Sunrise Smart Start: Tuesday, November 17

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up-to-date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020.

Local hospitals prepare for possible COVID-19 surge after holidays

As the Chief Medical Officer of Rochester Regional Health Dr. Robert Mayo is well aware, Monroe County is currently experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases.

“We certainly feel a sense of urgency to be ready for however this pandemic evolves,” Mayo said.

With record single-day cases on Monday and COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Finger Lakes Region eclipsing 180, Mayo said while they’re concerned for capacity, they’ve prepared.

603 Webster students and staff test negative for COVID-19 on first day of testing, zero positives

Several school districts in Monroe County’s yellow zone began testing students and staff for COVID-19 on Monday. Under the regulations, they have to test 20% of people in each building.

Webster schools tested 603 students and staff members on Monday and all tests came back negative. To reach 20% they’ll have to test 1,500 by the end of the week, which superintendent Carmen Gumina said they are on track to do.

315 new COVID-19 cases in Monroe County, coronavirus hospitalizations approach all-time high

Officials from the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported 315 new COVID-19 cases Monday, bringing the seven-day rolling average to 262 new cases per day.

The county’s seven-day rolling positivity rate is 4.67%, according to health officials.

Officials say there were no new virus deaths in Monroe County, leaving the to-date total at 309.

MORE | Gov. Cuomo: Monroe County’s COVID-19 yellow zone had 4.77% positivity rate Sunday

Is the race for a COVID-19 vaccine in the home stretch?

The race continues to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Several vaccines are in various stages of research and some are starting to break away from the pack, according to Daniel Culver, DO, of Cleveland Clinic.

“There are a number of vaccines currently in advanced stage clinical trials, what we call stage 3 clinical trials, which are really the last stage before application for approval to the FDA, “ he said.

Share the Warmth Coat Drive: Dates, times, locations for this year’s distribution

Unlike the past Share the Warmth Coat Drive events, this year there won’t be a single day of coat distribution.

Instead, this year’s Share the Warmth Coat Drive will be taking place over three days this month:

  • Monday November 16: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Friday November 20: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Monday November 23: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Measuring snow: how to get the most accurate reading after the storm

Measuring snow is one of the most important things to do for studying winter meteorology. It helps us forecast, understand snow better, and maybe most importantly, it helps us verify our snow forecasts. 


Snow may be one of the hardest variables to measure in weather, and there is a specific way to measure snow accurately. The first step is finding a site for your measuring. This should be somewhere away from buildings and trees where there is no drift in a flat area like the middle of a yard.

Weather forecast: Gray, chilly, and a little flaky at times

A chilly, gray November day awaits you, Rochester. For anyone that has spent any time in Western New York and the Finger Lakes you know that this is standard fare for this area for the month which statistically is one of the cloudiest months of the year. To go along with those clouds lake effect snow flakes will fly mixed with a few rain showers thanks to a marginally cold setup.

The northwesterly flow of air across the lower Great Lakes will produce multiple bands of lake effect snow which tend to be transient limiting accumulations. We suspect most of the area will see anywhere from a dusting on grassy surfaces (many will see only this) up to an inch primarily on some hilltops south of the Thruway. We’ll note too, with temperatures quickly dropping below freezing Tuesday night, black ice could form if residual moisture remains on roadways.

It’ll be a cold Wednesday with highs barely breaking freezing, but a significant moderating trend quickly builds from there and takes us into our weekend.

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