ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary held a press conference on Wednesday to stress the importance of social distancing over the holiday weekend.
“Depending on our social distancing practicing , this weekend may be a true barometer for if we remain stagnant, or transition to back to normal,” Singletary said.
The police chief said officers will be at both Charlotte and Durand Beaches — as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced they will be open for Memorial Day weekend — working to help people maintain social distancing. However, he said ultimately it is the responsibility of the citizens to keep themselves and each other safe.
“We will not be taking people to jail for not social distancing or not wearing their mask.”
At this time, gatherings of over 10 people are not permitted. Warren said it’s important to remember that the virus is still active in the community as the cases and hospitalizations in Monroe County continue to rise.
“We have to be smart about it. We must remember that COVID 19 is still very much among us. The virus is still in our community and very much spreading,” Warren said.
” I want you to go outside and get some sun but I’m also asking you to wear a mask. Stay six feet away form those who don’t live in your household. Remember six feet saves lives.”
Officials expressed concern that the gorgeous stretch of weather leading up to the holiday weekend, as the next few days in the forecast are some of the finest of the year thus far, could entice more people to get out.
“One large gathering could very well become the epicenter of an outbreak that will drive those metrics in the wrong direction,” Warren said.
Currently, there are now 178 COVID-19 deaths in Monroe County To date, officials report 2,363 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, including 96 new cases since 24 hours prior.
Of those 2,363 cases, 146 people are hospitalized and 17 of those patients are receiving treatment in an Intensive Care Unit. The number of patients hospitalized is up by 10 from Monday.