The coronavirus global pandemic has had a profound impact on Rochester, the nation and the world. We continue to work hard to provide accurate, in-depth information on COVID-19 and its impact on our community. This page will be updated each time the Beacon posts a new content on the pandemic.
Report highlights community action agencies’ response to COVID
By SMRITI JACOB | September 28, 2022
Action for a Better Community used its essential programming at the height of the pandemic to address inequities. Read the story.
The disrupted economy
By MIKE COSTANZA | August 18, 2022
With no end to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rochester-area businesses continue to grapple with supply chain issues including shortages, increased lead times and soaring costs. Read the story.
The shortage hitting CT scans
By WILL ASTOR | May 26, 2022
The flow of contrast dye, an iodine-based compound vital for certain medical scans, has dried up. The cause: a COVID-related lockdown in Shanghai, location of a GE Healthcare plant that produces much of the world’s supply. Read the story.
COVID’s unthinkable toll
By JACOB SCHERMERHORN | May 17, 2022
As the number of U.S. deaths due to COVID-19 passes 1 million, in Monroe County there is reason for both despair and hope. Read the story.
The Rochester region’s uneven economic recovery
By PAUL ERICSON | April 4, 2022
When COVID hit in early 2020, some industry sectors stumbled; others collapsed. The rebound since then has been a mirror image. Read the story.
UR researcher named co-chair of national COVID study
By WILL ASTOR | March 31, 2022
The NIH-sponsored clinical trial will test the effectiveness of new formulations of mRNA vaccines. Read the story.
COVID-19 offers opportunity amid crisis
By WILL ASTOR | March 7, 2022
The pandemic has stressed health care systems but some good has come out of it, says Rochester Regional Health Chief Medical Officer Robert Mayo M.D. Read the story.
Hospitals face long-term challenges
By WILL ASTOR | February 16, 2022
After the military medical teams deployed to Strong Memorial Hospital depart, critical shortages will remain. Read the story.
A deaf physician grapples with the pandemic
By DONNA JACKEL | January 31, 2022
For family practitioner Carolyn Stern, COVID-19 has created unprecedented communications difficulties. Read the story.
Rental relief takes on new urgency
By JACOB SCHERMERHORN | January 14, 2022
The reopening of a rental assistance portal comes as a statewide moratorium on evictions is expiring. Read the story.
A COVID mental health crisis
By MIKE COSTANZA | January 13, 2022
An increased number of adolescents and young adults have suffered psychologically during the pandemic. Read the story.
COVID and the nursing crunch
By WILL ASTOR | January 6, 2022
Hospitals’ nursing shortage is not new, but the pandemic has pushed it to crisis levels. Many RNs have quit long-held jobs—some due to burnout, others to become higher-paid “travelers.” Read the story.
New COVID cases in Monroe County top 4,000
By SMRITI JACOB | January 5, 2022
The 4,094 new COVID cases Wednesday are up from 754 a week ago, reflecting a holiday surge. Read the story.
Hochul warns of rise in COVID numbers
By SMRITI JACOB | January 3, 2022
With infections and hospitalizations increasing, the governor says “wider steps” to combat the pandemic may be necessary. Read the story.
Number of serious COVID cases surges
By SMRITI JACOB | December 30, 2021
The Finger Lakes region has the highest hospitalization rate in New York, and most of the patients are unvaccinated. Read the story.
The pandemic divide
By PAUL ERICSON | December 30, 2021
In a new Rochester Beacon survey, a large majority express pessimism about the six-month outlook for COVID-19—and many point a finger at the unvaccinated and those who won’t wear a mask. Read the story.
New York moves to address nursing shortage
By SMRITI JACOB | December 27, 2021
A scholarship program, Nurses for Our Future, is open for applications. It will cover tuition for 1,000 new or current health care workers. Read the story.
Omicron poses risk here, health system officials say
By SMRITI JACOB | December 23, 2021
The variant, which has arrived here, may produce less serious illness, but it is much more infectious and could increase the number of people requiring hospitalization. Read the story.
Amid COVID surge, hospitals warn of impact on care
By SMRITI JACOB | December 20, 2021
Public- and private-sector leaders in Monroe County call on the community to “Vax-Boost-Mask” to curb the spread of the virus and avoid another economic shutdown. Read the story.
North Star Coalition gains momentum
By SMRITI JACOB | December 20, 2021
More than 200 organizations have joined the call to ensure the Rochester region uses the $800 million in federal and state funds headed here to build an inclusive recovery. Read the story.
Why a year with COVID shots wasn’t enough
By PAUL ERICSON | December 14, 2021
Many hoped that the arrival of vaccines signaled imminent victory over the virus. But 12 months later, as many people still refuse to get vaccinated, the pandemic rages on. Read the story.
Hochul issues sweeping Covid mandate
By WILL ASTOR | December 10, 2021
Starting Monday, all businesses and venues statewide must implement a mask requirement or require proof of fully vaccinated status. Read the story.
Staying sober during the pandemic
By FRANK DE BLASE | December 10, 2021
When AA meetings were shuttered due to COVID-19, a local rock musician and graphic artist came up with an alternative to Zoom sessions. Read the story.
Sowing seeds of community
By MACKENZIE KENYON | December 2, 2021
Community gardening has seen a growth spurt during the pandemic, helping to ease food insecurity and build neighborhood connections. Read the story.
