Rochester and Monroe County officials asked Wednesday for more public participation in the local effort to track the spread of COVID-19.
The county said the online ROC COVID survey, launched almost a month ago, has about 20,000 participants -- well short of the minimum 50,000 that public health experts say they need to accurately plot the prevalence of the disease.
Public health leaders said they want survey responses even from people who have no symptoms of COVID-19. They said establishing that baseline will help them detect new hot spots developing. For people who have no symptoms, the daily survey is just one question long.
The survey is open to people in Monroe County as well as 12 other counties in the region.
“Thousands of people are stepping up and doing these screens to help our community recover,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said. "The more data we collect, the better we will be able to quickly identify COVID-19 outbreaks in our region, keep people safe and reopen the economy.
The survey collects ZIP code information to spot developing COVID-19 clusters, but it does not ask for people’s names or addresses.
Participants can get daily email or text reminders to complete the questionnaire.
“The more people who take part in online screening, the faster we can return to normal activities,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren.