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House party in Pittsford investigated after attendee tests positive for COVID-19

Viral particles are colorized purple in this color-enhanced transmission electron micrograph from a COVID-19 patient in the United States.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Science Source / NPR
Viral particles are colorized purple in this color-enhanced transmission electron micrograph from a COVID-19 patient in the United States.

The Monroe County Department of Public Health is urging young people who attended a large party at a home in Pittsford on Sunday, August 23 to contact health officials after one person who was at that gathering tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The department found out about the party on Thursday night and was still working to determine how many people were at the party on Friday, but initial estimates put attendance "in the order of several dozens," commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said.

Health officials said the person with a confirmed coronavirus case exposed an unknown number of others, most of whom are believed to be students.

The party was held in the basement -- not typically a well-ventilated part of a home, Mendoza said. Attendees were not wearing masks or strictly maintaining appropriate social distancing, the health department said in a statement.

Officials said that anyone who was at the party should be alert for symptoms of COVID-19, including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

These symptoms may occur two to 14 days after contact with the infected individual. If any of these symptoms appear, individuals should consult with their primary care provider.

Mendoza said the health department was not planning to take enforcement action against anyone at the house. "I'm not really as concerned about trying to get anybody in trouble," he said. "I really do want to just look out for everybody's health."

The health commissioner said social gatherings have been the main source on infection in Monroe County throughout the summer. "With schools reopening in the next couple of weeks, parents need to be extra vigilant. Make sure your children understand the critical importance of avoiding large gatherings, wearing masks and social distancing. In keeping your children safe, you will be helping keep our schools safe as well."

Officials in the Pittsford Central School District said they have learned the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 was on the Sutherland High School campus on Tuesday, Aug. 25, between 10 – 11 a.m. But school officials said that the health department has told the district that people who came in contact with that person are not at risk because the Pittsford school district health protocols, including distancing and face coverings, were fully enforced.

For more information on how to quarantine or get tested for COVID-19, the health department asked people to contact the Monroe County COVID-19 Hotline at 585-753-5555 or email

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.
Brett was the health reporter and a producer at WXXI News. He has a master’s degree from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.