First coronavirus case in Monroe County -- Rochester man tests positive for COVID-19

9 hours ago


A Monroe County resident has tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Public health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza and Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said in a statement that the person is in involuntary isolation at home “and is recovering nicely.”

A Rochester man in his 30s has Monroe County's first confirmed case of COVID-19.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“This case is the result of travel from a high risk area, and not a result of local transmission” the statement said. “It is NOT related to the students under quarantine at SUNY Brockport.”

The county did not offer any more details about the person’s identity. In an interview with WXXI News, the person asked that his name not be used, but described himself as a man in his 30s who lives in Rochester’s 19th Ward and recently returned from travel in Italy.

“I started feeling sick, like a bad hangover, probably on Saturday,” he said.

Then, he said, he developed a low fever and a mild cough. “Plus, I felt really tired. Really slow.”

On Tuesday, when he returned to Rochester, he said he contacted Highland Hospital to alert them to his symptoms and say he was coming in for testing.

“They met me in full gear,” he said, describing hospital staff wearing protective equipment who escorted him to a negative pressure room designed to prevent his air from circulating through the rest of the hospital.

By Wednesday evening, he said, he had his result. “They called me and said, ‘Are you sitting down?’ And I just knew. I said, ‘I’m positive, right?’ and they said, ‘Yeah, you’re positive.’”

He said he was careful not to risk exposing anyone else to the virus. When his girlfriend picked him up at the airport, he wore a mask and rode in the trunk of the car.

“I’m pretty tall,” he said. “That was uncomfortable.”

Health authorities questioned him about his movements overseas and his contacts with other people. “They wanted to know pretty much everything,” he said.

The man expects his quarantine to last two weeks. “I’m hoping to watch some Game of Thrones,” he said.

Megan Mack and Emmarae Stein contributed additional reporting.