Coronavirus Facts First

166 cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County, 4 deaths, 33 hospitalizations, 21 in ICU

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — There are now 166 cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County, officials announced Friday afternoon.

Officials announced the fourth COVID-19 related death in Monroe County Thursday afternoon.

Of the 166 confirmed cases, 33 are hospitalized and 21 of those patients are receiving treatment in an Intensive Care Unit.

At this time, officials say there are 423 under mandatory quarantine. To date, 14 people have been resolved and released from isolation.

Department of health officials say deaths, and those who have resolved, will still be counted in the total case count.

Also Friday, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and health officials in the community announced the detailed of the “Surge Capacity Plan” for local hospitals.

Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo required all hospitals in New York State to increase their capacity by 50% and try for 100% in preparation for cases to worsen. The four part plan announced on Friday details how the community hospitals are responding.

The phases for the plan are as follow:

  • Phase one: Turn over beds that are currently available and delay all non-urgent surgeries
  • Phase two: Turn hospital overflow or ambulatory clinics into spaces able to provide patient care
  • Phase three: Expand into non tradition spaces, converting space like hallways into patient care rooms, doubling up non COVID-19 patients who are currently in private rooms
  • Phase four: Creating a field hospital

Official said on Friday that Monroe County is well into phase one. “If we can manage to stay home, if we can manage to limit only the essentials going to work, very frankly we might not even have to go into phase two and that’s what we hope,” Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said.

There are currently, 1,964 beds and this plan would increase that to 4,044 bed. Rochester Regional Health would increase by 109% and UR Medicine by 103%.

Strong Memorial hospital currently has 400 ventilators, Rochester Regional has about 240 ventilators, orders for additional ventilators are being filled.

“The public plays a huge role in what happens in the future this is not simply about capacity, it’s about demand of beds,” UR Medicine Chief Medical Officer Michael Apostolakos said.

“The more social distancing we practice, the more people who take the advice to stay home, it will save the hospital’s capacity and enable us to care for everyone and reduce mortality. It truly is a life and death situation for everyone in the community to take seriously.”

Health officials said that the main concern is not with capacity, but with the staff available to take care of the patients infected with the coronavirus.

“Phase one and two we feel very confident that we would be able to manage. Phase three and phase four will require addition resources to manage and staff,” Chief Operating Office at UR Medicine Kathleen Parrinello said. “Implementing phase three is a sign that our community health care system is on on the verge of being overwhelmed.”

According to Apostolakos, phase three is where they would need to call on retirees or other professionals that the state would provide, ” “Right now, we have space. I think our concern is with our staff, our workforce.”

Bello said they are looking at several sites to potentially host a field hospital, but they haven’t decided on any places yet.

What were looking at right now is a site that can hold 500 to 1,000 beds,” Bello said.

Tips from the health departmnt

Monroe County continues to ask residents to stay home and practice social distancing. We should all assume that we have been exposed to COVID-19, even if we do not have recognizable symptoms, and could be spreading the virus to people who are vulnerable to more severe symptoms.

What does social distancing mean?

Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19.

Can I visit my relatives or friends?

Do not visit loved ones in person. Use the phone or other electronic devices. Deliver food or other essential items to the doorstep.

How can I keep safe when I need to go out to secure essential items like food?

  • Make as few trips as possible.
  • Avoid excessive shopping time. 
  • Make a list in advance. 
  • Consider using delivery services or the self-checkout lane. 
  • Wipe down the shopping cart, touch screens and touch pads before and after use.

What if we are outside?

Avoid close contact with people, even when outside. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Avoid games and activities that require close contact.
  • Avoid frequently touched surfaces and objects. This includes playground equipment like slides and swings. 
  • Do not share equipment such as bicycles, helmets, balls or frisbees. 
  • Do not gather in groups.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard the tissue in a closed container. 

When you return indoors, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Everyone has a role to play as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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