Sunrise Smart Start: Thursday, December 30

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Thursday, December 30, 2021.

Wright said districts throughout the county are committed to in-person learning, and said at-home or remote instructional models would only be used as a “last resort.”

“The omicron variant is impacting businesses, communities and schools across the globe,” Wright said. “We know that in-person school is best for kids; for their emotional health, general health and learning.”

The governor announced last week that, the governor New York was set to receive 5 million at-home COVID-19 test kits by December 31, with 2 million of that allotment earmarked for school districts to assist with necessary test to stay resources.

“At this point, there is no definitive date of when we’re getting these tests from the state, but we will try to get those to the hands of parents as soon as possible,” Wright said.

Additionally, the governor announced last week a reduction in quarantine and isolation time for the state’s critical workforce, something that Superintendent Wright said could help with ongoing staffing issues at local districts.

“Fully vaccinated people can return to work in five days, but will need to wear KN95 masks,” Wright said. “This is a big step towards talking about the staffing shortages. We will need some more guidance and details, but we urge our staff to continue to stay as vigilant as possible.”

The governor has said keeping schools open remains a priority for her administration, but the effort to do so comes as New York is seeing its highest COVID-19 case rates ever.

Wright said local educational leaders appreciated the continued “patience and support” they have received from families during these difficult times.

That number includes 1,091 laboratory-confirmed positive results and 482 reported positive at-home tests.

Officials say due to the holiday, there was a “significant delay” in reporting of test results that created a backlog which will take several days to clear.

They add that Wednesday’s update includes cases that were backlogged due to a statewide reporting error that occurred on Christmas Eve.

The county is now averaging 758 new cases per day over the past seven days. Monroe County also reported a seven-day rolling average positivity rate of 9.7%.

Since September, the policy at Blue Cross Arena was for everyone ages 12 and up to show proof of vaccination.

Now, for games and events, everyone has to be vaccinated, including those between the ages of 5 to 11.

Josh Anna had his vaccine card all set to go to root for his Amerks, it’s his first time back here in a while. “Yeah, I’m excited to go, it’s my first time in two years going to an Amerks game,” he says.

And families say they’re feeling the joy of togetherness again. The policy, no problem. “We’re fully vaccinated, it’s nice to know everyone else is, too,” says Karen Sesine.

This vaccination policy applies to Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Amerks, and Rochester Knighthawks games at the Blue Cross Arena, Key Bank Center, and Highmark Stadium.

A new year means new laws. In New York, local governments had until the end of the year to decide if they wanted to opt-out of having marijuana dispensaries.

Opting out of allowing marijuana to be sold also means those municipalities are also opting out of tax revenue.

The Rockefeller Institute of Government created the Marijuana Opt-Out Tracker to monitor municipalities’ decisions.

Police say the 18-year-old, who lives out of state, was in the area of Joseph Avenue and Pardee Street when he was hit by a bullet in the lower body.

Officials say he took himself to Rochester General Hospital were he was treated for his injuries which were deemed non-life threatening.

Authorities say he is believed not to be the intended target and just a victim of circumstance.

Temperatures are sitting nice and tight at upper 30s and they expect to break the 40-mark later on. Spotty showers of rain and snow however may come down in Rochester around dinner time.

NEW YEARS: 50 degrees, yes 50 degrees. That is the highlight of what is expected for tomorrow. Celebrating the holidays in hot weather for most of the day with some chances of small rain showers. Saturday brings more rain into Rochester with a heavy overcast system in full motion during the evening hours.

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