Sunrise Smart Start: Thursday, September 23

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Thursday, September 23, 2021.


Gov. Hochul took questions from reporters following the Constellation Brands press event, and was pressed on concerns raised by law enforcement regarding the new law.

The law is intended to reduce the amount of people incarcerated for technical violations in New York State, such as missing a parole officer appointment or violating curfew.

Gov. Hochul affirmed police should charge those they see fit, and said people shouldn’t be in jail on technical violations alone.

“Anyone who the police think is guilty of murder, they can build a case on murder, I believe they did the right think here. These people should be in jail, and I support what the law enforcement did,” Governor Hochul said.

The Rochester Police Department received a report of gunfire in the area of Lake and Glenwood Avenue around 12:30 a.m. Thursday overnight. According to police, no one was injured as a result of the crime.

An in-depth investigation into the incident is continuing. RPD is asking anyone with information to call 911.

“We cannot understate the significance,” Gov. Hochul said. “People will look back on this day and say this was when Rochester’s comeback started.”

Constellation, a worldwide beverage leader, will move its primary operation, and nearly 400 jobs to the Aqueduct Building on East Broad Street in Rochester, with approximately 170,000 square feet of space.

According to the governor’s office, plans include an $82 million investment with construction and renovations on the building are tentatively scheduled to start by the middle of next year, and expected to be ready for occupancy by 2024.

“It’s been a long time coming and finally that day has arrived,” Gov. Hochul said. “To have one of the largest beverage companies in the world headquartered right here in Downtown Rochester.

Officials say for all events between September 29 and November 2, guests will be permitted to enter the venue with a minimum of one vaccine dose. They say beginning November 3, guests must be fully vaccinated, with two weeks past since the completion of a two-dose series, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.

Additionally, fans 12 and older who provide proof of vaccination will not be required to wear masks, but arena officials say the “continued practice of mask-wearing is strongly encouraged while inside the arena.

Photos of vaccine cards will not be accepted. Part of the new policy says that negative COVID-19 test results will also not be accepted for entry.

On September 27th, most health care workers will have to have at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine or they could lose their job.

“I’m really fearful that we could see 20% of the workforce leave hospitals or long term care,” said Ann Marie Cook, the President and CEO of Lifespan. “We could see a massive exodus of workers in the short term.”

According to state data, 19% of staff members at adult care facilities in Monroe County have yet to be fully vaccinated. At skilled nursing facilities, 18% of workers still need to get both shots by the end of the month. 

As of September 14th, Monroe County Hospitals had the following percentage of staff fully-vaccinated against COVID-19. 

  • Highland Hospital – 84%
  • Rochester General Hospital – 84%
  • Strong Memorial Hospital – 88%
  • The Unity Hospital of Rochester – 83%
  • The Unity Hospital of Rochester – St. Mary’s Campus – 80%

The FDA authorized booster doses for Americans who are 65 and older, younger people with underlying health conditions and those in jobs that put them at high-risk for COVID-19.

“We don’t have enough health care workers to take care of the unvaccinated,” said Dr. Helen Talbot of Vanderbilt University. “They just keep coming.”

The U.S. is dispensing around 760,000 vaccinations per day on average, down from a high of 3.4 million a day in mid-April. About 180 million Americans are fully vaccinated, or 64% of those who are eligible.

Heavy rainfall pummels Rochester during the morning hours Thursday. Dry air behind this last front will ensure a drier finish to the afternoon to the day. Highs will reach the upper 60s to near 70°. 

The Weekend: Partly to mostly cloudy skies emerge Saturday with a frontal boundary threatening to bring rain in the afternoon and evening. A lone shower will be possible early Sunday, but we expect some sun to break out. Both days will run near average, lows around 50° and highs near 70°.

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