Local News: January 9, 2024

- Some area hospitals are requiring face masks because of rising infection rates -

If you’re heading to a hospital anytime soon you may be required to wear a face mask again. The Binghamton Press & Sun says some hospitals have started requiring visitors to wear face masks again because of the rise in COVID-19, RSV, and other viral respiratory infections. United Healthcare requires masks at its hospitals including Wilson in Johnson City, Binghamton General, and Chenango Memorial Hospital. And Arnot Health started requiring masks last Thursday. Their mandate will last until January 18 in their hospitals and cancer care facilities. Cayuga Med which runs Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca and Schuyler Hospital in Montour Falls is not requiring masks but they have them available at the hospitals’ entrances for any visitors who want them.

- Ithaca City’s debt rises to over $160 million as Council approves money for infrastructure -

The City of Ithaca is now $161 million in debt thanks to a recent vote by the Common Council to fund new infrastructure projects. The Council voted at its most recent meeting to spend $35 million for the projects. The Ithaca Voice reports about $11 million is for a new East Hill fire station and about $12 million will be used for flood mitigation and storm sewer upgrades. The state may reimburse the city for some of the costs, especially the flood mitigation work. The high debt could affect the city’s bond rating. It’s scheduled to be re-assessed in February.

- High wind warning in effect until Wednesday morning -

The National Weather Service in Binghamton issued a wind advisory on Tuesday. It will remain in effect until 4 AM Wednesday. The advisory covers 15 New York and northern Pennsylvania counties including Tioga, Broome, and Chemung. The weather service warns that gusts could blow unsecured objects, tree limbs, and may cause power outages. People should secure outdoor objects or bring them inside if possible. If you’re driving be on the lookout for objects and use caution especially if you drive a taller vehicle.

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