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Two variants of COVID-19 found in Monroe County 

click to enlarge An illustration of the coronavirus, COVID-19. - PHOTO PROVIDED BY CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
  • PHOTO PROVIDED BY CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
  • An illustration of the coronavirus, COVID-19.
Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said the highly contagious U.K. variant COVID-19 has been in the Rochester area since at least February.

During a news conference Tuesday, Mendoza said there are two known cases so far. The California variant of COVID-19 was found in people who tested positive for COVID-19 in December, January and February. It is too premature to determine whether these or other variants are prevalent in the region.
click to enlarge Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza. - PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
  • Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza.
“So what does this change, for the average Monroe County resident? Nothing,” said Mendoza. “It simply underscores the importance of everything we’ve been saying and doing to control the community spread of COVID-19.”

Unlike in some places where these variants have been found, there has not been an increase in positivity or hospitalization rates in the Finger Lakes so far. In Greater Rochester, the COVID-19 positivity has been headed downward over the last few months. Mendoza said it’s steady around one percent.

Mendoza attributes the drop of COVID-19 rates to continued masking, social distancing and hygiene practices. He also encourages vaccinations when possible.

James Brown is a reporter for WXXI News, a media partner of CITY.
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