Sunrise Smart Start: Monday, February 15

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Here are the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021.

Those with comorbidities can begin scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments on Sunday

 On Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo updated New Yorkers on the state’s vaccination program and announced that individuals with comorbidities and underlying conditions can use the ‘Am I Eligible’ website starting Sunday morning.

As of 11 a.m. Saturday, New York’s health care distribution sites have received 2,129,135 first doses and already administered 90 percent or 1,923,259 first dose vaccinations and 83 percent of first and second doses. The week 9 allocation from the federal government continues being delivered to providers for administration.    

MORE | Monroe County anticipates 1,950 more COVID vaccines this week, more New Yorkers eligible

UK study finds new variant may be up to 70% more deadly

U.K. government scientific advisers say the COVID-19 variant now predominant in the country may be up to 70% more deadly than previous variants, underscoring concerns about how mutations may change the characteristics of the disease.

The findings from the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, published Friday on the government’s website, build on preliminary research released Jan. 21. The group includes experts from universities and public agencies across the U.K.

Gov. Cuomo signs Executive Order allowing bars, restaurants, gyms to stay open until 11 p.m.

On Sunday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order saying bars, restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, casinos, billiards halls, and other State Liquor Authority-licensed establishments could stay open to 11 p.m.

“Hospitalizations and the positivity rate continue to decline, and with the holiday surge now in our rear-view mirror, we must keep taking steps to further re-open the economy safely and responsibly,” Governor Cuomo said.

Rochester airport renamed, honoring Frederick Douglass on his birthday

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, community members and advocates commemorated the official renaming of the Greater Rochester International Airport in honor of Frederick Douglass on Sunday morning.

On Valentine’s Day — the day Frederick Douglass celebrated his birthday — it was officially renamed to The Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport. The airport now has new signage and officials are raising money to put up a new statue of Douglass.

Weather forecast: Flurries today, winter storm arrives tonight

**Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for Monroe, Orleans, Wayne, Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, Ontario and Yates counties from 7 PM Monday until 1 PM Tuesday**


Monday through Tuesday:

MAJOR STORM: Snow will develop across the area early Monday with an initial wave ahead of the main event. Most of the snow Monday will be light with only an inch or two by sunset. Snow will begin to ramp up in intensity into Monday night as low pressure approaches. This will result in widespread heavy snow enveloping the region tonight. Travel conditions will rapidly deteriorate. The back side of the storm means more snow much of Tuesday where lake enhancement should keep snow going around the Rochester area.

Expect a very slow go and difficult travel Monday night into the Tuesday morning commute, and it’s looking increasingly likely parts of the area will end up with at least a foot of snow out of this by day’s end Tuesday. Here are the latest thoughts on snowfall by Tuesday night:

A few lingering flakes may greet us into Wednesday, otherwise it’s a mainly quiet day with cloud and some sun possible. We’ll quickly be greeted by another system to bring snow and even a wintry mix at times with slight model disagreement still on the exact placement of the low. The difference between a low and higher impact event will be whether we see more snow, or more of an icy outcome. Stay tuned for more details through the course of the week.

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