County officials plan for testing, tracing as schools prepare to reopen


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — About two weeks away from reopening schools, Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said the community must stay vigilant.

“This is not the right time to be taking these unnecessary risks,” the health commissioner said in a press conference on Friday.

“We want people to be thinking about is now the right time to be taking trips outside of the area that are perhaps something you can defer to another time. Be thinking again about having gathering in your home particularly gatherings inside.”

Mendoza said he believes the area is in a good place as we continue to reopen and head into the school year. “I do believe we are still well-positioned into fall as we reopen still.”

If a students tests positive, Mendoza said schools need to see symptom resolution, a note from the doctor, and a negative COVID test to allow someone to come back to school. The commissioner said the goal is to prepare for the need of requiring tests for everyone who gets sent home. “Our larger priority at this time is preparing for, if we need to require everyone who gets sent home from school to have a COVID test. So based on our estimates were going to need to have 1,000 additional tests per day in order to combat that based on absentee rates from prior years. Those are just calculations based on normal years and there’s nothing normal about this year.

According to the latest data released, Wednesday was the 16th straight day of no new deaths related to coronavirus in Monroe County, leaving the to-date death toll from the virus at 289. To date, officials report 5,143 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County.

Earlier on Friday, the health department released a statement asking for attendees of a house party in Pittsford to contact the department and self quarantine after someone at the party tested positive for COVID-19.

MORE | COVID-19 county by county: Keeping track of local cases throughout the region

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will provide updates to this story as they become available.

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