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Health Department: One Death From COVID-19; At-Home Testing for High-Risk Cases

Patti Singer

Monroe County Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza, left, at a news conference about COVID-19. File photo

Monroe County reported a death March 17 related to COVID-19 and the county has 14 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, according to the Department of Public Health.

The health department is issuing updates at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day, more frequently as the situation warrants.

Minority Reporter is publishing these updates to keep you informed of facts surrounding novel coronavirus in our community, because as health department commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza repeatedly has said, the “best way to fight fear is with facts.”

The death was of a person who as at Rochester General Hospital. The only detail released was that the person had complicating factors that contributed to the death, according to Mendoza.

The health department advises people to stay home if they are able, especially if they are sick. Wash your hands. Call your healthcare provider if you are experiencing a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. The recommendations will reduce your risk and the risk of others – especially older adults, people with chronic disease, and others who are more susceptible to complications from COVID-19.

The county also announced that is working with the state Department of Health to deploy testing to the homes of people who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Residents who have been exposed to someone with the virus can call the health department hotline at (585) 753-5050 or email

Here is the update for March 17:

  • Of the 14 confirmed cases, 3 confirmed cases are new.
  • Of the 14 confirmed cases, 5 people are hospitalized.
  • The health department has placed 79 people into mandatory quarantine.
  • As a result of contact tracing related to health department investigations into confirmed cases of COVID-19, the health department is testing 16 people today.

According to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a clinician should test for COVID-19 when:

  • an individual has come within proximate contact (same classroom, office, or gatherings) of another person known to be positive and shows symptoms of illness; or
  • an individual has traveled to a country that the CDC has issued a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice, and shows symptoms of illness; or
  • an individual is quarantined and has shown symptoms of COVID-19 illness; or
  • an individual is symptomatic and has not tested positive for any other infection; or
  • other cases where the facts and circumstances warrant as determined by the treating clinician in consultation with state and local department of health officials.

The health department also provided an update on flu. Department data recorded four deaths from Feb. 29 through March 7, although the individuals could have died earlier. For the season, Monroe County has recorded 16 deaths among 5,356 confirmed cases.