WATCH: Coronavirus town hall with Adam Bello, Dr. Mike Mendoza

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The pandemic is raging locally as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to surge.

On Monday, officials from the Monroe County Department of Public Health confirmed 27 new COVID-19 deaths and 459 new cases.

News 8 WROC hosted a Coronavirus Facts First Town Hall on Monday evening with Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Monroe County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza. These leaders discussed the rising cases, vaccine rollout, federal relief package, and more in a wide-ranging, hour-long town hall.

In their weekly COVID-19 briefing last week, the county executive and the health commissioner warned about the upcoming holidays ahead.

“Our numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction,” Bello said. “We’re about to approach the holiday season and they are over 400 families in our community who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

We, as a community need to honor them and show our solidarity with them by doing the right thing — doing our part to slow the spread.”

Do you have coronavirus questions for Bello or Dr. Mendoza? Send us your questions to newsroom@wroctv.com, through Facebook, or through Twitter.

Your coronavirus questions

Connie M: Because the virus can live on the hands or body, can a nurse who has been vaccinated still carry the virus to a person who has not been vaccinated?

Kerry V: With our rates increasing in Monroe County, why don’t we have more free rapid COVID testing sites in the suburbs?

Susan G: If one gets the COVID vaccine from one of the companies 21 or 28 days later can they get the shot from another company’s vaccine or do they have to stay with the original company? In other words, for example if one gets the Pfizer vaccine can one 21 days later get the vaccine made by Moderna? Also, is it a mandate/requirement that all nursing home staff have to get the vaccine?

Chip R: I am a resident of New York state, but will be snow-birding in Arizona January through April.  If the vaccine becomes available during that time period, do I have to return to New York to receive it or will I be able to get it in Arizona?

Marie R: How will those of us who have health issues and are over the age of 75 be notified when it is our turn to receive the vaccine? 

Kerry: Based on a recent interview with HHS Azar, there is a surplus of monoclonal antibody treatments in the US. Are any of the area hospitals using the monoclonal antibody treatment, like Regeneron? If so, should high-risk people, newly infected with COVID, go to the hospital? If area hospitals do not have this treatment available, then why not?

Tom: Should a person who has Guillain-Barré Syndrome get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Cathy: When 65-74 year old residents can get the vaccine, what type facility is expected to be used for this? Are we going to have to stand in line in a crowded facility?

Jeremy: Kids have been playing “high risk“ sports since the summer with no data showing high infection rates. The governor presented data last week showing a 1.04% infection rate for sports. Why aren’t we allowing these kids to play these sports? With precautions kids can play safely.

Cathy: As we continue to see our cases spiking, is there a way to get up to date data on new daily cases by zip code and is the surge we are seeing still from living room spread?

Nina: Of course, focus is and should be on COVID, but what is the current level of seasonal flu in our area and across the country? In what ways, if any, are these two viruses impacting health and the healthcare system?

Alan L: How concerned should we all be about the news of more strains breaking out, as in the United Kingdom?

Lisa O: If a school is all remote, can staff get the vaccine in phase two before reopening? 

Rasha R: Once a person has had both rounds of the vaccine, will it be safe for a person to resume dining indoors, visiting with multiple family members, and other activities safely?

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