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COVID-19: CDC provides new guidance as Delta variant spikes
Tue, Jul 27th 2021 06:35 pm
On Tuesday, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated information for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of the coronavirus currently circulating in the U.S. It added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. Currently, Erie and Niagara counties are labeled moderate risk.
UB among laboratories to assist state in identification of COVID-19 variants
Tue, Jul 27th 2021 10:35 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced the selection of five laboratories to bolster state efforts in identifying COVID-19 variants. The New York State Department of Health is partnering with these laboratories to expand the genetic sequencing of specimens positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The selected laboratories have sequencing expertise and experience, as well as capacity and access to SARS-CoV-2 positive specimens from large multicounty areas in New York, outside of New York City.
Cuomo announces 'streamlined' application process for rent relief program
Mon, Jul 26th 2021 12:45 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced a new "streamlined" application process for New York's rent relief program to help eliminate potential barriers for eligible New Yorkers to receive funding.
Cuomo: Allocation of $15 million to promote vaccination in communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 pandemic
Mon, Jul 26th 2021 12:45 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced the allocation of $15 million from the New York budget to promote vaccination in communities across the state that were hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. His team said, "The funds will be used to strengthen communication, expand public education and enhance ongoing outreach efforts throughout diverse communities."
NYS REALTORS calls for state aid to renters & landlords
Wed, Jul 21st 2021 03:00 pm
The New York State Association of REALTORS Inc. released the following statement:
US to keep northern border closed through Aug. 21; Higgins 'infuriated'
Wed, Jul 21st 2021 12:15 pm
"Infuriated" by an announcement the United States government will extend restrictions on nonessential travel at the border between the U.S. and Canada for another month, Congressman Brian Higgins released the following statement:
Reports: Nearly 500K hotel jobs won't return by year's end, room revenue will be down $44 billion from 2019
Tue, Jul 20th 2021 04:25 pm
Midway through 2021, a new report and state-by-state job loss breakdown released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) find that, while leisure travel is starting to return, the hotel industry's road to recovery from the pandemic is long and uneven, with urban markets disproportionately impacted.
Higgins, Cuomo applaud Canadian government plans to allow vaccinated Americans to cross border Aug. 9
Mon, Jul 19th 2021 02:50 pm
Congressman Brian Higgins, who serves as co-chair of the Canada-U.S. interparliamentary group and the northern border caucus, released the following statement in response to an announcement by the Canadian government detailing plans to lift border restrictions for fully vaccinated Americans effective Aug. 9.
Higgins welcomes discussion to reopen US-Canada border to vaccinated travelers in August; Ortt calls it 'encouraging'
Fri, Jul 16th 2021 09:45 am
Congressman Brian Higgins responded to "positive developments" toward lifting restrictions for vaccinated travelers wishing to cross at land ports of entry between the U.S. and Canada.
Niagara County Dept. of Health schedules summer clinics for COVID-19 vaccine
Fri, Jul 16th 2021 09:45 am
The Niagara County Department of Health will collaborate with various community partners to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations at events this summer.
Hotel industry launches 'Hotels are Hiring' campaign to fill open jobs; promote benefits of working in industry
Wed, Jul 14th 2021 05:20 pm
To help fill thousands of open hotel jobs and communicate the benefits of a career in the hotel industry, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and its charitable giving arm, the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLA Foundation) announced a new advertising campaign across five major hotel markets. The new advertisement will run until early August on digital platforms, radio and in print in select markets.
Cuomo signs legislation repealing provisions of law prohibiting practice of barbering on Sunday
Tue, Jul 13th 2021 02:25 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed legislation (S.3812/A.436) that repeals provisions of law prohibiting the practice of barbering on Sunday. Though rarely enforced, there had been a law on the books making it a misdemeanor to cut hair or provide a shave to another person on Sunday.
Cuomo announces $200 million in food assistance for July
Tue, Jul 13th 2021 02:25 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced all New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will receive the maximum allowable level of food benefits for July. The agency is also working with the federal government to ensure this aid, which has brought in more than $2.5 billion in food assistance to New Yorkers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, will continue beyond July.
Mass-vaccination site at The Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls scheduled to cease operations
Mon, Jul 12th 2021 05:35 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced four mass-vaccination sites will cease operations as part of the ongoing downscaling that will allow the state to focus on localized vaccination efforts.