Why Bello declared a COVID state of emergency
By WILL ASTOR | November 30, 2021
Citing rising hospitalizations and deaths, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello called on county residents to wear masks outside the home and at public gatherings—and for the unvaccinated to get their shots. Read the story.
The plight of patient labs
By WILL ASTOR | November 24, 2021
UR Medicine and Rochester Regional Health face phlebotomist staffing issues that mean longer waits for individuals needing blood tests. The pandemic is a factor, but not the only one. Read the story.
Officials warn of new COVID surge
By SMRITI JACOB | November 15, 2021
The current rise in cases is putting stress on ICUs, could force limits on elective procedures. Read the story.
COVID cases are rising again
By SMRITI JACOB | November 11, 2021
Monroe County reported 550 new confirmed cases Thursday, and the seven-day average is higher than it has been in months. Read the story.
The rural fight against COVID
By MIKE COSTANZA | October 14, 2021
Health officials in outlying parts of the Rochester-Finger Lakes region have been grappling with vaccine hesitancy and general challenges of vaccinating rural populations. Read the story.
A growth surge driven by the pandemic
By SMRITI JACOB | October 5, 2021
At Innovative Solutions, which helps businesses move to the cloud, revenues and employment are increasing rapidly. Read the story.
The economy’s remarkable recovery
By KENT GARDNER | October 4, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant pain and suffering to many Americans, but economists thought the recession would last far longer. Read the story.
Most employees vaccinated, hospital systems report
By WILL ASTOR | September 28, 2021
As the deadline arrives, the University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health say few employees have quit because of the state mandate. Read the story.
Another month of solid recovery
By PAUL ERICSON | September 27, 2021
As in July, the Rochester region in August outperformed the statewide averages for unemployment and job growth. Read the story.
Health systems gird for challenges as mandate looms
By SMRITI JACOB | September 23, 2021
UR Medicine and Rochester Regional Health are preparing for possible staff shortages as the deadline for vaccinating health care workers nears. These workers are expected to be immunized with at least one vaccine dose against COVID-19 by Sept. 27. Read the story.
A COVID game changer?
By WILL ASTOR | September 23, 2021
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine appears to be safe and effective for children aged 5 to 11, a key group of unvaccinated Americans. Emergency use approval is expected, but will parents embrace the chance to get shots for their children? Read the story.
How COVID forced filmmakers to be more creative
By JOHAIRY DELACRUZ | September 22, 2021
When the pandemic struck, and now with the Delta variant spreading rapidly, local directors and producers focused on not merely surviving but also figuring out how to thrive. Read the story.
State program focused on pandemic resilience opens
By PAUL ERICSON | September 13, 2021
Eligible startups and early-stage companies and academic institutions can apply for grants from the $40 million Biodefense Commercialization Fund. Read the story.
Morelle tests positive for COVID
By WILL ASTOR | September 12, 2021
The Monroe County congressman, who is vaccinated, says he has experienced mild symptoms. He urged those who are not yet immunized against COVID to get their shots. Read the story.
The region’s economic rebound continues
By PAUL ERICSON | August 30, 2021
In July, the Rochester area outperformed the statewide averages for unemployment and job growth. Read the story.
A shot of entrepreneurial ambition
By PAUL ERICSON | August 25, 2021
During the COVID-19 pandemic, applications to start new businesses have surged in the Rochester region, reflecting a nationwide trend. Read the story.
Can the unvaccinated be persuaded?
By PAUL ERICSON | August 16, 2021
A new media campaign, launched as cases are surging again, offers answers from local medical experts to common questions and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines. Read the story.
COVID hospitalizations rising locally
By WILL ASTOR | August 10, 2021
Driven by the spread of variants, a new pandemic wave is hitting the unvaccinated hard. Read the story.
Using COVID to change science education
By SMRITI JACOB | August 10, 2021
A three-year UR Warner School study focused on justice-centered science teaching recently received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Read the story.
Effort to boost vaccination rates gets funding
By SMRITI JACOB | August 9, 2021
A $1 million federal grant has been awarded to the project, which is aimed at high-need minority groups in the Finger Lakes region and poor communities in rural Upstate New York. Read the story.
Can nursing homes withstand another surge?
By WILL ASTOR | August 5, 2021
With COVID-19 cases increasing again, long-term care operators are beset with staffing challenges and cost pressures. Read the story.
Will the economy’s momentum continue?
By PAUL ERICSON | August 2, 2021
The jobless rate is down, employment is up and sales tax revenues are surging. But the swiftly spreading Delta variant looms on the near horizon. Read the story.
COVID vaccine mandates clear key legal hurdle
By ADAM MASTROLEO | July 28, 2021
The Department of Justice this week issued an opinion stating that emergency use authorization is not sufficient to prohibit employers from requiring workers to get vaccinated. Read the story.
Rochester’s remote chance
By PAUL ERICSON | July 19, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a big shift to working from home and accelerated out-migration from some of the largest U.S. cities. But it may be too much to expect this trend alone will significantly boost midsize and smaller metros.re surging. But the swiftly spreading Delta variant looms on the near horizon. Read the story.
Elected officials aim to help struggling restaurants
By SMRITI JACOB | July 12, 2021
A new state law will allow restaurants to continue to use sidewalks and streets as outdoor dining spaces. And Monroe County Executive Adam Bello wants the third-party delivery fee cap adopted as local law. Read the story.
