Sunrise Smart Start: Friday, January 7

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Friday, January 7, 2022.


A person is dead and one is seriously injured after a multi-car crash at the intersection of St. Paul Street and East Main Street on Friday morning.

According to authorities, only two people were inside the vehicles at the time of the crash with one pronounced dead on the scene and the other seriously hurt with non life-threatening injuries.

Rochester police say several streets in the area will be shut down for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic for the morning hours while an investigation into the incident is being conducted.

Officials on the scene is currently trying to take the car apart with the jaws of life to extricate the victim.

There are no additional details on the moments leading up to the crash

School districts in Monroe County are committed to staying open and view a transition to remote learning as a “last resort.”

“The past few days have been challenging for school districts as we’ve seen the surge in new COVID cases, but despite the difficulties, our schools have proven to be a safe place for students and we remain dedicated to keeping schools open,” Wright said.

The superintendent said the current staffing challenges are “very real” and said every district is trying to navigate the ongoing issue.

“Everyone is walking a razor thin line right now,” Wright said.

If those razor thing margins are compromised, and schools are forced to change their plans, Wright said Monroe County districts are prepared for that scenario.

“You’ll see districts hang on as long as they possible can because it’s going to be a storm for the next few weeks and you’ll see districts do everything they can to remain open,” Wright said.

Should a transition of instruction models be implemented, the superintendent said he doesn’t expect districts to utilize a “hybrid” model that some schools used earlier in the pandemic.

“This was a really difficult week and it’s a good sign that most of us were able to weather the storm,” Wright said.

The superintendent said that the hope is that this recent omicron surge will resolve quickly and that the current challenges districts are facing will soon be a thing of the past.

Since students were away for the holiday break, and the new test to stay rules took effect on December 23, 2021, any potential COVID-19 exposure over the break would automatically trigger the default quarantine requirement set forth by the local health department, even if the student were to test negative.

Wright said attendance within his district has been consistent with rates seen before the holiday, an indicator that the new test to stay policy hasn’t displayed much of an impact for the Rush Henrietta School District at this point in time.

According to the new guidance, students can “test out of quarantine” after seven days if a diagnostic test is negative and no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring.

According to New York State Police, Helfer was driving his department-issued vehicle westbound when another driver traveling eastbound passed a driveway and backed up.

That driver then made a left turn in front of westbound traffic in an attempt to reach the driveway.

Helfer was taken to Unity Hospital and treated for minor injuries. The other driver declined treatment at the scene.

Greece police called on state police shortly before 2:00 p.m. Wednesday to investigate the crash. That investigation is still in progress.

The crash which injured Helfer came less than a month after the department’s former chief, Drew Forsythe, pleaded guilty to charges including DWAI for an October crash.

Michael R. Wood was named as the new chief of the Greece Police Department the day Forsythe pleaded guilty. Helfer has been acting as interim chief since Forsythe’s resignation.

When describing the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Congress members Joe Morelle and Tom Reed both used the same word: surreal.

Though Morelle, a Democrat, and Reed, a Republican, operate on different sides of the aisle, they both condemned the attack calling it a threat to democracy.

Adam Chodak talked with both lawmakers live on air when the rioters were ransacking the building.

Adam circled back with them this week to ask them questions about that day.

The guidance resembles recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but differs in a number of ways.

Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Michael Mendoza clarified the local guidance in a tweet Thursday. It breaks down as follows:

If you are vaccinated and boosted, or vaccinated but not eligible for a booster, and test positive for COVID-19:

  • Isolate for 5 days.
    • If you are symptomatic, the 5-day isolation period begins the day you began showing symptoms.
    • If you are not symptomatic, the 5-day isolation period begins the day you tested positive.
  • After 5 days:
    • If your symptoms have resolved, isolation ends. Wear a well-fitting mask when you are around people for a further 5 days.
    • If you are still symptomatic, isolate another 5 days.

If you are unvaccinated, or vaccinated and eligible for a booster, but not boosted, and test positive for COVID-19:

  • Isolate for 5 days.
    • If you are symptomatic, the 5-day isolation period begins the day you began showing symptoms.
    • If you are not symptomatic, the 5-day isolation period begins the day you tested positive.
  • If you begin showing symptoms of COVID-19, quarantine immediately and get tested as soon as possible.
    • If your test is negative, quarantine ends.
    • If you do not get tested, follow the 5-day isolation guidance above.

Around 8 a.m. Friday, we should be seeing snow flurries pile up our neighborhoods. Lake-effect snow will be scattered however with some falling in the morning, taking a break and then coming back again for seconds.

The Weekend: Saturday will be abnormally sunny for most of the day with a high of 31 degrees. Rain however spoils the party the following day with a wintery mix. An even weirder week follows next.

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