Dr. Mendoza emphasizes mask wearing as virus cases surge nationwide


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — We’re not out of the woods yet- that’s what Dr. Michael Mendoza is said on Thursday about the COVID-19 numbers in our region. He said while only 2% of people in the region are infected with the virus right now, we can’t let our guard down just yet.

Dr. Mendoza said right now the COVID-19 numbers are lower than we’ve seen in months- which he said is especially impressive considering we’ve been reopening for the past seven weeks.

“I think the precautions we’ve taken to date have been the reason why, in addition to low prevalence, we have not seen the surges here in Monroe County that we saw earlier in spring,” he said.

Dr. Mendoza said the number of people coming in contact with infected people is going up, which he said makes sense because people are gathering again.

“It really is person-to-person interactions as best that we can tell. So I want to emphasize it’s us as the people, not so much the places, that really ought to the focus of preventing the spread.”

As other states see dramatic increases, Dr. Mendoza said he’s implemented a mandatory quarantine for those who traveled outside New York State. This means the county can call and check in daily to see how they’re doing.

“To anybody visiting from other parts of the country, please come enjoy Rochester but we ask that you abide by the quarantine at least for those 14 days.”

Dr. Mendoza said he would like to see more people wearing masks now, so it pays off later.

“I don’t see us getting through this without seeing a surge or a bump or a spike of some fashion in these numbers.”

Dr. Mendoza said at the end of the day he’s trusting everyone to do the right thing to keep the community safe. The Health Department’s focus remains on prevention and giving guidance. He said it’s better to know about new cases as they arise and isolate them rather than have unreported cases they’re not able to trace.

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