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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Noelle E. C. Evans | WXXI News

For the second week in a row, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia has more than tripled in a week. 

Forty-five detainees have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Monday. That’s more than any other detention facility in the country. 

One of those who tested positive for the coronavirus is a man in his 30s from the Dominican Republic. His attorney, Siana McLean, said he also has asthma and high blood pressure. 

photo provided by Victor Cortez

Victor Cortez has worked on dairy farms in New York state for almost 15 years. He currently works on a farm in Wyoming County.

Right now, with the coronavirus, he says everyone’s worried.

“We’re isolated from the population, and we continue working. We haven’t stopped and we keep working,” Cortez says in Spanish. “Our worry is, if we get infected, what would happen to us? What plan is there for us?”


A state agency representing farmers in New York is hopeful a new federal aid package will provide much-needed relief for farmers hit by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program includes $16 billion dollars for direct support to farmers, and $3.5 billion for a farm-to-food bank program.  

Steve Ammerman with the New York Farm Bureau says that this will include produce, dairy, and meat.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Monroe County Department of Public Health reported four new deaths due to COVID-19 on Saturday bringing the total to 68. There are 27 new confirmed cases of the virus. 

Ninety-three people are being hospitalized, 32 of whom are on a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit.

The latest confirmed cases include men and women ranging in age from 20s to 80s. Men in their 70s make up the majority of cases by a slight margin. 

There are now 997 confirmed cases in the county. Of those more than half, 575 people, have recovered from isolation.

Noelle E. C. Evans | WXXI News

Eleven detainees have tested positive for the coronavirus at an immigration detention center in Batavia as of Wednesday. The number of confirmed cases has almost tripled since last week. 

Last Thursday, when the first numbers out of Batavia were released, four detainees had tested positive for the virus.

Noelle E. C. Evans / WXXI News

The U.S. census, that constitutionally mandated once-a-decade count of every resident, is still being conducted this year -- though it’s not going according to plan.

Jim Malatras with the New York State Complete Count Commission said the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected what was already a difficult year for the 2020 census. 

He said he doesn’t believe that the federal government had done enough before the pandemic to ensure an accurate count, particularly in states with large immigrant populations and communities of color, like New York. 

Leslie White

An emergency medicine team from the University of Rochester Medical Center has returned from the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. 

The team of 14 doctors, nurses, and physician assistants was dispatched to two hospitals for nearly a week. 

Dr. Aekta Andrea Miglani, medical director of emergency medicine at URMC, said that one of the major differences she saw between Rochester and New York City hospitals was the level of anxiety.

Noelle E. C. Evans | WXXI News

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Thursday evening that four detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia have tested positive for COVID-19.

Those identified include a 62-year-old detainee from Pakistan, a 29-year-old from Somalia, a 37-year-old from Honduras and a 31-year-old fromHonduras. No information regarding gender was provided.

ICE officials said that “those who have come in contact with these individuals have been cohorted (grouped together) and are being monitored for symptoms.”

University of Rochester Medical Center


With warmer weather in spring, a URMC orthopaedic surgeon says that injuries tend to rise as people become more active. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, orthopaedic patients are now encouraged to seek care at designated clinics rather than at emergency rooms. 

Dr. Paul Rubery, chairman of the Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Department at University of Rochester Medical Center, says specialized orthopaedic urgent care centers are expected to receive more cases, ones that would usually end up in emergency rooms.

photo provided by Julie Philipp


A temporary mortuary, or decedent holding area, is expected start operating this week in Monroe County.

The decedent holding area consists of two shipping containers. Each can hold up to 64 people who have died. They are expected to be used for any decedent regardless of how they died.

Monroe County Director of Communications Julie Philipp says this will address an anticipated shortage of mortuary space in funeral homes and local hospitals. As of Monday, 26 people in Monroe County have died from the coronavirus.