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Monroe County reports 607 new cases of COVID-19

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Monroe County reported 607 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

County Executive Adam Bello and Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Michael Mendoza released a statement saying the significant increase in new cases is partially attributable to an increase in pre-holiday testing over the last several days.

But they do say that while day-to-day fluctuations are not as informative as the 7-day rolling average, the Wednesday case increase number is still alarming.

The two officials said that “It is a sobering reminder” that the pandemic is not over, and they urged county residents to celebrate Thanksgiving safely.

The county also said on Wednesday that 392 people in the Finger Lakes region are hospitalized for COVID-19, which is up 19 from Tuesday. And 85 of those patients are in the ICU (down 2 from the previous day).

Also on Wednesday, Rochester Regional Health said that it had approximately 350 employees (about 200 full-time equivalents, FTEs) in its Rochester and St. Lawrence regions who declined the COVID-19 vaccination, and had to leave their jobs at the health system as a result of the state-mandated deadline that happened on Monday.

Rochester Regional officials said that they have been able to deploy resources to areas of need and said that health system is also hiring new employees. Officials said that, “while we know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, we understand that getting the vaccine is a personal decision.”

Earlier this week, officials at Strong Memorial Hospital said that about 220 employees who were unvaccinated still refused the vaccine, so they were treated as voluntarily resigning.

Strong officials said that will have little impact on the hospital’s ability to give quality care to patients, and they said that the hospital will welcome back employees who later choose to get the vaccine.