The pandemic’s racial disparities
By MIKE COSTANZA | July 1, 2021 People of color have been impacted disproportionately by COVID-19, and hurdles remain in the effort to vaccinate the entire Rochester community. Read the story.
URMC researchers to study mixing COVID vaccines
By WILL ASTOR | June 11, 2021
The “mix-and-match trial” could answer whether booster doses different from original vaccines are safe and effective in fighting off SAR-CoV-2 and variants. Read the story.
The hybrid work future
By PAUL ERICSON | June 10, 2021
Offices are reopening, but all signs point to a future where remote work plays a role that would not have seemed possible a year and a half ago. Read the story.
A $650 million question
By SMRITI JACOB | May 27, 2021
The American Rescue Plan will deliver a mammoth sum of money to Greater Rochester. The funds will position the region for a post-pandemic rebound—but what kind of recovery will it be? Read the story.
How to implement a mask-wearing policy
By ALEX ZAPESOCHNY | May 25, 2021
Navigating new guidance around masks is not easy. Local attorney Stephen Jones offers his insight on best practices for employers. Read the story.
CMAC requires vaccination for entry to 2021 concerts
By SMRITI JACOB | May 18, 2021
Attendees will need to provide proof of vaccination through the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or by using the New York State Excelsior Pass. Read the story.
A cloud remains over summer festivals
By MIKE COSTANZA | May 13, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread cancellations in 2020. This year, festival organizers are trying to navigate health safety rules as they stage in-person or hybrid events. Read the story.
REDC’s Round XI focuses on post-pandemic recovery
By SMRITI JACOB | May 11, 2021
Projects in the Finger Lakes region will vie for $750 million in economic resources. The state initiative opened for applications May 10. Read the story.
‘Long COVID’ poses challenge for health care systems
By JANICE BULLARD PIETERSE | May 4, 2021
Efforts are under way to provide care for coronavirus patients with post-acute conditions. Read the story.
The pandemic silences the 2021 Jazz Fest
By FRANK DE BLASE | May 3, 2021
With the festival’s producers facing a “plethora of logistical barriers,” the decision to cancel this year’s edition was no surprise. Read the story.
Ortho continues key role in COVID fight
By SMRITI JACOB | April 21, 2021
The company, which has roughly 1,200 employees here, recently won a $53.7 million federal contract to boost its antigen and antibody test efforts. Read the story.
Why declaring victory over COVID now is risky
By PAUL ERICSON | April 8, 2021
In the 1918 influenza outbreak, Rochester responded quickly and effectively. But after the restrictions were lifted, more people got sick and died of the flu than during the height of the pandemic. Read the story.
A bid to boost COVID vaccinations
By WILL ASTOR | April 5, 2021
Common Ground Health has launched a speakers bureau to combat misconceptions and ensure that everyone eligible to be vaccinated gets a shot. Read the story.
A taste of hope
By MIKE COSTANZA | April 1, 2021
Local restaurateurs whose businesses have survived the pandemic look ahead with cautious optimism. Read the story.
Is a sustained labor market recovery under way?
By PAUL ERICSON | March 30, 2021
There’s good news about first-time claims for jobless benefits in the Rochester region—and reason for caution, too. Read the story.
A pandemic pivot
By NIPA ARMBRUSTER | March 29, 2021
With all large gatherings on hold, All Occasions Catering & Events Planning was ready to switch from special events to providing everyday meals for Rochester General Hospital medical residents. Read the story.
The RPO after COVID
By KENT GARDNER | March 25, 2021
Led by new Music Director Andreas Delfs, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra must navigate a world altered by the pandemic and heightened awareness of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. Read the story.
Local study team buoyed by Oxford-AstraZeneca data
By SMRITI JACOB | March 22, 2021
Interim results for the AZD-1222 vaccine clinical trial, which included more than 850 volunteers at URMC, showed zero COVID-19 hospitalizations or death. Read the story.
A journal of the pandemic year
By PAUL ERICSON | March 18, 2021
It has been 12 months since Monroe County recorded its first COVID case and death. Looking back, the pandemic in some ways seems like a mystery—but in others, a tragedy foretold. Read the story.
The power of science
By SOPHIA MAGGELAKIS | March 12, 2021
The past year has illustrated that sound strategy, scientific methodology, and communicating research findings in a clear manner can help save lives. Read the story.
Battling multiple challenges
By WILL ASTOR | March 11, 2021
Over the last year, New York’s nursing homes have become the focus of controversy, with questions centering on number of resident deaths from COVID-19. Keeping residents safe, however, is only one difficulty these organizations face. Read the story.
A resilient rental market
By MIKE COSTANZA | March 4, 2021
In many metros nationwide, the pandemic has forced landlords to drop their rents to retain and attract residential tenants. Not in Rochester. Read the story.
J&J vaccine expected to ship this week
By WILL ASTOR | March 3, 2021
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved last weekend. Though less effective at preventing all types of infections than the two other options, it protects just as well against COVID’s most severe effects, experts say. Read the story.
New front against variants studied here
By WILL ASTOR | March 1, 2021
Rochester Regional Health and the University of Rochester Medical Center are among only four institutions nationally conducting a new clinical trial of a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Read the story.
