WXXI AM News

Young child among new COVID-19 cases; county reports fourth death from the disease

Mar 26, 2020

A boy under the age of 10 was among the six newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported by the Monroe County health department Thursday afternoon.

A man in his 90s was also among the people diagnosed with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The county also reported another death from the disease.

“Regretfully, we have received notification that a fourth death related to COVID-19 occurred today in Monroe County," public health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said in a statement.

"We offer our sincere condolences to the patient’s loved ones, and we ask that all of you continue to do your part to help keep others safe. Stay home. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing.”

There were 19 people being treated for COVID-19 in intensive care units in Monroe County, the health department said.

The total number of confirmed cases rose to 148, with more than 30 of those being treated in a hospital.

Mendoza has said that the number of people receiving ICU care is a better measure of the strain that COVID-19 is putting on local health care resources than the total number of confirmed cases.

Mendoza said the case count is an underrepresentation of the coronavirus's prevalence in the county. Because of limited testing capacity, he said, only symptomatic health care workers and patients hospitalized with respiratory problems are being prioritized for testing. Yet evidence of community transmission indicates that the virus is much more widespread than what is revealed by the test results.

The 27 new cases of the disease confirmed since Wednesday evening include 11 people in their 20s and 30s and five people in their 80s and 90s. Initial data have shown that young people can easily carry, transmit and be sickened by the virus, though older adults are at a greater risk of serious health complications and death.

Ten people who were confirmed to have COVID-19 and were in mandatory isolation have since gotten better and been released in Monroe County. Nearly 550 people remained under mandatory quarantine or isolation on Thursday morning, the county said.