Dr. Mendoza: Future of pandemic ‘in our hands’


ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — A COVID-19 relief package, schools, hospitals, gatherings, restrictions, and shutdowns — County Executive Adam Bello and Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza took the public’s concerns on during another coronavirus town hall Tuesday.

After the town hall, Bello said obeying the guidelines set forth will help us get out of the yellow and orange zones; the latter shutting down business in the City of Rochester and surrounding areas.

“Your actions affect everyone else. If you’re not wearing a mask while out in public, you are endangering the people around you,” says Bello.

Bello says with a 7.32% positivity rate in Monroe County’s orange zone, it’s time to get back to basics: mask up, wash your hands, and limit going to gatherings. That’s something Dr. Mendoza says is a major spreader of COVID-19. In short, be mindful of where you gather and who you keep company with, or we could be due for another color upgrade.

“In my mind, we’re always flirting with the red zone. My job is to always be looking ahead,” says Mendoza.

And a ‘red zone’ might not be the last of it. Mendoza says if we can’t course-correct this current COVID-19 cluster, we could be looking at larger restrictions like we saw in March and April.

“…Closing down schools, closing down businesses, all of those things we want to avoid. At the end of the day, we want to avoid that,” he says.

When it comes to more relief, Representative Joe Morelle (D-NY), says that’s still a work in progress on Capitol Hill, but he’s confident it will come.

“We have to pass a stimulus plan that I talked about, it has to have support for small businesses,” says Congressman Morelle.

But Mendoza says fixing this pandemic largely rests not with Congressman Morelle, himself, or Executive Bello. It’s up to us. 

“Wear your mask. Wear your mask. I hate to make it sound so simple, but it is almost that simple,” he says adding, “We truly do hold the future of the pandemic in our hands.”

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