Sunrise Smart Start: Friday, December 4

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Here are the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020.

Free rapid COVID-19 testing available in Rochester for asymptomatic people

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced a partnership Tuesday with Monroe County for free, rapid COVID-19 tests at four sites this month for residents who are asymptomatic.

Officials say Residents experiencing symptoms should contact their healthcare provider or call the Monroe County COVID Hotline at 753-5555.

654 new COVID-19 cases in Monroe County, 19 new deaths reported

A day after Monroe County had record breaking coronavirus numbers for new cases, active cases, and virus hospitalizations, the health commissioner announced more COVID-19 records were broken for Thursday’s update.

“We will be announcing 654 new cases here in Monroe County and very sadly we are going to also be reporting 19 new fatalities,” Dr. Mendoza said. “These fatalities span a period of time between November 23 through November 30.”

To date, the virus has claimed the lives of 347 Monroe County residents. The health commissioner said if the situation is going to improve, the community will need to cooperate.

Area hospitals trying to manage capacity as COVID-19 cases rise

After announcing record COVID-19 cases, Mendoza says our hospital capacity right now is stretching ever thinner. Just like back at the start of the pandemic, he’s asking the public to help flatten the curve—again— so hospitals don’t get overwhelmed. 

“The curve refers not just to beds and ventilators in the hospitals, but it refers to the capacity represented by the people: the nurses, the respiratory therapists, and the doctors,” he says.

181 inmates quarantined, 27 COVID-positive at Monroe County Jail

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, 181 inmates were in quarantine at the Monroe County Jail as of 9 a.m. Thursday. Of those in quarantine, 27 tested positive for COVID-19.

The sheriff’s office said all inmates who tested positive are in the same housing unit. Others are quarantined in their cells in a number of housing units.

Get a call offering you an early COVID-19 vaccine? It’s a scam

Digital scams are common during the holiday season and with COVID-19, there’s many new ones out there.

Mike Stamas is the Vice President and Co-Founder of GreyCastle Security. He said we usually see fake Amazon coupons, Kohl’s cash, or other holiday related scams, but the pandemic has given criminals even more material.

New York bans ‘dangerous, indestructible’ chemicals from pizza boxes, other food packaging

On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that bans the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS) in food packaging. Studies have linked PFAS chemicals to increased cancer risk, kidney disease, and weakened immune systems, among other negative health impacts. 

Companies found violating the law will be subject to a $10,000 first-time fine with subsequent violations reaching up to $25,000 penalty.

Trees for Troops: Free Christmas trees for military personnel

Trees for Troops is providing free Christmas trees to military personnel at Stokoe Farms in Scottsville.

The event starts at 8:45 a.m. on Friday. Trees for Troops has provided Christmas trees to service members for 16 years and expects to deliver over 14,000 trees this holiday season.

Weather forecast: A cloudy, damp Friday, colder this weekend

Friday will start cloudy with scattered mainly rain showers developing as the day wears on. There could be some mixing with wet snowflakes across higher elevations, but with temperatures largely in the 40s by afternoon, accumulation shouldn’t be an issue. The bigger weather maker will be more of a weekend story.

A strengthening area of low pressure is expected to develop along the New England coastline Saturday. That will result in a swath of rain and snow in the immediate vicinity of that storm, which will be too far removed from WNY for direct impacts. Our impacts will be more secondary, related to the flow turning more northerly. That will set up a period of scattered lake-effect snow showers Saturday and into Sunday with temperatures in the 30s each afternoon. Minor accumulations will be possible this weekend, particularly across higher elevations south of Rochester.

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