Sunrise Smart Start: Friday, October 1

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Friday, October 1, 2021.

The Fire Department Investigation Unit is investigating the cause of a large house fire that left the residency of 50 Almira Street with significant exterior damage Friday overnight.

The structure was under renovation with most entryways into the property boarded off. Fire marshals took a total of 35 minutes to sustain the fire, while searches for any occupants were negative.

Merck & Co. said Friday that its experimental COVID-19 pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half in people recently infected with the coronavirus and that it would soon ask health officials in the U.S. and around the world to authorize its use.

Among patients taking molnupiravir, 7.3% were either hospitalized or died at the end of 30 days, compared with 14.1% of those getting the dummy pill. There were no deaths in the drug group after that time period compared with eight deaths in the placebo group, according to Merck.

The U.S. government has committed to purchase 1.7 million doses of the drug if it is authorized by the FDA. Merck has said it can produce 10 million doses by the end of the year and has contracts with governments worldwide.

 Two 15-year-olds were arrested Thursday after a police chase in the City of Rochester.

Investigators say one of the teens threw a loaded handgun before being caught.

Both 15-year-olds were arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon, Unlawful Fleeing, Unauthorized use of a Motor Vehicle, and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. They were issued appearance tickets.

He reiterated the often-heard sentiment: That vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic.

“We have lost more than 1,400 moms, dads, sisters, and brothers in this community,” Bello said of the currently Monroe County COVID-19 death toll. “We have the power to end this. The vaccine is the best tool to beat COVID-19. Providing vaccines to those who haven’t gotten vaccines is the top priority, along with booster shots to those who need it.”

Booster shots will be available at the Fleet Center and the MCC downtown campus, with additional clinics to open in the near future. Appointments for booster shots can be made online.

“More than 99% of our staff are still here,” said Dr. Apostolakos during Thursday’s briefing.

On Thursday, Rochester police launched a website that could help the process of solving these cold cases. Some, dating as far as the ’70s.

The website is called Rochester NY Unsolved. Members of the public can submit anonymous tips, find basic info on any case, and reflect on their loved ones through a family forum.

Police Chief Herriott Sullivan says witnesses are often scared to speak up, but this is a safe place for them to reconsider.

“Maybe some time has passed and it gives them some time to reflect, somebody might change their mind and come forward,” she said.

The Hurlbut Nursing Home on East Henrietta Road, only 62% of employees were vaccinated. It was one of eight in our area at or under 70%. This means after the mandate took effect one can only assume they all lost a lot of employees and that worries many families.

Many elderly patients coming out of surgery or treatment don’t have a home or rehab center to go to so they stay at the hospital taking up beds a trend impacting both major local health care systems. 

“It is causing a significant percentage of our beds taken up and therefore making it difficult to get patients into our emergency room,” Dr. Michael Apostolakos with URMC added. “Then into our hospital or accept transfers into our facility.” 

Elective Procedures are also on pause at area hospitals until further notice as staff stays stretched thin while beds are filled to capacity. Medical leaders all echoed this can die down if people get vaccinated. 

Warm temperatures make a rebound Friday with 60s expected to carry Rochester into the weekend. Saturday will boost the heat to mid 70s while scattered showers will close out Sunday. 

The Bills game forecast will also attract some some rain cycles but it does not appear that it will rain the entire game.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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