Noelle E. C. Evans


Noelle E. C. Evans is a general assignment reporter/producer for WXXI News with a background in documentary filmmaking and education.

Noelle previously worked in Quito, Ecuador, for a Latin American media organization. She has a nuanced understanding of the need for freedom of the press, and is conversational in Spanish.

Noelle is a BBC Grace Wyndham Goldie scholar (2016) and has worked with BBC Radio Wales and the BBC World Service. She received her M.A. in International Journalism from Cardiff University in Wales – one of the top ten ranking journalism schools in the U.K. Noelle was awarded the university’s USA Excellence Scholarship in 2016.

She began as an intern at WXXI in 2014.

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the Golisano Foundation

The Golisano Foundation announced Thursday that it is distributing $426,300 in a first round of COVID-19 response grants

Just over $400,000 will go to organizations serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with urgent needs resulting from the pandemic. 

Dave Burbank

The director of Cornell University’s prison education program is leading a campaign to provide more face masks to inmates across New York state.

Rob Scott with Cornell said 225 inmates in the Finger Lakes region were enrolled in the school's prison education program for the spring semester. 

However, because of the pandemic, classes have ended. Scott said online instruction is not available for incarcerated students.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Hospitals across the state are prioritizing COVID-19 testing for children displaying inflammatory symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic-shock syndrome.

The New York State Health Department advises parents and guardians to seek immediate care if a child has trouble breathing, severe abdominal pain, a change in skin color, rash, fever, or racing heart. These symptoms may occur up to weeks after an acute COVID-19 illness. 

Rochester Gas and Electric is urging customers to be on alert for a scam after reports of people posing as energy company representatives over the phone.

The company said in a statement that some customers have received calls threatening to cut service unless they make a payment immediately by phone. 

RG&E said they have temporarily suspended service disconnections due to “non-payment” during the current public health crisis. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Monroe County reported 46 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and one new coronavirus-related death on Sunday. The oldest reported case is a woman in her hundreds. The youngest are in their 20s.

Of the nearly 1,800 confirmed cases, county health officials say 85 people are hospitalized, 19 of whom are on a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit. 

So far, 1,200 individuals in total have recovered from isolation. The county health department says this number reflects confirmed positive cases and “known presumed” positive cases.

The Rochester Board of Education on Thursday night approved a budget that closes the City School District’s Bilingual Language and Literacy Academy.

Myrna Gonzalez with the Bilingual Education Council said the board’s decision dealt a death blow to the academy. 

“They sign the death sentence for bilingual education in Rochester,” she said. “We’ve been fighting over 10 years for (the) right education for our kids, and we don’t have it.”

Noelle E. C. Evans | WXXI News

In a matter of three weeks, 49 detainees at an immigration detention center in Batavia tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 

One of those detainees, Cristian Diaz Arvelo, said he first heard he had COVID-19 when a guard at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility told him he was moving to another unit within the center.

“Not even the doctors come, just they, one of the officers came: ‘Oh you gonna be moved to a unit,’” Arvelo says. “I asked them why. ‘Oh, you tested positive.’ That’s all they say.” 

Center for Disability Rights

Many people with disabilities have been left behind during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester. 

Some senators have some ideas on how to change that. 

Gregg Beratan, the center's director of development, said that an institutional bias in funding for home- and community-based services has forced more people with disabilities into nursing facilities because certain services are only available to them there. 

Office of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Schools across New York state will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov.Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday.

The order, which applies to 4.2 million students statewide, continues a shutdown order that was set to expire May 15.

Distance learning, meal programs, and childcare services for essential workers will still continue. 

File photo

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has co-written a letter to Congress calling for more protections for people with disabilities in the next coronavirus relief package.

The letter, signed by 20 senators, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, says that the public health emergency from COVID-19 has exposed a “pre-existing scarcity” of medical treatment, and available resources for those with disabilities.

The senators say people with disabilities make up about 25 percent of adults in the U.S., and are half of all Americans living in long-term poverty.