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Coronavirus cases in Monroe County rise to 10; Greece public schools community told to monitor for symptoms 

click to enlarge The Monroe County Office Building.

FILE PHOTO

The Monroe County Office Building.

UPDATE: This story was updated at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, to reflect new information about the confirmed cases and their link to Greece public schools.

Monroe County has confirmed eight new cases of coronavirus, Public Health Commissioner Michael Mendoza announced Sunday, bringing the total number of infected people in the county to 10.

One patient is in Rochester General Hospital, one patient is in Unity Hospital, one patient is at Highland Hospital, and the five others are at home, and all are in isolation, according to the county.

Investigators are working on tracing the cases, and if any individuals who came into contact with the eight patients are identified and thought by officials to be at high risk, those individuals will be contacted by the Health Department, according to the county.

Four of the new cases have a clear connection to the Greece Arcadia Middle School worker, a woman in her 60s, who was identified as the second person to test positive for COVID-19 in the county, officials said. All four are adults, not students.

Another of the new cases is an employee of Greece Athena High School, according to the county.

Mendoza recommended that all faculty, staff, and families of Greece public schools monitor themselves for symptoms.

Officials said investigators are working with Greece schools officials to identify high-risk individuals, and trying to determine if there were any locations where the general public could have been exposed.

A Rochester firefighter who responded to an emergency call for one of the confirmed cases is self-quarantining as a precaution, according to the county.

The children of one of the adult patients confirmed on Sunday attend The Unique Child Day Care Center on Meigs Street in Rochester, officials said.

Monroe County health officials also said that they learned Sunday of a positive case in neighboring Ontario County, and that the patient works at the Friendly Home, a nursing care facility on East Avenue in Rochester. Officials said the patient does not provide direct care to residents.

The Friendly Home issued a prepared statement late Sunday confirming that one of its employees had tested positive, and said that the worker had recently returned from Miami, Florida.

The statement read that the employee is isolated at home and that four other workers in leadership positions, who do not work directly with residents but who were in contact with the ill employee, have been sent home and will not return until cleared by the Health Department.

County health officials said an update on the investigations would be provided Monday morning at a time to be determined.

The eight new cases were confirmed a day after Monroe County Executive Adam Bello declared a state of emergency and ordered all public schools closed.

Also on Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo called on bars and restaurants to voluntarily close, citing a growing fear that an anticipated wave of coronavirus cases could overwhelm the health care system.

Several eateries in the county responded by closing their doors. 

David Andreatta is CITY's editor. He can be reached at dandreatta@rochester-citynews.com.

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