Sunrise Smart Start: Friday, September 3

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up-to-date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Friday September 3, 2021.

New York State Department of Health releases official COVID-19 guidance for schools

Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Department of Health released official guidance and requirements Thursday evening for the 2021-2022 school year.

Under the new guidance:

  • Unvaccinated teachers and school staff members will be required to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.
  • Everyone inside a school building must wear a mask at all times, regardless of vaccination status, except when eating, drinking, singing, or playing an instrument.
  • Unmasked individuals must be at least 6 feet apart.
  • Distance requirements should not preclude students from participating in in-person learning.
  • A distance of at least 3 feet is strongly recommended between all students.
  • A distance of at least 6 feet is recommended between unvaccinated individuals.
  • Passengers and drivers must wear masks on school buses.
  • All “close contacts” with someone with COVID must quarantine unless they are fully vaccinated.
  • Vaccinated individuals who come in “close contact” with someone with COVID do not need to quarantine unless they present symptoms. They should be tested 3-5 days after exposure and must wear a mask indoors for 14 days or until they receive a negative diagnostic test result.

Finger Lakes counties ask Gov. Hochul to revise vaccine mandate for health care workers

In a letter to Governor Hochul, this week Counties around the Finger Lakes are asking her to revise an executive order requiring all healthcare workers to be vaccinated by September 27th in fear it will hurt their healthcare system.  

Livingston County Administrator Ian Coyle and others who co-authored this letter want to make it clear this is not a knock against the vaccine itself. But if the new policy by the governor is not revised, they fear it will cause a major staff shortage at hospitals and nursing homes in their counties.  

In less than four weeks all employees of hospitals, doctor’s offices, and nursing homes across New York will have to show proof of vaccination to keep their job.  

52 homicides so far in Rochester this year meets 2020’s total, and it’s only September

The City of Rochester has now seen 52 homicides so far this year, police officials announced Thursday.

The two latest homicides stem from incidents earlier this year.

Alicia Saladyga, 51, died from injuries on April 22 sustained during a robbery and assault that occurred two weeks prior. The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled her death a homicide, according to Rochester police officials Thursday.

Additionally on Wednesday, 44-year-old Manuelito Rivera succumbed to his injuries sustained from an incident in June where he was one of four people shot at the Hudson Avenue Walmart Parking lot in Rochester, authorities said.

At 52 homicides so far this year in the city, 2021 has already reached the entire year’s total from 2020 and is on pace to be Rochester’s deadliest year in history.

RCSD: 70 bus drivers needed for the start of a new school year

Rochester City School District officials say 70 bus drivers are needed, with less than a week away to the start of a new year.

The district released a statement Thursday afternoon saying the driver shortage impacts more than 30,000 students who use their transportation.

One school board member calls it a crisis. Beatriz Lebron went live on her personal Facebook page to address concerns, and warn parents.

“Before you all hear it from a robocall I want to make sure you know, if you are a parent in this district relying on transportation, there are going to be issues with transportation and it is going to be more than even Sept. 13,” said LeBron.

“The way they’re going to spin it, I’ll spin it for you now, is that if you have the ability to transport your student, transport your student. That way they can assess who has a need and how they can accommodate,” she said.

Two arrested after drug investigation, police chase in Rochester

Two Rochester men were arrested after a drug investigation and police chase in the city.

According to prosecutors, police found 8 kilograms of cocaine worth between $500,000 and $800,000 in a package sent from Puerto Rico to Brian Cintron, 37, on Waverly Place. Investigators replaced the cocaine with “sham,” and an undercover officer dressed as a mail carrier to deliver it.

Prosecutors say Cintron took the package and left the home a short time later in a vehicle driven by Junior Gallardo-Ortiz, 35. They say Gallardo-Ortiz had been driving around the area for at least an hour before the package was delivered.

Police tailed the vehicle. They say it began speeding, crossing double yellow lines, running red lights, and passing stop signs. Officers lost sight of the vehicle, then spotted it a short time later with a flat tire. Prosecutors say the suspects began speeding again, crashing into a police car.

Cintron and Gallardo-Ortiz were arrested at the scene.

Investigators say surveillance footage shows Cintron attempting to throw the package into a dumpster, leaving it behind the dumpster when it wouldn’t fit.

1 in 30 million: Penn Yan Tops looking to rehome rare orange lobster

The Penn Yan Tops is searching for a new home for a rare orange lobster delivered to the store as seafood.

Only about 1 in every 30 million lobsters is orange.

The Penn Yan Tops is looking for a zoo or aquarium to take the lobster. A spokesperson tells News 8 they have not been able to locate a suitable new home yet.

Weather forecast: A nice Friday ahead before warmth & rain chances return this weekend

Winds stay out of the north with another gem of a day expected Friday with highs around 70°. Those by the lake will be warmer than those inland because of the warm lake influence. High pressure starts to depart Saturday with rain chances going up for the second half of the weekend.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND: Deepening low pressure develops in the upper Great Lakes late on Saturday. A bubble of warm air will be allowed to surge northward as winds turn southerly. This will allow afternoon highs to climb close to normal (upper 70s), but it should be a nice day with dry skies around the region ahead of the approaching system.

A cold front begins to approach from the west that will start injecting clouds into the region by Saturday evening. Sunday rain showers are expected as that storm system moves overhead. Still some questions as to timing and severity exist, but most of the shower activity looks more scattered than widespread. Showers and storms linger into Labor Day as well.

The first full week of September looks busy. Many opportunities for rain chances with a few big swings in temperatures as well. September has been and will likely be a wild month in weather.

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