Higgins, Huizenga & Castor lead push to lift pandemic-related travel restrictions
Wed, Jul 7th 2021 03:05 pm
Congress members Brian Higgins, Bill Huizenga (MI-2) and Kathy Castor (FL-14) are leading a bipartisan push encouraging the Biden administration to take steps to safely reopen international travel to the U.S.
Higgins announces availability of arts grants funded through American Rescue Plan
Tue, Jul 6th 2021 02:10 pm
Congressman Brian Higgins announced the availability of more than $135 million in funding and competitive grants for arts organizations allocated through the American Rescue Plan.
SBA administrator announces closure of Restaurant Revitalization Fund program
Tue, Jul 6th 2021 11:15 am
This past Friday, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabel Guzman announced the closure of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program, signed into law by President Joe Biden as part of the American Rescue Plan. The program provided aid to restaurants and other establishments struggling to make ends meet as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Erie County Department of Health vaccine clinics scheduled for community events on Saturday
Tue, Jul 6th 2021 11:15 am
The Erie County Department of Health will be set up two community sites in Buffalo on Saturday, July 10, to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. These clinics will offer single-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine for ages 18 and older, and the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine series for youth ages 12-17.
As restaurant relief runs dry, Higgins pushes for additional funding to meet demand
Tue, Jul 6th 2021 10:00 am
As dedicated federal restaurant relief runs out, Congressman Brian Higgins is calling on Congress to move quickly to save jobs and prevent restaurants from having to close their doors. Higgins is cosponsoring the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act (H.R. 3807). The bipartisan legislation introduced in both the House and Senate would provide $60 billion in additional funding to fill the remaining need.
Cuomo signs legislation prohibiting public employers from penalizing employees for absences related to COVID-19
Thu, Jul 1st 2021 08:45 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday signed legislation (S.4201-A/A.4063) prohibiting public employers from penalizing employees who use sick leave or compensatory time to quarantine, seek medical treatment, or for other absences related to a COVID-19 diagnosis or contact.
Ryan to ECHDC: 'With COVID restrictions gone, hold public hearings for Buffalo Outer Harbor amphitheater project'
Thu, Jul 1st 2021 08:00 pm
On Thursday, New York State Sen. Sean Ryan joined Partnership for the Public Good Executive Director Andrea Ó Súilleabháin and Jay Burney of the Western New York Environmental Alliance and Times Beach Nature Preserve to urge the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. to seek more public input for the 8,000-person capacity amphitheater proposed for Buffalo's Outer Harbor.
Higgins & Rivera mark Canada Day with joint push to reopen border between US & Canada
Thu, Jul 1st 2021 09:20 am
The week, including Canada Day (July 1) and Independence Day (July 4), typically tends to be one of the busiest times of the year for cross-border travel between the U.S. and Canada. However, this year the border remains closed to nonessential travel.
National Fuel customers eligible for emergency rental assistance program to help pay past-due utility bills
Wed, Jun 30th 2021 02:55 pm
New York state is now accepting applications for $2.7 billion in funding for income-eligible renters who fell behind on rent or utility payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. is encouraging all eligible customers to apply for up to 12 months in back rent and up to three months of future rent payments, as well as up to 12 months of overdue gas bill payments.
Data from past 5 months show 'breakthrough' COVID-19 disease in just .17% of fully vaccinated Erie County residents
Fri, Jun 25th 2021 02:25 pm
The Erie County Department of Health is announcing the demobilization of its larger COVID-19 vaccination clinics at KeyBank Center, Erie Community College (ECC) North and ECC South.
Niagara County clerk says extensions for expired licenses, permits ending
Fri, Jun 25th 2021 10:10 am
Niagara County Joseph Jastrzemski on Thursday said Gov. Andrew Cuomo will not be extending his executive orders as the state of emergency for COVID-19 ends. This means there will not be any more extensions for expired drivers' licenses and permits.
Cuomo: New York ending COVID-19 state disaster emergency
Thu, Jun 24th 2021 08:35 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced New York will end the state disaster emergency declared March 7, 2020, to fight COVID-19. His team said, "Given New York's dramatic progress against COVID-19, with the success in vaccination rates, and declining hospitalization and positivity statewide, the state of emergency will expire after Thursday, June 24."
