coronavirus | WAMC


Elizabeth Sobol

At the Saratoga Performing Arts Center last year they had more than 200 events on their campus – including a total of 10,000 visitors, 50 people at a time, from July to December. During that time, their operations and facilities team worked according to very strict COVID protocols and created a blueprint for events that kept their guests and staff safe and healthy.

As they move into the 2021 season, their number one priority is creating a safe environment for everyone – audience members, staff and performers. So, they do not yet know when they will be allowed to open – nor, more importantly, at what capacity. There are many questions. And for answers – we welcome Elizabeth Sobol - President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Rebecca Soffer and Amy Cunningham
provided / //

The toll taken on survivors of those who have lost those close to them of the Coronavirus is tremendous. A new study calculates that nine family members are affected by every person who dies of the coronavirus. With about 525-thousand Americans having succumbed to the virus, that means nearly 4.7 million are grieving.

The numbers are staggering, and they are growing. It’s hard to imagine how this doesn’t dominate us for some time. Indeed, the grief pandemic will outlast the coronavirus pandemic.

To discuss this, we welcome Rebecca Soffer co-founder and CEO of the website Modern Loss - a place to share the unspeakably taboo, unbelievably hilarious, and unexpectedly beautiful terrain of navigating your life after a death.

We also welcome Amy Cunningham of Fitting Tribute Funeral Services. Cunningham is a licensed funeral director and celebrant in Brooklyn who collaborates with New York City families to help them create the best funerals and farewells possible.

The Clinton County Health Department is warning residents who were at a local diner they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

One thing 2020 will be remembered for: the emergence of the face mask as a way to help protect against COVID-19.

Looking Back At COVID Beginning In New Rochelle

Dec 29, 2020
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and New York National Guard members, March 12, 2020
Courtesy of the City of New Rochelle

It was the first weekend March when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, which took hold in New Rochelle. For a time, the Westchester County city became the epicenter of the virus in New York and the country.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro during Zoom press conference, November 23, 2020
Courtesy of NYSAC/screenshot by WAMC, Allison Dunne

Democratic and Republican county leaders across the U.S. are calling for unity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic intensifying again. The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) say it’s time to put partisanship aside, turn down the rhetoric and work together to defeat the resurgence of the coronavirus.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

As the Thanksgiving holiday week begins, New York state officials are recommending that dinners and other gatherings be limited or even cancelled to prevent a further rise in COVID-19 transmission.

10/5/20 Panel

Oct 5, 2020
Microphone in radio studio

     The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock,  UAlbany Lecturer in Africana Studies Jennifer Burns, political consultant and lobbyist Libby Post, and Albany Law School professor and director of the Immigration Law Clinic Sarah Rogerson.

For a portion of the program, we are joined by Dr. Jim Fagin, Allergist and Immunologist from New Hyde Park, New York.

Field of Horrors
Jesse King / WAMC

In a year where the coronavirus pandemic has wiped out most traditions, pumpkin farms, corn mazes, and haunted houses are still ringing in the spooky season in New York state. WAMC’s Jesse King got a sneak preview of Troy’s Field of Horrors before its official reopening Friday. 

10/2/20 Panel

Oct 2, 2020
Microphone in radio studio

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator, Visiting Professor at Bennington College, President of Beyond Plastics Judith Enck, Communications Faculty member at SUNY New Paltz & R.P.I. and former NYS Senator Terry Gipson, and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti.

We are also joined, for a portion of the program, by Dr. James Fagin, MD, an Immunology & Allergy Specialist in New Hyde Park, New York.

In a collaboration devised to meet the challenges posed by the global health pandemic, the 2020 Williamstown Theatre Festival season will be the first-ever complete theatre season released by Audible, the world’s largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks.

The 2020 WTF Season on Audible is being produced in an audio-only format safe to elevate, entertain, and transform audiences from the comfort of their homes. While this season is different, it is being made with the spirit of invention that has long been a hallmark of the Festival.

