Monroe County leaders preparing for potential coronavirus outbreak


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Congressman Joe Morelle hosted a press conference Sunday afternoon at the Monroe County Office of Emergency Management to address concerns over the coronavirus and the biggest threats to Monroe County.

Morelle was joined by Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, the Public Health Commissioner for Monroe County Doctor Michael Mendoza, and Monroe County Director of Public Safety Tim Kohlmeier.

“It’s critical we take precautionary actions to prepare to make sure that if and when the risk becomes greater, that we’re able to respond to it,” said Congressman Joe Morelle, (D) NY 25th District.

Morelle is pushing for funding from the federal government of up to 8 billion dollars to handle this new health emergency.

“Money used to assist local and state government hopefully accelerating vaccination studies making certain that we aid small business,” said Morelle.

Bello said he’s been in contact with Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce CEO Bob Duffy and has been going over how the county’s finances will be and are impacted thus far with the number of flu cases and in the event the coronavirus enters its way to Monroe County.

“One of the concerns we would be looking at is if there was an outbreak, all the costs associated with quarantine people, the economic loss of not being able to go to work, daycare costs, the cost of feeding people and providing the services that we as a county government are going to need to provide folks,” said Monroe County executive Adam Bello.

Bello said the county is preparing in the event the coronavirus makes its way to western New York. Local schools and hospitals are learning as much as they can about the virus and are preparing to handle any potential cases.

The Monroe County department of health says while the risk of an outbreak is still very low, they are doing all they can to make sure enough resources are available to the community.

“We’ve been in constant communication with the hospital they have plans in place and will activate them as necessary,” said Dr. Michael Mendoza, Public Health Commissioner for Monroe County.

Dr. Mendoza added that some symptoms of the Coronavirus to look out for are lower respiratory symptoms and fever.

While Dr. Mendoza said he is concerned about the coronavirus, as well, he said the flu is a bigger threat to Monroe County than the coronavirus, and that there have been 10 flu deaths this season in the county.

Dr. Mendoza stressed the importance of practicing good hygiene and said it’s best to stay home if you aren’t feeling well. Mendoza said that by practicing these, the chances of spreading the common cold and the flu will decrease. He also added that if you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, get it.

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