Higgins says public remarks pointing to action on US-Canada border is welcome
Thu, Jun 24th 2021 08:35 am
Congressman Brian Higgins, who serves as co-chair of the Canada-U.S. interparliamentary group, expressed cautious optimism following public remarks indicating action to allow for additional people to cross the U.S.-Canada border could come in a matter of weeks.
Ortt joins federal representatives in calls to protect WNY's Canadian property owners
Thu, Jun 24th 2021 08:35 am
On Wednesday, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt joined calls from New York's federal representatives to stop any taxes on foreigners who currently own a vacant property in Canada. Along with increased COVID-19 vaccination thresholds, the Canadian government announced it was moving forward with a plan to tax foreign owners whose properties remain vacant.
Women's Business Center to host free in-person & remote 'actionable insights' post-COVID business recovery seminar
Thu, Jun 24th 2021 08:15 am
A seminar hosted by the Women's Business Center (WBC) at Canisius College through the "ReConnect. ReStart. ReGrow." COVID-19 recovery program is bringing together a COVID-19 recovery task force (a panel of industry experts), women business owners and entrepreneurs for a morning of networking and business advice.
COVID-19: $25 million in child care scholarships for essential workers
Wed, Jun 23rd 2021 11:55 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced New York state will provide $25 million in child care scholarships to all essential workers starting June 23. Essential workers include first responders such as health care providers, pharmaceutical staff, law enforcement, firefighters, transportation workers, food delivery workers and grocery store employees.
Higgins urges SBA to deliver 'urgently needed relief to struggling venues'
Tue, Jun 22nd 2021 06:30 pm
Congressman Brian Higgins is urging the U.S. Small Business Administration to answer for "unreasonable delays" in the release of funds for the Shuttered Venue Grant Operators (SVOG) program and work quickly to ensure venues receive their COVID-19 relief funding.
Higgins calls on US government to fight for action on border
Mon, Jun 21st 2021 04:45 pm
Higgins, who serves as co-chair of the Canada-U.S. interparliamentary group, said, "We have gone too long without action. We need this administration to stand up for Americans."
Nearly 9 out of 10 recent COVID-19 cases in Erie County were not fully vaccinated
Fri, Jun 18th 2021 04:15 pm
Based on data retrieved from the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) by the Erie County Department of Health, nearly nine out of 10 new COVID-19 cases from late May until mid-June were not fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Cuomo announces new pop-up vaccination sites to serve areas with lower vaccination rates
Fri, Jun 18th 2021 07:55 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced 12 new pop-up vaccination sites will open in areas where ZIP code data shows the vaccination rate is significantly lower than the statewide average. Locally, a site opened at the Broadway Market (999 Broadway, Buffalo).
Higgins: $2.152 million to support economic recovery & small business opportunity in WNY
Thu, Jun 17th 2021 09:45 am
Congressman Brian Higgins announced $2.152 million in new federal funding made available through the U.S. Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. The Rapid Response Grants, funded with resources approved by Congress in the December 2020 appropriations bill, are targeted to reach distressed and underserved communities.
As COVID-19 restrictions lift across state, UB scientists find highly transmissible delta variant in Erie County
Wed, Jun 16th 2021 05:40 pm
University at Buffalo scientists who are doing genomic sequencing of COVID-19 samples report the delta variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Erie County. First identified in India and now responsible for a significant outbreak in the United Kingdom, the delta variant is believed to be as much as 200%, or twice as transmissible, as the original coronavirus strain.
Niagara County gives out Beacon of Hope Award to health department leadership
Wed, Jun 16th 2021 05:35 pm
The Niagara County Legislature returned to meeting in person this week and acknowledged the leadership team of the Niagara County Health Department for its "tremendous efforts in leading the county through the pandemic."
Cuomo: COVID-19 restrictions lifted as 70% of adults have received first dose of vaccine
Tue, Jun 15th 2021 03:05 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced COVID-19 restrictions are lifted immediately as 70% of New Yorkers aged 18 or older have received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination series. The state's health guidance and "New York Forward" industry-specific guidelines - including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing - are now optional for retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and personal care services, among other commercial settings.
 

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