Thriving in a difficult time
By MIKE COSTANZA | February 18, 2021
For small financial institutions in the Rochester region, 2020 was a surprisingly good year, with strong demand for residential mortgages and PPP loans to small businesses. Read the story.
On the trail of the elusive COVID-19 vaccine
By WILL ASTOR | February 15, 2021
Supplies are increasing, but actually getting a shot in your arm still can be maddeningly difficult. Read the story.
Are coronavirus variants already here? Probably yes.
By EMIL PATRICK LESHO | February 9, 2021
Troubling mutations of SARS-CoV-2 underscore the need for widespread vaccination and ongoing precautions. Read the story.
Primary care amid the pandemic
By WILL ASTOR | February 4, 2021
For physicians who practice general medicine, COVID-19 has brought big changes to doctor-patient relationships, with new protocols and a sharply increased reliance on telemedicine. Read the story.
The jobless rate swings upward
By PAUL ERICSON | February 1, 2021
Monroe County finished 2020 with a 6.9 percent unemployment rate, down sharply from last spring but up nearly a point from November. Read the story.
COVID and the classroom
By MIKE COSTANZA | January 28, 2021
The coronavirus pandemic has upended traditional forms of instruction and learning. As a result, teachers have been forced to adapt and find new ways to connect with students. Read the story.
Local providers are ‘ready to vaccinate large numbers’
By WILL ASTOR | January 22, 2021
Nancy Bennett M.D., who heads the county’s COVID vaccine task force, says the key now is increasing the supply of doses. Read the story.
Will the economy rebound post-pandemic?
By MIKE COSTANZA | January 15, 2021
In a Rochester Beacon online event, economists Jed Kolko and Mark Zupan say much depends on the success of vaccination programs. The region’s wealth of colleges and universities could be engines of recovery. Read the story.
Health systems praise Hurlbut’s role in coronavirus care
By WILL ASTOR | January 5, 2021
The operator of skilled nursing facilities has agreed to accept COVID-positive patients, easing the burden on hospitals. Read the story.
URMC official to oversee Monroe County’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout
By WILL ASTOR | January 4, 2021
Nancy Bennett will be special adviser to county health chief Michael Mendoza. Common Ground Health CEO Wade Norwood will lead community engagement and education efforts. Read the story.
The mRNA breakthrough
By WILL ASTOR | December 30, 2020
The two approved coronavirus vaccines use messenger ribonucleic acid to produce antibodies to fight COVID-19. The new approach—decades in the making—also could transform the battle against cancer and other diseases. Read the story.
What the jobless claims numbers tell us
By PAUL ERICSON | December 29, 2020
Like the autumn surge in new daily COVID-19 infections, first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in recent weeks have turned upward. Read the story.
The year of the pandemic
By SMRITI JACOB and PAUL ERICSON | December 23, 2020
In a Rochester Beacon year-end survey, readers reflect on the impact of COVID-19 and voice cautious optimism about what lies ahead. Read the story.
We have met the COVID-19 enemy
By KENT GARDNER | December 22, 2020
Household or social gatherings are the chief source of infection. We have only ourselves to blame if the coronavirus continues to spread. Read the story.
City schools plan partial return to in-person learning
By WILL ASTOR | December 21, 2020
Some RCSD lower grades and special-needs students will return to school buildings, but upper-grade instruction will mostly stay online. Read the story.
Researchers find vaping-COVID correlation
By WILL ASTOR | December 14, 2020
The URMC team’s analysis of state-by-state data suggests e-cigarette users might be at greater risk of contracting the virus. Read the story.
A devastating combination
By MIKE COSTANZA | December 10, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has created fertile conditions for the spread of opioid abuse and dependence. Read the story.
Health systems prep for vaccinations as caseloads rise
By WILL ASTOR | December 9, 2020
The first coronavirus vaccines soon could become available locally, but hospitals still face months of stress on staff and patient capacity. Read the story.
Assisted living communities need more rapid COVID tests
By LISA NEWCOMB | December 7, 202
The federal government has provided a limited supply of quick-turnaround tests but far short of what is needed. New York should provide them from its strategic stockpile. Read the story.
A strategic step back
By WILL ASTOR | December 4, 2020
Faced with a second wave of COVID cases, the region’s two top health systems have instituted a partial cutback of elective surgeries to free up beds and staff. Read the story.
By WILL ASTOR | November 25, 2020
Area health care workers are battling a devastating increase in COVID-19 cases—and mounting burnout after eight months under siege by the virus. Read the story.
Final crisis fund grants slated for December
By SMRITI JACOB | November 18, 2020
The RACF-United Way initiative, which has assisted 174 agencies in the region, will accept applications through Nov. 20. Read the story.
The coronavirus surge by the numbers
By PAUL ERICSON | November 17, 2020
The new Rochester Beacon COVID-19 Dashboard and other data sources show an accelerating spread of the virus here, in New York and throughout the U.S. Read the story.
Local researchers cautiously upbeat on COVID vaccine
By SMRITI JACOB | November 11, 2020
Rochester has played a role in testing of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. An interim analysis indicates a 90 percent effectiveness rate in preventing an infection. Read the story.
Antibodies and me
By PAUL ERICSON | October 15, 2020
Serology tests that focus on the immune system’s response to COVID can identify who has had the virus and might help answer key questions about survivors’ immunity against reinfection. But for someone who tests positive, much uncertainty remains. Read the story.
