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What You Should Know About the Novel Coronavirus

News, information and coverage from WBFO, NPR and PBS concerning the COVID-19 international pandemic


During this time of uncertainty, Buffalo Toronto Public Media is here for you!

Now more than ever, people are looking for a credible source for information and news, a calm voice in a chaotic environment, and a trusted advisor to help them navigate these complex times. Buffalo Toronto Public Media is committed to keeping our audiences informed about the latest developments regarding Coronavirus. From our WBFO newsroom, to our education team, we remain focused on providing the public with the news, information, tools and resources needed to stay informed and safe as the current situation continues to develop. We will continue to serve you, our audiences, with the kind of vital programming and resources that are the hallmark of public media.


Stories from WBFO and NPR about how COVID-19 is affecting Western New York, the United States and the entire globe.

We want to make sure you have the latest information.

We have the reporting team and the community experts to help you… You can help us shape our reporting and get the answers you need.

The Toll | WNY Stories of Loss and Survival in a Pandemic


The Toll | WNY Stories of Loss and Survival in a Pandemic

Series highlighting the personal impact the pandemic has had on Western New Yorkers.

Your Mental Health During COVID 19| Facebook Live Series

Your Mental Health During COVID-19

Throughout April and May 2020 WBFO hosted a Facebook Live series focussed on information that will help you understand how this pandemic can affect your mental health. We talked about coping, quarantine, isolation and more.

Frontline & Essential Workers

Dave Debo, WBFO’s News Director, talks with psychiatrist Dr. Sourav Sengupta from UBMD Psychiatry and Oishei Children’s Hospital about the mental health of those facing COVID-19 on the front lines - first responders, healthcare workers and those in essential businesses. Watch now.

Addiction & Suicide

WBFO welcomed credentialed alcohol and substance abuse counselor Karl Shallowhorn to talk about addiction and risk of suicide amidst a global pandemic. He spoke about integrated treatment, the biology of addiction, and how mental health first aid can help you assess someone's risk of suicide. Watch now.

Older Adults and Isolation

We welcomed Dr. Ursuline Bankhead, a licensed psychologist with the VA WNY Health Center about older adults and isolation. Whether you find yourself in the “older adult” population, or you are a caregiver, this conversation is for you. Dr. Bankhead has years of experience working with older adults and their families who struggle with chronic physical and mental health issues.Watch now.

Children and Adolescent

Dr. Aimee DiPasqua, a child psychiatrist from Spectrum Health and Human Services joined us to answer questions from parents and other caregivers regarding the range of emotions children are experiencing during this pandemic. Watch now.


Advanced Practice Clinician Ofer Ziv from Horizon Health Services joined us to talk about about how this pandemic is affecting those with PTSD, Watch now.

Stress and Anxiety

Local mental health counselor, Erin M. Moss joined us to answer your questions about stress and anxiety. Watch now.


Your Mental Health During COVID 19| Podcast Series

COVID-19 NY School Report Card


As schools reopen and districts, local health departments, and labs begin reporting this data to the NYS Dept. of Health, New York State launched the COVID-19 Report Card, an online dashboard which tracks real-time COVID-19 infections and testing operations of every New York school and school district.

The COVID-19 Report Card provides parents, teachers, students and all New Yorkers with comprehensive data updated on a daily basis, including:

  • Positive infections by date of students & staff by school & school district
  • Whether school/district (& student and staff) are remote, in-person, or hybrid
  • Number of students and staff on-site
  • Percentage of on-site students & staff who test positive
  • Number of tests administered by the school, test type, lab used and lag time
  • Date of last submission/update


Visitors to the website can type in their home address to identify their school district, select their specific school, and find all reported positives, a breakdown of testing and results for students and teachers and the current enrollment. The dashboard will feature 7-day trend charts so visitors can track results over time.


Map: Watch the real-time spread of coronavirus in the U.S.

Since the first U.S. case was reported in January, the novel coronavirus has reached all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with several American territories. See where and how reported cases have grown over time in the map below.

Map: Spreads of coronavirus in New York State

A Cornell University team offers insight into the rate of coronavirus infections across New York state over days, charting daily and cumulative totals of new cases to help users see whether they’re flattening the curve.

Data Source: New York state and county government health departments.

Information and coverage from WNED PBS


Decoding COVID-19

Expires: 2023-05-13
Rating: TV-PG

Scientists race to understand and defeat the coronavirus behind the COVID-19 pandemic.

1 / 4 Videos
Decoding COVID-19
Decoding COVID-19
COVID Vaccine Hesitancy Amid Delta Variant Surge
Washington Week
COVID Vaccine Hesitancy Amid Delta Variant Surge
With the coronavirus, ‘pay attention to the basics’
PBS NewsHour
With the coronavirus, ‘pay attention to the basics’
The Healthcare Divide
The Healthcare Divide

WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund

Buffalo Toronto Public Media

BTPM | WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund

Buffalo Toronto Public Media recognizes our philanthropic community as they come together to create the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund.

