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COVID-19 cases spike in Monroe County; Ontario also reporting clusters of cases

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

UPDATE: (as of 10/22/20) Ontario County Health officials clarified that a previously reported 'block party' in Victor was actually a multi-family gathering on Montgomery Lane on October 11. There was no party on Brent Knoll. Anyone who attended the gathering on Montomgery Lane, or are in close contact with someone who did attend, is asked to  quarantine for 14 days, and if you have symptoms, get tested for COVID-19.


The number of new positive cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County jumped sharply in the latest daily numbers released on Wednesday.

The Monroe County Department of Public Health says there were 86 new cases, which is well above recent numbers, even when the county reported a spike of 54 new cases earlier this month.

County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza released a statement saying that his team is continuing contact tracing and he said that at this point, the increase appears to be partly due to a series of micro-clusters within close-knit communities as well as the cluster at St. John Fisher College. That college announced on Tuesday that it would be moving to all-remote learning for the rest of the fall semester due to a spike in the number of students testing positive for the coronavirus.

Mendoza said that, “I understand that many of us are experiencing pandemic fatigue, but we must continue to take precautions that protect the health and safety of our entire community.”

Also on Thursday, Ontario County health officials said that they are investigating several small clusters of COVID-19.  Officials asked residents who attended a block party over the Columbus Day weekend, from October 10 – 12 on Brent Knoll or Montgomery Lane in Victor to quarantine for 14 days, and if they have symptoms, to get tested for COVID-19 immediately. Eight Ontario County residents have tested positive and an additional four are presumed positive, after attending the block party.

Ontario County health officials say that smaller clusters have been identified in hospitals, clambakes, congregant living facilities and children’s sleepovers.

Mary Beer, Director of Ontario County Public Health said that, “Like other counties in our region, we are seeing a spike of COVID-19 cases. As expected, the reopening of the economy, colleges and public schools has driven some of this increase.”

The COVID-19 infection rate for the Finger Lakes region rose to 1.7% as of Tuesday. State and local health officials like to keep that number under 1%.

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.