In the shadows
By MIKE COSTANZA | September 24, 2020
Economic hardships and social isolation during the coronavirus pandemic have caused an increase in domestic violence, experts say. Read the story.
Quick Covid test earns approval
By SMRITI JACOB | September 24, 2020
A low-cost nasal swab card evaluated at URMC has received emergency use authorization from the FDA. Read the story.
School COVID anxiety: At least it’s not the A-bomb
By PETER LOVENHEIM | September 21, 2020
In October 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought civil defense drills and fears about being vaporized on the way home from school. Read the story.
By KENT GARDNER | September 8, 2020
Can Rochester take advantage of the “reshoring” imperative thrust upon us by COVID-19? Is our higher-ed sector prepared for a shakeout? Read the story.
By MIKE COSTANZA | September 3, 2020
With his years of training and experience, Monroe County public health chief Michael Mendoza was prepared to take on the COVID-19 pandemic. But, he says, “anybody who thinks that they were completely ready is probably underestimating the gravity of this problem.” Read the story.
Safe to return?
By SMRITI JACOB | August 18, 2020
College faculty and students are coming back to campus to begin a fall semester clouded by apprehension over COVID-19. Read the story.
A boost for basic needs providers
By SMRITI JACOB | August 18, 2020
ESL Charitable Foundation’s $4 million grant to the United Way will support 20 local health and human services agencies. Read the story.
Why Rochester’s economy remains at risk
By PAUL ERICSON | August 17, 2020
Our region has sharply reduced the COVID-19 risk level here. But the local economy is vulnerable to numerous factors beyond the region’s control. Read the story.
Eastview navigates the pandemic
By WILL ASTOR | August 14, 2020
The Ontario County mall has resolved some issues raised by a rating agency but faces future challenges. Read the story.
A political leader put to the test
By MIKE COSTANZA | August 14, 2020
For Monroe County GOP chair Bill Napier, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly everything but his mission: to guide his party’s resurgence at the polls in November. Read the story.
Courts could face avalanche of eviction cases
By VANESSA J. CHEEKS | August 10, 2020
With a statewide moratorium set to expire in less than a month, tenants who have been financially impacted by the pandemic are at increased risk. A right-to-counsel program could get legal aid to renters facing eviction. Read the story.
Pandemic reveals strains in higher education, panelists say
By WILL ASTOR | August 7, 2020
College leaders taking part in a Rochester Beacon-Upstate Venture Connect webinar say institutions need to rethink their revenue sources. Read the story.
Is this RealEats’ time?
By SMRITI JACOB | August 6, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is driving growth for the fledgling, subscription-based business in Geneva, which delivers healthy, farm-to-table, ready-to-eat food. Read the story.
Finding opportunity amid the pandemic
By ANDREW LaMANNA | August 5, 2020
Our region’s businesses could have a competitive edge in the new environment. Read the story.
Why 540WMain decided to go virtual
By SMRITI JACOB | August 4, 2020
Freed from the burden of managing physical space, the antiracist education organization has been able to expand its work, says Calvin Eaton, founder and director. Read the story.
Back to school in the pandemic era
By NIPA ARMBRUSTER | July 31, 2020
Parents are waiting for a final decision on reopening so they can start preparing their children and households for a school experience unlike any they have ever had. Read the story.
Regional task force helps guide school reopening plans
By WILL ASTOR | July 31, 2020
Convened by Common Ground Health, the group includes school leaders, local government officials, health care and public health experts, nonprofits and parents from 13 counties. Read the story.
Rochester at the forefront of vaccine trials
By SMRITI JACOB | July 29, 2020
The University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health are joining a Phase III clinical trial for a vaccine candidate developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. Read the story.
Luminate pivots amid the pandemic
By SMRITI JACOB | July 28, 2020
Organizers of the startup accelerator focused on advancing next-generation optics, photonics and imaging-enabled companies have been retooling to meet a new reality. One change: The 2020 Luminate NY Finals will be held online. Read the story.
Are COVID-19 tests available to everyone?
By WILL ASTOR | July 24, 2020
Testing is not necessarily available on demand. And for those who are tested, Monroe County Health Commissioner Michael Mendoza M.D. warns of “a significant false negative rate.” Read the story.
COVID’s mental health toll
By MIKE COSTANZA | July 23, 2020
The pandemic has brought an increase in the number of individuals suffering from anxiety and depression. Those already diagnosed with other mental health issues appear to be more vulnerable to these disorders. Read the story.
Education leaders to take part in online event
By ROCHESTER BEACON | July 23, 2020
In the third in a series of online forums presented by the Rochester Beacon and Upstate Venture Connect, St. John Fisher College president Gerard Rooney and two upstate peers will discuss how they are managing their institutions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the story.
Two UR researchers receive federal grants
By SMRITI JACOB | July 22, 2020
Biologists Dragony Fu and Jack Werren will study how the coronavirus interacts with proteins in human cells. The work could help in the development of effective treatments and vaccines. Read the story.
‘These dead shall not have died in vain’: COVID’s Gettysburg moment
By MICHAEL J. BROWN | July 21, 2020
Those who have perished from the coronavirus cannot determine what their deaths will mean for the nation; it is, as it was amid the Civil War, for us to decide. Read the story.
