Sunrise Smart Start: Wednesday, November 25

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Stay up-to-date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020.

Monroe County doctors: dwindling bed capacity could impact elective surgeries

As of right now, Dr. Michael Apostolakos, the Strong Memorial Chief Medical Officer, says their patient census is running at 100 percent. 

“If the admissions continue with Covid as they have for the last few weeks, I anticipate that in the next week or so, we may have to curtail some of our elective surgeries,” he says.

Should it get that bad with bed space, Dr. Apostolakos says they will still always make room for emergency surgeries. He says he’s hoping if any of those elective surgeries get put on hold, they don’t turn into emergences. 

“And we want to avoid that this time around,” says Dr. Apostolakos.

Strong Memorial, Highland Hospitals suspend visitation after COVID-19 orange zone designation

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — University of Rochester Medical Center officials announced Tuesday the suspension of visitation at Strong Memorial Hospital and Highland Hospital.

Officials say this policy is in accordance with New York State Department of Health micro-cluster regulations. Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced portions of the county had been upgraded from a yellow zone, to an orange zone, putting new restrictions in place.

‘Orange Zone’ takes effect today

According to the governor’s office, orange zone restrictions would include:

  • Non-essential gatherings shall be limited to 10 people
  • Houses of worship are subject to a capacity limit of the lesser of 33% of maximum occupancy or 25 people, whichever is fewer
  • Restaurants and taverns must cease serving patrons food or beverage inside on-premises but may provide outdoor service, and may be open for takeout or delivery, provided that any one seated group or party must not exceed 4 people
  • Schools must close for in-person instruction, except as otherwise provided in Executive Order.
  • Certain non-essential businesses, for which there is a higher risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus, shall reduce in-person workforce by 100%; such businesses include:
    • Gyms, fitness centers or classes
    • Hair salons and barbershops
    • All other personal care services including but not limited to spas, tattoo or piercing parlors, nail technicians and nail salons, cosmetologists, estheticians, the provision of laser hair removal and electrolysis

For businesses, and religious worship, the orange zone goes into effect Wednesday. For schools, the rules take effect Thursday.

Orange Zone schools going to remote learning

Schools in the orange zone, including parts of the East Irondequoit, Brighton, and Rochester City school districts, will close on Thursday. They have to stay closed for four days and can reopen if they test 100% of in-person students and staff and only allow negative tests to return.

Three schools in the East Irondequoit district fall under the orange zone, which is 816 students total. The other three schools in the district will stay open. Communications director Dave Yates said they’ve already posted time slots for families in the orange zone schools to sign up to get their kids tested, which includes Laurelton Pardee, Helendale Road, and East Irondequoit Middle School.

Airport travel and CDC tips

The day before Thanksgiving is typically the busiest travel day of the year. About a dozen flights were scheduled to leave this morning.

The CDC is still advising against traveling, but if you still on planning to travel today or this week, the Centers for Disease Control has a checklist:

  • Check travel restrictions before leaving
  • Get your flu shot before you travel
  • Always wear a mask
  • Stay at least six feet apart from anyone who does not live with you
  • Bring extra supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer
  • And wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer

SUNY schools report less than 1% COVID-19 rate as students test for Thanksgiving break

Tuesday was the last official day for students attending State University of New York or SUNY schools to take their COVID-19 test in order to go home for Thanksgiving break. 

The mandatory test out policy was put in place to help keep students from returning home with the coronavirus. 

The chancellor for SUNY schools says across SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities, about 152,000 people have been tested so far, and leaders say the positivity rate is 0.63%. 

Weather forecast: Gray today, rain arrives this evening

The gray will stay for another day today, but the chill will ease.

The warm front that came through late last night brought with it a round of light rain and snow. In that front’s wake a southerly flow of air will send temperatures back into the 50s today. Clouds will stay stubborn through the day but it should stay dry until later this afternoon when rain returns. That rain will continue into much of Wednesday night.

Showers becomes much more patchy as the low passes off to the east. Thanksgiving rain chances will be no higher than 50% with plenty of warm air lingering. Most models keep us in the 50s through Thanksgiving afternoon, but it’s possible a few of you tip the scales at closer to 60.

Next week looks much more interesting as the pattern flips, driving a deep trough/cutoff low across the eastern United States. That would likely lead to a more active and wintry flavor to our forecast. Stay tuned.

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