Sunrise Smart Start: August 24, 2021

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up-to-date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Tuesday, August 24, 2021.

Kathy Hochul sworn in, New York’s first female governor in history

Kathy Hochul became the first female governor in New York after being sworn into her new role during a private ceremony at the stroke of midnight.

The private ceremony, conducted by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, was held at the New York State Capitol. A public, ceremonial swearing in will be held at 10 a.m. in the Red Room of the Capitol. Hochul will be joined by her family and New York legislative leaders. You can watch that ceremony live streamed on this page at that time.

Gov. Hochul replaces Andrew Cuomo as state chief executive following a resignation that was accelerated by the sexual harassment report from the attorney general.

Hochul’s history-making moment was joined by New York officials who welcomed her into the new position.

She has already made changes under her newly-found duties as governor. Hochul announced the appointment of two women to her cabinet — Karen Persichilli Keogh will become Secretary to the Governor and Elizabeth Fine who will be Hochul’s chief legal counselor.

A secondary ceremonial event is set to take place at 3 p.m. where Hochul will address the public as New York’s latest governor.

Gov. Cuomo’s farewell address: ‘I gave it my all, tried my best to deliver for you’

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered a farewell address to New Yorkers on his final day in office Monday, where he dismounted on a quote from E.B. White.

“New York is to the nation what the white church spire is to the village, the visible symbol of aspiration and faith, the white plume saying the way is up,” Cuomo said.

The governor announced his resignation 13 days ago after a bombshell report from the attorney general’s office concluded he sexually harassed current and former state employees.

“There will be another time to talk about the truth and ethics of the recent situation involving me,” Cuomo said. “The attorney general’s report was designed to be a political firecracker on an explosive topic — it was meant to start a stampede.”

Although the governor’s lawyers challenged the credibility of the report, and Cuomo himself maintains he never touched anyone inappropriately, he announced he would step down to not serve as a further distraction for New Yorkers.

“There are moments in life that test our character,” Cuomo said. “Moments that ask us, are we the person we believe we are, or are we the person we try to be at our best. You know me, I’m a fighter. My instinct was to fight this because it was unfair and unjust. I love New York, and I serve.

“I serve you,” Cuomo said. “That is the oath that I took. And in this moment, I believe that the right thing is that my service come first. Prolonging this situation could only cause governmental paralysis and that is just not an option for you and not an option for the state, especially now.”

Local doctors explain how full FDA approval displays Pfizer vaccine success

The Pfizer vaccine has surpassed all safety hurdles and regulations by the U.S Food and Drug Administration officially becoming fully approved for those 16 and up. 

This extensive process began back in May when Pfizer submitted their application prompting the FDA to send personnel all over the world to inspect where and how Pfizer was making the vaccine, plus analyze all their data for determination of its safety and effectiveness.  

Already in the arms of more than 92 million Americans, the FDA believes the data is there qualifying Pfizer to receive its full approval putting it in the same league other longtime vaccines are.  

“When you’ve demonstrated 95% efficacy against all infection and then against 100% severe disease in 2.5 months you have data that says let’s move this forward,” Dr. Ed Walsh of Rochester Regional said.  

The FDA analyzed effectiveness data from 20,000 vaccine recipients 16 and up and its safety in another 22,000 people who received the vaccine. The trial found the Pfizer doses were 91% effective in preventing the coronavirus.  

Rochester Regional Health tightens visit policy amid rise in COVID-19 cases

In response to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Monroe County, Rochester Regional Health announced Monday it will return to a strict visitation policy starting Wednesday, Aug. 25.

The new policy will be effective as of 9 a.m. on Wednesday in these locations:

  • Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic
  • Newark-Wayne Community Hospital
  • Rochester General Hospital
  • Unity Hospital
  • United Memorial Medical Center
  • Rochester Ambulatory Surgery Center
  • Linden Oaks Ambulatory Surgery Center
  • Westfall Ambulatory Surgery Center

Rochester Regional Health locations will not allow visitations to patients who are COVID-19 positive, part of the emergency department or cancer infusion center.

For more on the RRH visitation policy, click here.

High school football practices begin after shortened offseason

The shortest offseason in high school football history has come to a close as teams were back out on the field Monday for the first day of practice.

Just over three months ago, sectionals wrapped up for the high-risk fall sports of football, volleyball, and competitive cheerleading.

Now, they’re back out on the field with a little bit warmer weather than the snow flurries that greeted them for March practices last year.

Weather forecast: Hazy sunshine as temperatures rise

With the center of the leftovers of Henri now scooting closer back to the open waters of the Atlantic, WNY finds itself on the far western flank of it’s circulation. To a large extent, this has affected our local weather very little.

It’s incredibly muggy with dew points in the lower 70s, but bands of heavy rain have only worked into the Finger Lakes are are expected to diminish with time as we get deeper into the night. That mugginess will keep our air feeling sticky through the night as temperatures fall into the upper 60s under partly cloudy skies.

With Henri pulling out, we’ll enjoy a generally dry Tuesday with temperatures topping out in the middle 80s. Brief ridging of high pressure will nudge in for Wednesday, making for what could arguably be our hottest day in more than a month.

Wednesday’s highs are expected to top 90 degrees in the Rochester area with only a slight chance of a passing shower or storm. Those chances will get a bump into Thursday as a diffuse cold front tries to pass the area. It will be successful, dropping our temperatures closer to 80 degrees for highs by Friday.

That cold front will slide back in our direction as a warm front into the weekend, again placing the region in a sector of warm and muggy air. That will likely keep at least some risk for scattered showers and storms around into a summery weekend, but those chances will need to be fine-tuned as the workweek wears on.

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