On the day Monroe County reported another 73 cases of COVID-19, and one new death from the disease, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza is expressing concern about the colder weather which is driving people indoors at bars and restaurants.
During a coronavirus briefing Thursday, Mendoza thanked the restaurants that are working hard under these challenging circumstances.
He said if there are cases in a restaurant, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the restaurant’s fault, because it comes down to people, and he said that sometimes mistakes are made.
"First I say thank you to the restaurants," Mendoza said. "Then I say, if there’s anything that we can do in the health department to help you, to educate your teams, please let us know.”
Mendoza said that restaurant employees are everyday people, who are going to work and can choose to make the right choices or let their guard down.
Mendoza also said on Thursday that health officials are starting to see a correlation between the responses on the website roccovid.org and what the health department is seeing in terms of cases.
The Monroe County Department of Public Health and the nonprofit organization Common Ground Health launched the online survey earlier this year to track COVID-19 symptoms in the Finger Lakes region and help identify ‘hotspots’ for the coronavirus.
But he said there are not quite enough participants yet to allow health officials to identify potential areas of concern.
"As we have more numbers, our ability to drill down into smaller areas and do further outreach and focus testing," Mendoza said. "When we start looking at these micro-clusters, I think all these data will be very important to us.”
Mendoza said that at the end of the day, health officials want to have the best available information they possibly can. You can sign up to get daily reminders about the survey at https://www.roccovid.org/