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Virtually all Western New Yorkers now infected with COVID-19 have delta variant, UB researchers find
Mon, Aug 16th 2021 01:00 pm
Any Western New Yorker who tests positive for COVID-19 almost certainly has contracted the delta variant, University at Buffalo scientists recently reported.
Higgins & Jericho Road Community Health Center team to increase COVID-19 vaccinations in Western New York
Sat, Aug 14th 2021 12:15 pm
Congressman Brian Higgins announced an American Rescue Plan grant totaling $658,677 was awarded to Jericho Road Community Health Center through the Department of Health and Human Services.
SBA announces plan to open supplemental grants for Shuttered Venue Operators Grant applicants
Wed, Aug 11th 2021 11:00 pm
Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration is announcing a call to all eligible Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) applicants seeking economic aid for live entertainment small businesses, nonprofits and venues.
New York state announces $200 million in additional food assistance for August
Wed, Aug 11th 2021 03:20 pm
The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance recently announced all New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will receive the maximum allowable level of food benefits for August. The agency is also working with the federal government to ensure these supplemental benefits continue to reach households in need through September and beyond.
COVID cases continue to rise in Erie County
Wed, Aug 11th 2021 10:35 am
The Erie County Department of Health on Tuesday provided an update on COVID-19 data.
NYS: Excelsior Pass Plus to support safe, secure return of tourism and business travel
Mon, Aug 9th 2021 01:05 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the launch of Excelsior Pass Plus to expand travel and commerce opportunities for New Yorkers. His team said this will enable compatibility between the state's Excelsior Pass platform, which has generated 3 million passes and provides digital proof of vaccination or negative test result, and the secure, globally recognized SMART Health Cards Framework developed by an international consortium called VCI.
Outreach campaign to ensure eligible New Yorkers register for advanced payments of Federal Child Tax Credit
Mon, Aug 9th 2021 12:45 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced a statewide outreach campaign to ensure all eligible New Yorkers register to receive advanced payments of the federal Child Tax Credit.
Zucker to school districts: You're in control
Thu, Aug 5th 2021 11:00 pm
On Thursday, New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker issued the following statement: "With the end of the state disaster emergency on June 25, 2021, school districts are reestablished as the controlling entity for schools. Schools and school districts should develop plans to open in-person in the fall as safely as possible, and I recommend following guidance from the CDC and local health departments."
ECDOH provides COVID-19 data update
Tue, Aug 3rd 2021 05:15 pm
The Erie County Department of Health is providing an update on COVID-19 data. For the week ending July 31, ECDOH received reports for 535 new COVID-19 cases among Erie County residents; this is an 80% increase from the previous week's total of 297 cases, and a 10-fold increase in the past six weeks.
NYSUT statement on COVID-19 vaccinations for K-12 school staff
Tue, Aug 3rd 2021 12:35 pm
New York State United Teachers issued the following statement Monday regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for K-12 school staff:
As Canada prepares to open border, Higgins sounds alarm on US readiness
Tue, Aug 3rd 2021 11:55 am
With Canada's plan to reopen the border to United States citizens less than a week away, Congressman Brian Higgins "is raising serious concerns about the lack of information and planning coming from the United States government," his team said.
Cuomo on COVID: 'We have seen this movie before'; Niagara County not mandating facemasks
Mon, Aug 2nd 2021 06:35 pm
At a press briefing on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo encouraged New Yorkers to "avoid reliving the COVID-19 movie" that played out last year.
UB to implement indoor masking requirement starting Aug. 3
Mon, Aug 2nd 2021 06:10 pm
Effective Tuesday, the University at Buffalo will require all students, employees and visitors - regardless of their vaccination status - to wear face coverings while inside campus buildings. This includes classrooms, hallways, libraries and other common spaces, as well as UB buses and shuttles.
With 496 new COVID-19 cases in past 7 days, Erie County experiencing 'substantial' transmission
Fri, Jul 30th 2021 02:00 pm
The Erie County Department of Health has confirmed 99 new COVID-19 cases for July 29, resulting in 496 new COVID-19 cases within the past seven days. Based on The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicators for community transmission, Erie County is now considered to have "substantial" COVID-19 transmission, with a case rate of 54 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days.
Nearly $1.1 billion in grants to support child care providers, enable return to workplace
Fri, Jul 30th 2021 01:55 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced New York will administer nearly $1.1 billion in federal funding directly to child care providers to help stabilize the industry and enable more parents to return to the workplace fulltime.
Cuomo announces launch of $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit program
Thu, Jul 29th 2021 07:00 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced the launch of New York state's $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit program, designed to help expand employment opportunities for workers and provide relief to COVID-19-impacted restaurants. Created as part of the fiscal year 2022 budget, the program offers a tax credit for the rapid hiring of restaurant workers to reduce the restaurant industry's pandemic-induced economic difficulties. Qualifying restaurants could receive a $5,000 tax credit per net new hire, totaling up to $50,000 in tax credits per business.
State selects UB lab as part of effort to bolster identifying COVID-19 variants
Wed, Jul 28th 2021 03:10 pm
A University at Buffalo lab has been selected to bolster New York state's efforts to identify COVID-19 variants, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday.
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: 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."
Cuomo: '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.
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 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.
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.
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.
 

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