White House backs down, removing threat to foreign students
By SMRITI JACOB | July 15, 2020
The move means international students in Rochester and around the country will not face loss of their lawful status if they attend online-only classes this fall. Read the story.
Health care leaders share their Covid-19 outlook
By WILL ASTOR | July 10, 2020
In an online forum presented by the Rochester Beacon and Upstate Venture Connect, URMC CEO Mark Taubman and two other upstate CEOs say their systems adapted quickly and efficiently but remain financially at risk. Read the story.
Virus takes heavy human, financial toll on long-term care providers
By GLEN COOPER | July 10, 2020
The facilities are committed to mitigating the spread of COVID-19, but the governor’s executive order mandating testing has brought increased costs significantly. Read the story.
Escape from (and to) New York
By KENT GARDNER | July 7, 2020
During a two-week trip to Austin, Texas, the daily COVID-19 infection rates here and there changed dramatically. Texas and many other states are now learning lessons that New York had to face earlier. Read the story.
Let’s commit to a future that includes telemedicine
By SAMRA BROUK | July 6, 2020
The pandemic has shown that widespread virtual health care is possible. What’s unclear is whether telemedicine offerings will be available and accessible long-term. Read the story.
The millennials’ pandemic
By ROBERT MANTELL | July 2, 2020
Young professionals, some of whom thought the coronavirus wouldn’t affect their lives, are quickly learning that they, too, are vulnerable. They are learning to cope with social isolation and economic uncertainty. Read the story.
How vulnerable are Rochester’s hospitals?
By WILL ASTOR | June 30, 2020
COVID-19 poses a severe threat to hospitals nationwide. Each institution’s financial health before the virus struck could be a big factor in its ability to recover from the pandemic. Read the story.
What SEC filings reveal about the pandemic
By PAUL ERICSON | June 26, 2020
While some publicly held companies in Rochester have suffered less financial impact due to COVID-19 than others, none have been immune. Read the story.
Another COVID crisis
By WILL ASTOR | June 25, 2020
For hospitals in the Rochester region and across the country, the pandemic has upended their business model and called their financial future into question. Read the story.
Health care executives slated for online forum
By SMRITI JACOB | June 25, 2020
Mark Taubman M.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center, and three others will discuss their experiences navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the story.
Trials of controversial drug scrapped
By WILL ASTOR | June 24, 2020
The University of Rochester Medical Center has canceled clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as an anti-COVID-19 agent. Read the story.
Leading Foodlink with a sure hand
By MIKE COSTANZA | June 18, 2020
Those who know her use words like calm, empathetic and entrepreneurial to describe President and CEO Julia Tedesco, who has guided the nonprofit’s response to COVID-19. Read the story.
Before the bankruptcy storm
By WILL ASTOR | June 17, 2020
Filings in April and May dropped sharply as pandemic-related assistance kicked in, but experts say a surge almost certainly is on the horizon. Read the story.
A market without crowds
By ROBERT MANTELL | June 16, 2020
To operate amid the pandemic, the Brighton Farmers Market adopted measures to ensure social distancing and minimize patrons’ contact with products and other shoppers. Read the story.
How do we face a future with the coronavirus?
By NEIL R. SCHEIER | June 15, 2020
To those gaining COVID-related experience every day, the answer is: We need to be smart, careful and cautious. Read the story.
A bumper crop of woes
By MIKE COSTANZA | June 10, 2020
For the region’s farmers, the coronavirus pandemic has caused customers to disappear, disrupted supply networks and brought the risk of infected workers. Read the story.
Keeping seniors safe during the pandemic
By MICHELE RICHARDS | June 10, 2020
Many families are weighing whether a nursing home or senior living community is the best option for elderly parents now. Read the story.
How change creates opportunity
By ALEX ZAPESOCHNY | June 9, 2020
David Brown, who has partnered with Dennis DeLeo to launch a new venture fund in Rochester, says “it’s one of the best times in history to be starting a company.” Read the story.
County executives are upbeat on reopening
By WILL ASTOR | June 5, 2020
In a web conference presented by the Rochester Beacon and Upstate Venture Connect, Monroe County’s Adam Bello and his peers from Onondaga and Oneida counties expressed cautious optimism on the region’s economic prospects as the pandemic threat recedes. Read the story.
Initial unemployment claims drop
By PAUL ERICSON | June 5, 2020
In the week ended May 30, filings in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region fell to the lowest level since the pandemic shutdown began. Read the story.
URMC to conduct trials of controversial drug
By WILL ASTOR | June 3, 2020
The aim is to determine definitively whether hydroxychloroquine works to cure or inhibit COVID-19. Read the story.
‘Essential’ but unfunded: Why child care is collapsing
By PETE NABOZNY | May 29, 2020
Child care is primarily funded through private payments from families to those who provide care. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, many providers will need government help to stay afloat. Read the story.
Jobless rate jumps in Monroe County, region
By PAUL ERICSON | May 28, 2020
With the economy on lockdown, unemployment in April jumped to 15 percent, up from 3.7 percent a year earlier. Read the story.
Bello, two peers to discuss Covid challenges
May 28, 2020
The Rochester Beacon and Upstate Venture Connect are presenting a June 4 online discussion with the county executives from Monroe, Onondaga and Oneida counties. Read the story.
Crisis fund provides lifeline for nonprofits
By ROBERT MANTELL | May 27, 2020
The initiative launched by United Way, the Community Foundation and other partners already has disbursed nearly $1.7 million. Read the story.