The new work looks to transport you into the world of Blanche DuBois in 1940s New Orleans, into a hotel in Thailand where Kina prepares for gender confirmation surgery, onto Tori McClure’s rowboat as she rows solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and so much more.

To tell us about it – we welcome Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director of WTF.

WAMC Composite Image by Dave Lucas

With SUNY Oneonta shutting the campus down for the semester due to COVID-19, Albany area colleges have safety plans in place for the holiday weekend.

U.S. Representative for New York's 22nd congressional district Anthony Brindisi
Official Portrait 116th Congress

COVID-19 has been devastating for agriculture.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Democrat Anthony Brindisi of New York’s 22nd Congressional district continues his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. 

This interview was recorded September 2.

9/3/20 Panel

Sep 3, 2020
Microphone in radio studio

       The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist Linda Ellerbee, Berkshire Eagle Reporter Jenn Smith, and Publisher Emeritus of The Daily Freeman Ira Fusfeld.

Dr. Eric Yager
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Dr. Eric Yager of the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is here to answer your coronavirus questions. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

SUNY Oneonta Seal

Almost 30 SUNY Oneonta students have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of classes on Monday. College President Barbara Jean Morris says school officials are investigating reports of off-campus gatherings — including complaints of rush parties hosted by fraternities and sororities. WAMC’s Jesse King spoke with Abigail Perrin, a SUNY Oneonta senior currently living in town.

EraserGirl/Wikimedia Commons

With Election Day less than three months away and no end to the coronavirus pandemic in sight, election officials in New York are scrambling to handle an expected spike in absentee ballots.

U.S. Canada border crossing at Champlain-LaColle
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The border between Canada and the U.S. is staying closed to non-essential travelers for another month. The move places additional strain on border communities and businesses that rely on cross-border tourism and business.

One-third (33%) of U.S. adults reported stress, anxiety, and great sadness that was difficult to cope with by themselves, compared to about a quarter or less in other countries.
The Commonwealth Fund

A new survey finds COVID-19 is taking a toll on Americans' physical and mental well-being.

Siena College
Facebook: Siena College

As COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the country, cities in the Capital Region are bracing for the return of college students this month.

NY Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Assemblymember John McDonald, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Troy Mayor Patrick Madden outside Unity House in Troy.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul stopped by Unity House of Troy Monday to meet with local child care providers and call for critical support for the industry.

NY-19 Congressman Antonio Delgado
Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Antonio Delgado

Democratic Congressman Antonio Delgado is one of the many voices from New York’s delegation calling for the U.S. Senate to include direct aid for state and local governments in the next coronavirus relief package. Delgado, from the 19th District, spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.

7/24/20 Panel

Jul 24, 2020

     The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, former EPA Regional Administrator, Visiting Professor at Bennington College, and President of Beyond Plastics Judith Enck, immigration attorney and associate with the Albany law firm of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna Cianna Freeman-Tolbert, and President and CEO The Business Council of New York State Heather Briccetti.

Interim NYS Education Commissioner To Resign

Jul 24, 2020
shannon tahoe

Interim New York State Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe is stepping down, effective August 13. 

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says 14 more people tested positive for the novel coronavirus Tuesday, meaning there are now 84 active cases in the county. 

spinner bowls
Jesse King / WAMC

The city of Albany has launched an initiative to give younger residents a safe place to play and learn this summer during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy (file photo)
Albany County/screengrab by WAMC

Although coronavirus cases remain relatively low in Albany County, good news is hard to come by on the financial front.

Jane McManus: Sports In A Bubble

Jul 9, 2020

There’s nothing that can chill the spine quite like a story from Edgar Allan Poe. One of the most captivating and shortest is the Masque of the Red Death.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC /

Dr. Eric Yager And Dr. Eli Rosenberg join us on the line today to discuss the coronavirus and the latest developments with the COVID-19-related inflammatory illness found in children. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

COVID-19 Diagram
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As doctors and researchers around the world work to identify treatments and vaccines for the novel coronavirus, a team from New York’s Capital Region has been testing a cancer drug on COVID-19 patients.