WXXI AM News

Beth Adams

Morning Edition Host

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester, where she was recognized for her work by the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the New York State Humane Society. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York to Miami, Florida.

Beth is active in the Rochester community, having volunteered for organizations including the Humane Society at Lollypop Farm, the Heart of Gold Children's Foundation, the Rochester Press Radio Club Children’s Charities, and the Rochester Broadway Theater League Education Committee.  She is an avid reader of historical fiction and a devoted animal lover. Beth is married to award-winning writer and author Scott Pitoniak. 

Ways to Connect

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Melanie Rozek has been a physical therapist for about 10 years, but the last couple of months have been like no other in her career.

"It's so surreal. I've never experienced anything like this before," she said. "It's scary. You go through the gamut of emotions."

Rozek has been helping COVID-19 patients at Strong Memorial Hospital get their strength back. It can be a slow process.  She said it takes just seven days for people to start losing muscle mass when they are sick and immobilized.

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The coronavirus pandemic has touched every aspect of our lives, and there is no definite end to all the changes.

It's not surprising then, that therapists are talking to a lot of people about stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.

Tonya Girard's list of clients has grown quickly since the beginning of the pandemic.

The licensed marriage and family therapist is treating some people who have never sought counseling before.

Sue O'Brien

No one knows why the coronavirus hit Ted O'Brien so hard. His wife, Sue, tested positive, too, but she recovered at home.

She said Ted has none of the underlying conditions associated with severe COVID-19 illness. He was in great shape and could run a 5K in less than 30 minutes.

That was before his coronavirus symptoms escalated and the former New York state senator, now the head of the state attorney general's Rochester office, was admitted to Rochester General Hospital in March.

Lollypop Farm, The Humane Society of Greater Rochester

If your work-related video conferences are getting a bit tedious, you can liven things up by inviting a dog, cat, a pig or even a llama to your next meeting and help a local nonprofit at the same time.

Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester, is making its adoptable shelter pets and farm animals available to attend a virtual meeting through its new "Paw-fice Pals Virtual Meetings" program.

A 20-minute visit costs $100.

Beth Adams/WXXI News

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that two pet cats in New York state tested positive for COVID-19.

So far, it appears that cats and ferrets are the domestic species most likely to get the novel coronavirus.

University of Rochester Medical Center

Bob Filmore has late stage Alzheimer's disease. 

He was admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital to be treated for an infection. That can be stressful under normal circumstances, but in this time of coronavirus when visitors aren't allowed, everyone the patient encounters is considered a stranger wearing a mask and covered in protective gear.

Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority

Regional Transit Service has taken steps in recent weeks to try to protect employees and riders from the spread of coronavirus, but the president of the union representing RTS workers says more needs to be done.

"They're allowing people to ride without face coverings," said Jacques Chapman, president of Local 282 of the Amalgamated Transit Union. "I've spoken to RTS. They feel like the police department's not going to enforce this, which I believe they are required to."

Kat Schwarz

Kat Schwarz and Clayton Eddy are planning on getting married on Dec. 12.

“Having the wedding in December does make me hopeful that we will actually be able to have the wedding," Schwarz said.

The Rochester couple already put money down on the venue and the photographer. Schwarz found a dress she likes.

But it's too early to know what life will look like in eight months.

“It’s almost like 'Love in the time of Cholera,' " said Schwarz, referencing the Gabriel García Márquez novel. "Married in the time of COVID.”

Rochester Regional Health

Clif Genge does not intubate a patient or check their vital signs. He provides another kind of lifeline at Rochester General Hospital.

Genge is a palliative care chaplain.  He gives spiritual and emotional support to seriously ill patients and their families.

If necessary, he is by their side as they transition to death.

"We're always a source of peace and hope and encouragement, but even more so now because we're doing double duty," Genge said. "We're doing our own role, but we're also passing along the messages from family, as well."

freeimages.com/ Julia Freeman-Woolpert

Imagine you’re in a busy hospital to be treated for COVID-19. The medical staff is overwhelmed, and things are happening quickly.

You are deaf or hard of hearing, there is no interpreter on hand, and your nurse or doctor is wearing a mask, so you can’t read their lips.

“You don’t want to be nodding your head about whether or not you have any allergies or something like that when you really don’t understand. You don’t want to be playing that guessing game,” said Gerard Buckley, president of RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

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