Sunrise Smart Start: Thursday, January 6

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Thursday, January 6, 2022.


Monroe County adopts new COVID-19 guidance to reduce quarantine, isolation time

Monroe County will follow new guidance from the New York State Department of Health pertaining to quarantine and isolation time for people who test positive for COVID-19 and those who are exposed to it,

The new state guidance, issued Tuesday and adopted Wednesday by Monroe County, closely aligns with the recent recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but offers some variation.

The new state guidance calls for the general population who test positive to isolate for just five days after the onset of symptoms, or from the first positive test, down from the previous recommendation of 10 days.

If someone is asymptomatic at the end of five days, or symptoms have resolved, the isolation period ends, but wearing a well-fitting mask while around others is recommended for an additional five days post-isolation.

State officials say those who test positive or are exposed, and are immunocompromised, should continue to followed the previous standard of 10 days of isolation.

According to the state guidance, those who are exposed and who haven’t tested, but are vaccinated and boosted (with the booster at least two weeks before the first day of exposure), are not required to quarantine. These individuals are still encouraged to wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.

For those who are not fully vaccinated, or fully vaccinated and not yet boosted if eligible for a booster, they are to quarantine for five days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional five days.

For those who are exposed and if symptoms appear, officials say they should quarantine and seek a test.

State department of health officials say this new guidance supersedes previous guidance issued on December 24 that called for a shorter quarantine period for essential workers. The new policy includes shorter quarantine and isolation for all, regardless of vaccination or employment status.


RCSD temporarily pivots to remote learning amid COVID surge, staffing shortage

The Rochester City School District is temporarily pivoting to remote learning beginning Thursday due to the recent COVID-19 surge locally and the subsequent “limited number of staff and shortage of substitutes.”

District officials announced Wednesday that all students will engage in an asynchronous learning day Thursday by logging onto Google Classroom or Seesaw and completing the work assigned. They say on Friday and Monday, students will log onto Google Classroom or Seesaw and follow their schedules via remote learning with their teachers. Officials say NorthSTAR and OACES will remain open for in-person instruction.

District officials say they anticipate a return to in-person learning on Tuesday and will be providing an update on that by 12 p.m. Monday.

Officials say during this temporary pivot to remote learning, athletics will continue as scheduled, adding that coaches will communicate directly with student athletes. Additionally, all out-of-district transportation will continue as planned.

Officials say the district will continue to support students and families during this pivot with:

  • Grab-and-go meals for students will be served at 15 school sites from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Technology support can be accessed by visiting RCSDLearns.
  • Vaccine clinics are being held at select schools beginning next week.

University of Rochester moving classes online for January amid Monroe County COVID-19 surge

The University of Rochester is shifting all classes online and urging students to delay their return to campus amid an ongoing COVID-19 surge in Monroe County.

The U of R sent that message to students Wednesday, saying any students already on campus will be required to shelter in place. Dining and health services will be available.

“With the prevalence of the omicron variant, the sudden rise in current infection rates in Monroe County has caused our experts to recommend today that we keep our campus de-densified for the time being,” President Sarah Mangelsdorf and Interim Provost Sarah Peyre wrote in a statement issued Wednesday. “We want to stress that our campus is safe—and we want to keep it that way!”

University officials said they would share more information Thursday.


Police investigating after Rochester man shot on city’s northeast side

Rochester police are investigating after a shooting on the city’s northeast side Wednesday night.

Authorities say officers responded to Rochester General Hospital around 8 p.m. for the report of a walk-in gunshot victim.

Officials say a 45-year-old male city resident was shot at least once lower body before being transported to RGH by private vehicle.

Police say, based on preliminary evidence, that the shooting happened on Alphonse Street.

Authorities say the victim is being treated for injuries that are considered non-life threatening.

Police say no suspects are in custody and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.


Car stolen with child inside on Dewey Avenue in Rochester

A 9-year-old boy was returned safely to his family Wednesday evening, after someone stole a car and drove away while he was inside.

According to police, the car was stolen around 5:00 p.m. Wednesday on Dewey Avenue. The suspect drove the car nothbound on Dewey until noticing the child in the back seat.

The boy was able to get out of the car on Dewey Avenue at West Ridge Road, a few blocks north of where the car was stolen.

Police say officers “began flooding the area in an attempt to locate the stolen vehicle and the innocent child.” The boy, meanwhile, walked back to where the car was taken, and was reunited with his grandmother.

The car has not been found. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.


Biden and Congress mark a year since violent insurrection

President Joe Biden is preparing to mark the first anniversary of the U.S. Capitol insurrection, gathering with lawmakers to remember the violent attack that has fundamentally changed the Congress and raised global concerns about the future of American democracy.

Marking the one-year anniversary of the Capitol insurrection, Biden and congressional Democrats will start Thursday in Statuary Hall, one of several spots where rioters swarmed a year ago and interrupted the electoral count. Biden is expected to speak to the truth of what happened, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, and draw a contrast between that and “the lies some have spread since” — a reference to the continued refusal by many Republicans to affirm that Biden won the 2020 election.

Psaki said Biden’s speech would “lay out the significance of what happened at the Capitol and the singular responsibility President Trump has for the chaos and carnage that we saw.”


Weather forecast: Lake-effect snow ramps up to our west, wind & cold for all

We’re about to set the stage for an extended lake effect snow event that will result in significant accumulations for parts of WNY. As is common when we’re talking lake effect, these heavy snows will be highly localized to particular spots. Many others won’t see much more than a few flakes. Here’s the breakdown:

A WSW wind flow will result in a primary band of lake effect snow stemming off Lake Erie later tonight. This band will run (roughly) from Buffalo through Batavia and toward SW Rochester, weakening with eastward extent. Long and narrow, this will result in a thin strip of difficult travel conditions overnight and into much of the day Thursday before the flow starts to change, reorienting the bands into Friday.

Conditions will deteriorate quickly southwest of Rochester overnight with difficult travel expected along the Thruway west toward Buffalo. In Rochester, snow showers will not be overly problematic but accumulation starts to pick up quickly southwest of town. For those east of Rochester and southeast into the Finger Lakes, there are no major travel issues expected over the next 24 hours. Our snow map through Thursday showcases the high variability and dramatic ramping up of accumulation with westward extent.

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