ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Officials from the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported 790 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, and urged high-risk individuals to stay protected amid rise in hospitalizations.

The county is now averaging 483 new COVID-19 cases per day over the last week. Almost a month ago, on March 14, that number was just 75 new cases per day.

Officials also reported a rapid growth in hospitalizations across the Finger Lakes Region.

On Tuesday, county officials accounted for a 36% increase in hospitalizations compared to last Monday — 166 patients, up from 122 on April 4.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Public Health Commissioner Michael Mendoza released a joint statement Tuesday, in part saying:

COVID-related hospitalizations are beginning to rise again in the Finger Lakes region. Today, we are reporting a 36% increase in hospitalizations compared to last Monday (166 patients, up from 122 patients on April 4, 2022). This is a concerning trend.

While the vast majority of individuals currently infected with COVID are not experiencing severe illness, the BA-2 variant is proving to be dangerous to some. Anyone at higher risk of severe complications from the virus should maintain physical distancing as much as possible and wear a high quality N95 or KN95 mask when in indoor, public settings. Anyone who is eligible for a COVID vaccination or booster shot should get one as soon as possible.

The recent rise in cases has been attributed to the presence of the highly contagious omicron BA.2 variant. Monroe County officials first detected the variant locally on March 24. Since then, it has been the dominant source of infection in the United States and more than five dozen other countries.

Despite the rise in cases, Dr. Mendoza told News 8 last week that this variant is “not as serious,” but added that it does not mean that individual people might not be at risk.

There have been a total of 3,183 new cases since Monday, April 4 in Monroe County.