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Monroe County maps COVID-19 spread; two people released from isolation

Monroe County Department of Public Health
Monroe County is releasing a map of where COVID-19 cases have been found, even as county public health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza cautions it's underrepresenting the extent of the disease's spread.

Two people who were diagnosed with COVID-19 and isolated to prevent the spread of the disease have gotten better and been released from isolation, the Monroe County Health Department said Wednesday morning.

As the disease spreads, a growing number of people will be infected and beat the virus. Those people, who are likely to have at least some immunity to future infection, could be key to plans to restart the economy.

But a lack of testing both locally and nationally continues to hamper researchers' ability to know who has had the virus.

Testing in Monroe County is limited to health care workers who show symptoms and people who are hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment.

The county added 11 people to its count of those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the local total to 117 Wednesday morning. A total of 22 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment, with 11 of them being treated in an intensive care unit, the county said.

By Wednesday afternoon, the county added four more people to the total of confirmed cases, and the number of people being treated in an intensive care unit jumped to 15.

The health department also released a map of where confirmed cases had been found in the county. Dr. Michael Mendoza, the public health commissioner, had previously said he supported sharing that information, but he also cautioned that the map is necessarily incomplete.

"We do not have the capacity to test everyone for the disease," he said. "We have to assume that it's in every community."

Mendoza said the number of people being treated in an ICU was a much better reflection of the burden COVID-19 was placing on the health care system.

The health department did not respond to questions about how many ICUs or ventilators there are in Monroe County.

More than 500 people were under mandatory quarantine Wednesday to slow the spread of the disease.

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.
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