. There are about 70,000 confirmed cases in United States and at least 990 people have died from the virus in this country.

In Orleans County and throughout the state, schools and churches are closed and the governor has temporarily shut down many businesses to avoid people gathering in groups.

Johnson urged residents to take precautions — social distancing of at least 6 feet apart and to wash their hands frequently.

“The only thing that can devastate our country at this point in time is panic,” Johnson said. “We have better communications than at any time ever before in history. We have a stronger infrastructure than at any time ever before in our history. We have more resources than at any time ever before in our history. Take common-sense measures to protect yourselves and your loved ones.”

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