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Coronavirus

Stefanik opposes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

WASHINGTON — Rep. Elise Stefanik on Friday planned to vote against a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package President Joseph Biden proposed last month. Stefanik called the bill a “partisan spending package,” filled with “pork projects, special interest giveaways, and the ...

With House voting on relief bill, Dems hope to rescue wage raise

WASHINGTON — A $1.9 trillion package aimed at helping the country rebuild from the pandemic seemed headed toward House passage Friday, even as Democrats searched for a way to revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage. A virtual party-line House vote was expected on the COVID-19 ...

U.S. Department of Education denies NY request to skip tests

The U.S. Department of Education has denied a request from the New York State Education Department to forego state assessments this year, but they are offering some flexibility in the administration of the tests. Citing the impact of COVID-19 on education, New York was one of several ...

Busy vaccine clinic at college gym

SARANAC LAKE — Vehicles lined up on the approach to the North Country Community College gym Thursday. The people inside had appointments, which hadn’t always been easy to get. This was a hot ticket — a vaccine to protect them against the coronavirus that has already killed more than ...

The ’Jacks are back on ice

TUPPER LAKE — Lumberjacks hockey is back. After having no boys high school hockey team for the past four years, Tupper Lake is bringing back its varsity program. Under the guidance of head coach Broyce Guerette, the Lumberjacks will step on the ice for the first time since their ...

Experts discuss how COVID severity gets passed on

SARANAC LAKE — Some people get COVID-19 and have mild symptoms, or none. Others catch the virus and end up hospitalized, or dead. What determines how it will go? Experts say one factor is how much of the virus one has in one's body. Another is the strength of each person’s immune ...

Lawmakers probe if governor’s policy fueled nursing home deaths

ALBANY — Several lawmakers challenged New York’s top health official Thursday over his insistence that a state policy didn’t fuel COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes. Health commissioner Howard Zucker testified for several hours Thursday before a joint legislative committee. He ...

Advocates: NY leaving inmates vulnerable to virus

ALBANY — New York’s prison inmates age 65 and older are being offered vaccinations for COVID-19 — but criminal justice reformers argue the state’s effort leaves out the majority of the incarcerated population. They’re demanding that all incarcerated individuals get the chance to be ...

Cross-border families struggle to adapt

Before the pandemic, Esther Hazan’s relationship with her husband didn’t feel that different than any other long-distance relationship. She lives in Montreal. He lives north of New York City. She had driven down in mid-March of last year to celebrate his birthday. “We heard rumors ...

LPCA’s Zoom Play Festival opens

LAKE PLACID — This week the Lake Placid Center for the Arts will begin to feature winners of the Zoom Play Festival, a celebration of short plays written exclusively for Zoom. The showcase will be available for purchase on Vimeo beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday through March 26. Patrons can ...

High praise for school’s family aid

SARANAC LAKE — A program matching students and families in the Saranac Lake Central School District with assistance to work through poverty, health issues or homelessness has been a blessing for dozens of families during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to school administrators, program ...

New York Senate advances nursing home reform

ALBANY — State senators voted on Monday to pass 11 pieces of legislation as part of a package to reform oversight and care at nursing homes in wake of recent controversy over state COVID-19 policies and publishing public health data from congregate facilities. Legislators moved bills to ...

Appointments go fast for Saranac Lake vaccine clinic

SARANAC LAKE — The Essex and Franklin County health departments are staging a coronavirus vaccine clinic in Saranac Lake on Thursday, but the appointments filled up quickly. The two health departments are pooling resources to administer 400 first doses at a joint clinic at North ...

Adirondack Health holds COVID-19 pop-up testing clinic in Tupper Lake today

TUPPER LAKE — Adirondack Health will conduct a pop-up testing clinic in Tupper Lake today from 1 to 2 p.m. at Tupper Lake Middle-High School, 25 Chaney Ave. Pre-registration is required, with a limited number of appointment slots available. To pre-register, contact the Adirondack Health ...

Bare Hill inmate dies of COVID-19

MALONE — Bare Hill Correctional Facility has recorded its first COVID-19-related death at its prison, according to the state’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision online database. It is the second recorded virus-related death overall at Malone’s three correctional ...

US COVID deaths surpass half-million mark, confirming virus’s tragic reach

For weeks after Cindy Pollock began planting tiny flags across her yard — one for each of the more than 1,800 Idahoans killed by COVID-19 — the toll was mostly a number. Until two women she had never met rang her doorbell in tears, seeking a place to mourn the husband and father they ...

South African virus variant found in NY resident, Cuomo says

NEW YORK (AP) — The first case of the South African coronavirus variant has been discovered in a New York state resident, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday. The South African variant case involved a resident of Long Island’s Nassau County, Cuomo said in a news release. The sequencing was ...

Lockdowns accentuate upstate’s broadband gaps

ALBANY — The heightened reliance on distance learning, the shift to telecommuting by many employers and the expansion of telemedicine have combined to highlight the gaps in high-speed broadband coverage in many communities in upstate New York. In 2015, Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed that ...

Bureaucratic maze keeps many from getting vaccinated

ALBANY — Eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination for more than a month, Paul Rapp, a 65-year-old lawyer, says he has tried lining up an appointment by regularly checking an array of web sites for appointments and visiting his local pharmacy. “I have spent hours and hours online, trying to ...

Cuomo vows to ‘call out’ critics of his nursing home response

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his health commissioner offered a full-throated defense Friday of their March decision to require nursing homes to accept patients recovering from COVID-19, saying it was the best option at the time to help free up desperately needed beds at the state’s ...