COVID-19 pressures urban clinics
By MIKE COSTANZA | May 26, 2020
The pandemic has forced nonprofits that provide free or low-cost medical care to low-income residents to make dramatic changes. Read the story.
COVID-19: What we did right, where we stand, what’s next
By EMIL PATRICK LESHO | May 22, 2020
Rochester was as ready as possible for COVID-19. But the risk of a secondary surge means we must not relax precautions without adequate controls. Read the story.
Rochester-area job losses soar in April
By PAUL ERICSON | May 22, 2020
In first full month of the statewide coronavirus lockdown, the Rochester area lost roughly 20 percent of total jobs. Read the story.
Reopening alone might not bring recovery
By SMRITI JACOB AND PAUL ERICSON | May 20, 2020
A new paper co-written by a UR professor contends it’s unlikely the pandemic’s economic damage can be reversed simply by lifting stay-at-home orders. Read the story.
Bristol Harbour Resort is closing
By SMRITI JACOB | May 18, 2020
Owners Todd and Laura Cook cited the COVID-19 crisis in disclosing their plan to cease operations at the facility overlooking Canandaigua Lake. Read the story.
Mutual aid network responds to coronavirus crisis
By SMRITI JACOB | May 15, 2020
Launched in April, the effort to meet community needs is focused on “solidarity, not charity.” Read the story.
Business goes remote
By PAUL ERICSON | May 14, 2020
The pandemic lockdown has forced an unprecedented shift to working from home. For many businesses, the transition has been swift and unexpectedly smooth. Read the story.
Summer festivals? No, not this year
By NEIL R. SCHEIER | May 13, 2020
Given what we know—and still don’t know—about the coronavirus, it’s too soon for crowd-gathering events. Read the story.
COVID-19 is a practice run for climate change
By KATE KRESSMANN-KEHOE | May 12, 2020
If we learn from the first disaster, maybe we can spare ourselves from the worst consequences of the second. Read the story.
Furloughs hit UR medical center
By WILL ASTOR | May 11, 2020
Nearly one-fifth of its staff of nearly 18,000 will be idled due to revenue losses stemming from the coronavirus. Read the story.
Higher ed learns a new skill
By MIKE COSTANZA | May 7, 2020
Local college and university professors had to switch to online-only teaching when the pandemic lockdown began. For some, it was an alien instructional landscape. Read the story.
Rochester picked for vaccine clinical trial
By WILL ASTOR | May 5, 2020
The University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health will test the effectiveness of an experimental mRNA vaccine against COVID-19. Read the story.
UR researchers buoyed by antiviral findings
By WILL ASTOR | May 1, 2020
NIH on Thursday said early results of a study of remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19 are promising. A local trial run by a URMC team is part of the study. Read the story.
The pandemic’s toll on non-COVID care
By WILL ASTOR | April 30, 2020
A backlog of untreated and undertreated conditions awaits a medical community consumed by the coronavirus. Read the story.
Should the lockdown end now?
By PAUL ERICSON | April 29, 2020
Has New York overreacted? Is it time to end the strict measures put in place to halt the spread of COVID-19? James Ryan Jr. and Kent Gardner offer different views. Read the story.
COVID-19 underscores need for proactive care planning
By ADAM HERMAN | April 28, 2020
Would you want a ventilator if you were critically ill? It seems the answer would be obvious, but is it? Read the story.
Our challenge going forward
By DON PRYOR | April 27, 2020
When the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, will we return to our often-siloed ways? Or will we start to build bridges toward a more equitable future? Read the story.
RIT leads effort on ventilator prototype
By ROBERT MANTELL | April 24, 2020
The Golisano Institute for Sustainability, together with regional business and health care partners, acted quickly to address a looming shortage. Read the story.
The regional jobless surge ebbs
By PAUL ERICSON | April 23, 2020
New filings in the latest report were sharply lower than each of the previous three weeks—but still more than 1,000 percent higher than a year ago. Read the story.
The small business lifeline
By MIKE COSTANZA | April 23, 2020
The region’s lenders have funded hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus relief loans, and they are ready to do more—when the federal PPP spigot turns on again. Read the story.
COVID-19 testing clinics slated for the inner city
By WILL ASTOR | April 22, 2020
The testing and respiratory clinics will serve low-income residents, who are being disproportionately affected by the virus. Read the story.
Delivering food to the front lines
By SMRITI JACOB | April 21, 2020
A group of health care industry professionals is raising funds to provide meals to oncology clinics, emergency departments and first responders. Read the story.
Learning from the coronavirus crisis
By ERIKA ROSENBERG | April 20, 2020
Once the immediate COVID-19 threat has passed, what understanding will local leaders have gained about the functioning of key parts of government? Read the story.
Rochester’s unemployment outbreak
By PAUL ERICSON | April 16, 2020
The number of initial claims for benefits since the coronavirus lockdown began now tops 67,000—and the jobless rate has likely hit nearly 20 percent. Read the story.
A new risk for the homeless
By MIKE COSTANZA | April 16, 2020
Those housed in area shelters are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. And providers working to protect residents face their own challenges. Read the story.
Face shield effort gains steam
By WILL ASTOR | April 16, 2020
Volunteers with fast-growing Face Shields Roc are making the personal protective equipment at home on 3-D printers. Read the story.
