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April 3, 2020 Issue  
Lansing, New York  
Volume 16, Issue 14

posticon Town Parks Open, Village Parks Closed

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Myers Park

Some parks in Lansing are open, some are closed, but all playgrounds are closed, including those at the Lansing school campus.  On Monday Lansing Town Supervisor Ed LaVigne said all playgrounds on town property are closed, but parks would remain open.  He added that the basketball courts at Myers Park, Ludlowville Park and the Town ball fields are off limits until further notice.  Village of Lansing Mayor Donald Hartill announced Tuesday that he directed Superintendent of Public Works John Courtney to close all Village parks.

"It was very difficult for me to do because I know how much people enjoy being outside and enjoying the playground equipment and the game fields. But as Mayor, I am responsible for carefully guarding the health and welfare of our citizens, especially our younger ones."

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posticon Local Company Develops Automated COVID-19 Test

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Rheonix  Encompass workstationRheonix Senior Regulatory Specialist Daniela Bocioaga, Ph.D. loading an Encompass workstation

What if you could handle every COVID-19 test in Tompkins County using a couple of machines that look like giant microwave ovens.  And what if you could load the devices and walk away until the tests are done, only four hours later?   And what if the samples were self-contained within the machines and automatically destroyed after tests complete, leaving the biological waste remains in a disposable cartridge so technicians are not exposed to the coronavirus?  And what if the tests were lower cost than the current testing procedures?  And what if local health departments and hospitals could have the machines on-site, eliminating the time and cost to transport test samples out of town?

That's what scientists at Rheonix, Inc., a company in the Village of Lansing, asked themselves when they began developing a test kit for their Encompass MDx® workstation about a month ago.  When the device was put on the market about three years ago it was used to detect spoilage organisms in beer during the brewing process, and since has been used for other kinds of food safety testing.  But the machine can also be used for medical testing, and the company has spent the past four years going through the process with the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to get the machine certified to test for sexually transmitted diseases.  But with the pandemic quickly reaching crisis proportions, the FDA has instituted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) procedures that may mean the Rheonix device could be certified for use as early as next week.

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posticon NYS On Hold Extended

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nys on Hold
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Sunday all NYS on Pause functions will be extended for another two weeks. The Governor also directed the state nonessential workforce to continue to work from home for an additional two weeks through April 15th. Cuomo said the state will re-evaluate after this additional two-week period.

In-person workforce restrictions, which have been implemented through various Executive Orders —202.3 (restaurants and bars, gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters and casinos); 202.4 (local government workforces, school districts; village elections); 202.5 (malls, public amusement facilities); 202.6 (all non-essential reduce 50%); 202.7 (barber shops, salons, other personal care); 202.8 (DMV); 202.10 (non-essential gatherings of any size); 202.11 (extension of school district closure until April 15, 2020) — are also extended until April 15, 2020 to enable uniform extension and review of such restrictions, and any such restrictions may be extended by future executive orders.

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posticon Lansing Teacher Is Printing COVID-19 Face Shield Frames

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Jeremy Richardson

While protective masks help protect medical professionals from infections like COVID-19, face shields add an important layer of protection.  A face shield is a piece of transparent plastic attached to a frame something like eyeglasses frames that hook above health care workers' ears and around their head to hold the shield in place.  Lansing High School teacher Jeremy Richardson has joined a group of about 100 Tompkins County volunteers who are using 3-D printers to create face shield frames to help battle a growing shortage as the pandemic strains medical resources.

"We have a contact with Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City," Richardson says. "We work with city hospitals that have approved a particular design. Then we make sure that we get some of the changes like the two piece clip-together design approved. The original design that was approved comes in a downloadble STL (Standard Tessellation Language) file. That file was made available to everyone in the group. We've been using the identical file on all the different printers, so all the finished products are exactly the same size and specifications."

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posticon Lansing Lunchbox Partners With Lansing Food Pantry

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lansing Lunchbox(Bottom to top) Savanna Pasto, Diyah Rahaman, Toni Adams, Lily Helmer
March 16 brought a month long closure to schools in Tompkins county due to the Corona virus crisis. This put many families into the challenge of having to feed their kids meals they would normally get at school. Adding to that was the unexpected increase to families food budgets and the strong encouragement to avoid social setting. This uncertainty led Susan Tabrizi, Amy Frith and Linda Pasto of Lansing Lunchbox and Toni Adams of the Lansing Food Pantry to plan an emergency food distribution.

On March 20 and 21 over 100 kids received bags of enough food to last 14 days with shelf stable and fresh items including cereal, milk,eggs, fruit, tuna and mac &cheese.

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posticon Go To A Concert While Staying At Home

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Online Performances

One of the hardest hit industries by the coronavirus pandemic is the entertainment industry.  Musicians and actors who depend on shows and gigs and concerts to make a living have been forced to stay home, as performing arts venues across the globe were closed.  Musicians began sharing videos, including full online concerts, many of them for free, some asking for donations, and some with an admission tag.

One of the fist big-name singers to perform online was John Legend, who performed a #TogetherAtHome concert with no pants (the camera was aimed from the waist up) on March 18th.  That started a trend of celebrity videos providing entertainment while asking viewers to donate to a myriad of charities, many of them to provide COVID-19 relief.  Keith Urban, Pink, Chris Martin, Charlie Puth, Niall Horan, and  Neil Young were just a few of the celebrities that soon followed.

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