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More patients treated in ICU as Monroe County death toll climbs to 31 

Five more people have died of COVID-19 in Monroe County, the county Health Department announced on Tuesday, bringing the total death toll to 31.

The number of people being treated in an intensive care unit for the disease also climbed to its highest point yet. Of the 83 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment in the county, 37 were in an ICU, according to the Health Department.

The county confirmed 27 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday. Among them were five people in their 20s.

Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state could be reaching the apex of the outbreak, although Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said late last week that he didn't anticipate the local apex to come until next month.

Still, Mendoza said, that peak can shift based on the extent of social distancing and hygiene that people practice locally.

"With the continued rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Monroe County, community prevalence should be assumed to be high," he said Tuesday. "We are asking residents to stay home under the assumption that you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are potentially contagious to others, even if you are not symptomatic."

Brett Dahlberg is a reporter at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY. He can be reached at bdahlberg@wxxi.org.

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