The cost of digital disparity in a pandemic
By PAUL ERICSON | April 15, 2020
In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, those without broadband service face an even tougher struggle. The RCSD and others are are facing the challenge directly. Read the story.
What shapes your response to coronavirus
By PETER LOVENHEIM | April 14, 2020
How we handle the pandemic owes much to attachment style, a way of responding to stress, threats to health, and separation from loved ones, that is fixed from earliest childhood. Read the story.
Reinventing education amid a crisis
By PAUL POWELL | April 13, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has forced Uncommon Schools to embrace remote learning, and it has opened the platform to other educators. Read the story.
Helping cancer patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic
By SMRITI JACOB | April 10, 2020
GRYT Health, led by a two-time cancer survivor and oncology researcher, has launched the free online Cancer and COVID Live Interactive Series. Read the story.
Recipes for survival
By ROBERT MANTELL | April 9, 2020
Local restaurants are shifting business models overnight to stay alive. Says one owner: “There’s no precedent for what we’re witnessing right now.” Read the story.
Seed funding to boost health startup
By WILL ASTOR | April 8, 2020
Heart Health Intelligence plans to use the $2.2 million to help bring to market its high-tech toilet seat. Read the story.
Countering COVID-19 at the local level
By ROBERT MANTELL | April 7, 20202
Town and village leaders are playing a key role in the response to the crisis. Read the story.
Emergency medicine providers head to NYC
By WILL ASTOR | April 6, 2020
The UR Medicine team is bound for the Northwell Health system, which includes hospitals in the city, Westchester County, Long Island and Hudson River valley. Read the story.
A sea of doors
April 6, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that did not seem possible only weeks ago. Yet it’s also a time to appreciate our blessings. Read the story.
Stop the bleeding: The CARES Act
April 3, 2020
The $2.2 trillion CARES Act applies a necessary tourniquet to stabilize the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the story.
On the COVID-19 front lines
April 2, 2020
Nurses and other health care workers here are awaiting the expected surge of coronavirus cases with a mix of anxiety and resolve. Read the story.
Courts shift to videoconferencing
April 1, 2020
Attorneys laud the move, as they adjust to the slowdown in legal business. Read the story.
Where COVID-19 case and mortality rates are highest
March 30, 2020
By both yardsticks, Westchester County has suffered the most severe outbreak. The rates are much lower here. Read the story.
In chloroquine’s shadow
March 30, 2020
Antiviral remdesivir, now in clinical trials here, could be the best hope to combat COVID-19. But statements by President Trump have put the spotlight on antimalarial drugs of unproven effectiveness against the coronavirus. Read the story.
Providers equipped to tackle rising COVID-19 cases
March 27, 2020
For the next two weeks, Monroe County’s health care resources are adequate to deal with the still-growing number of coronavirus cases. After that, keeping the advance of the virus in check will depend on the success of social-distancing efforts. Read the story.
Life where the outbreak began
March 27, 2020
Longtime Rochesterian Jim Croop lives and works in China. He says shutting down the country worked to halt the spread of coronavirus. Read the story.
UR begins testing of antiviral drug
March 27, 2020
The University of Rochester Medical Center is evaluating the safety and efficacy of remdesivir in hospitalized adults diagnosed with COVID-19. Read the story.
Nursing homes’ coronavirus response
March 26, 2020
With two COVID-19 cases already identified at area skilled nursing and senior living complexes, officials have put in place tight restrictions to protect against spread of the disease among residents and staff. Read the story.
VPG Medical offers free wellness tracker
March 25, 2020
The app uses cameras embedded in smartphones and tablets to track a person’s heart rate, which can be an early indicator of a fever. Read the story.
A lifesaving lesson from 1918
March 24, 2020
As Rochester’s effective response to the Spanish flu illustrates, what we do now about COVID-19 really matters. Read the story.
A millennial takes the lead
The White House Task Force on Coronavirus recently appealed to millennials to help stop the spread of COVID-19. In Washington D.C., Param Jaggi, has taken that role seriously. Will others follow? Read the story.
Raising a glass to help displaced workers
March 20, 2020
A digital happy hour today called “Rochester Tips Back!” aims to support food and beverage service workers impacted by the coronavirus crisis. Read the story.
Rochester and the coronavirus crisis
March 19, 2020
The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented disruption to Rochester. Most Beacon readers, however, are optimistic about the region’s ability to respond effectively to the health and economic emergency. Read the story.
Upstate CEOs pledge to fight COVID-19
March 19, 2020
Upstate Venture Connect has formed a coalition of CEOs from emerging technology companies in the region to navigate the coronavirus crisis. These business leaders are pledging to fight the virus in their workplaces and support community efforts. Read the story.
Courts put restrictions in place
March 18, 2020
Halls of justice remain open, but officials have called a temporary halt to many proceedings. Read the story.
COVID-19 campaign raises more than $1.7 million
March 17, 2020
The funds have been donated in the 24 hours since the announcement of a collaborative effort to assist those affected by the outbreak. Read the story.
A united response to the coronavirus
March 16, 2020
Monroe County, the United Way and the Rochester Area Community Foundation are working together to address community needs stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. Read the story.
A hopeful antidote
March 5, 2020
An antiviral treatment effective against the new coronavirus could become available in as little as three months and tested on local patients even sooner. Read the story.