Further Resources and Information

Health Monitoring Organizations


COVID-19 Vaccine


NY State Schools

  • COVID-19 Report Card, an online dashboard which tracks real-time COVID-19 infections and testing operations of every New York school and school district.


Travel Updates


From the National Institute of Mental Health

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255); En Español 1-888-628-9454
The Lifeline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889.

Crisis Text Line
Text “HELLO” to 741741
The Crisis Text hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the U.S. The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.

Veterans Crisis Line
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 or text to 838255
The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that connects veterans 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a trained responder. The service is available to all veterans, even if not registered with the VA or enrolled in VA healthcare. Veterans who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss can call 1-800-799-4889.

Disaster Distress Helpline
Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746
The disaster distress helpline provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. The helpline is free, multilingual, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Hotline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

Resources for Teachers

PBS LearningMedia

If you are a teacher preparing to guide student learning online, WNED PBS and the PBS Education team have compiled an extensive list of curriculum-aligned resources online. PBS LearningMedia is a Google Classroom friendly collection of videos, interactives, lesson plans and more.

Resources for Parents

Learn at Home


Learn at Home

We are here to support families, educators, and students as a community classroom during these challenging times. Find special program schedules, tool & resources.

Resources for Parents


Is your child's school closed due to coronavirus concerns? PBS KIDS' new weekday newsletter offer activities and tips you can use to help kids play and learn at home.

NY State School COVID 19 Tracking

COVID-19 Report Card

New York State launched an online dashboard which tracks real-time COVID-19 infections and testing operations of every New York school and school district.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus

Morning Edition

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus

Kids, this comic is for you. NPR education reporter Cory Turner asked some experts what kids might want to know about the new coronavirus discovered in China.

Meet the Helpers

How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus

Meet The Helpers continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with updated resources and videos. Use this page to talk to the children in your life about healthy habits and empower them to be helpers by stopping the spread of germs.

Meet the Helpers


Vaccines are important, but can be scary. Learn how scientists and vaccines help keep us healthy.


Activity: Vaccine Coloring Sheet(pdf)


Meet the Helpers

You Can Help Stop the Spread of Germs by Wearing a Mask

You can be a germ buster by wearing mask. Masks help stop the spread of germs from one person to another. 

Meet the Helpers

What is an Epidemiologist?

Meet an epidemiologist and see how these disease detectives help in keeping people healthy and stopping the spread of germs.

Meet the Helpers

What is Coronavirus?

A doctor helper explains the coronavirus and how children can be good helpers.

Meet the Helpers

Feeling Sick? You Can Help Stop the Spread of Germs

If you're sick, you can stop the spread of germs, by washing your hands and staying home. Be a helper and a germ buster by helping to keep others healthy. 

Meet the Helpers

How to Talk to Children

Here are some tips for how parents can talk to their children about coronavirus.

Meet the Helpers

Be a Helper

We can all be helpers. Here are a few tips!

Meet the Helpers

What is a Virus?

Explaining a virus to children in a way they can understand, can help stop the spreading of germs.

Meet the Helpers

Coronavirus Dos & Don'ts for Parents

A few do's &don'ts for families during the coronavirus outbreak.

Meet the Helpers

Wash Your Hands

Be a good helper and remember to wash your hands often!!

Top Three Tips for Families:

  1. Talk about feelings & facts
    Be open and honest with children by sharing age-appropriate facts. Yes, people are getting sick, but it's like a cold or a flu. We have doctors to help make you feel better if anyone gets sick.
  2. Make children feel safe
    Children worry and pick up on emotions from those around them. Make sure they know they are in a safe space and lots of helpers are working to keep everyone safe.
  3. Be germ busters
    The best way to help is to develop and reinforce good hygiene routines. Make sure your family is doing these four things:
Wash Your Hands

Wash Your Hands

Wash Your Hands
  • Hands should be washed before and after every meal and snack.
  • Hands should also be washed after coughing or sneezing and after going to the bathroom.
  • Hands should be washed with soap & water for at least 20 seconds or to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Catch that Cough

  • Try not to have children cough or sneeze into their hands.
  • Make sure children cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw that into the trash.

Rest is Best

  • Daniel Tiger reminds us when you're sick, rest is best.
  • Remind them that it's important we protect ourselves from germs to keep us and our friends healthy, so staying home may be best for now.

Make Others Feel Better

  • This is a great time to get crafty and make get well cards for friends or family.
  • Explore technology like video chats to help children say hello to their friends & family.

Additional Resources

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The WNED PBS KIDS Channel (17.3) is available 24 hours a day seven days a week with kids’ favorite shows – Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Arthur, Pinkalicious and Peterrific, Wild Kratts, Odd Squad and many others. The programming also can be accessed on the WNED PBS website and on the free PBS KIDS app, available for free on a wide range of platforms.