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Monroe County officials alarmed by spike in COVID-19 cases 

click to enlarge Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michael Mendoza at Friday's news conference. - FILE PHOTO
  • FILE PHOTO
  • Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michael Mendoza at Friday's news conference.
Monroe County received 174 reports of new COVID-19 cases on Friday and Dr. Michael Mendoza, the county's public health commissioner, said he expects the numbers to be even higher Saturday.

During a media briefing Friday, Mendoza and County Executive Adam Bello said that they're alarmed by the speed at which COVID-19 case numbers have been increasing in recent days. They attributed much of the recent increase to indoor gatherings where people are not distancing or wearing facemasks.

“It is increasing at much higher rate than I’m comfortable with, Mendoza said. "My concern is that we are heading toward a slippery slope that it will be very hard to turn back from."

Bello said he is in constant contact with the state to find ways of reducing the spread of the virus.
click to enlarge Monroe County Executive Adam Bello during a news briefing on Friday. - FILE PHOTO
  • FILE PHOTO
  • Monroe County Executive Adam Bello during a news briefing on Friday.

“Over the next several days, we will devise a strategy to help us understand how we can start to slow the spread here at home and across the region to make sure that we get to a place where our numbers start going down,” Bello noted.

The news conference with Bello and Mendoza came on the same day Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was concerned about the rising rates of COVID-19 in areas that include Monroe County, Erie County and Onondaga County.

Cuomo said his office would be in touch with local officials, and it is expected the state may employ its targeted enforcement and other steps in some areas of those counties in what has been called the micro-cluster strategy.

Both Bello and Mendoza believe that a lot of the recent increase in COVID-19 locally is due to people not following basic precautions, like wearing masks in public and observing social distancing guidelines.

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY. He can be reached at rgorbman@wxxi.org.

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