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Melanie Rozek has been a physical therapist for about 10 years, but the last couple of months have been like no other in her career.

"It's so surreal. I've never experienced anything like this before," she said. "It's scary. You go through the gamut of emotions."

Rozek has been helping COVID-19 patients at Strong Memorial Hospital get their strength back. It can be a slow process.  She said it takes just seven days for people to start losing muscle mass when they are sick and immobilized.

Max Schulte/WXXI News & CITY Newspaper

Some businesses in Monroe County and the Finger Lakes region could reopen starting at the end of this week, when Governor Andrew Cuomo’s latest shutdown order expires.

During his Monday COVID-19 briefing, which he delivered at Rochester Regional Health’s Riedman Campus Training Center in Irondequoit, Cuomo said that Monroe County and its neighboring eight counties had met seven key metrics indicating they had slowed the spread of the virus and will be able to begin reopening certain kinds of businesses by Friday.

“We start a new chapter today in many ways, a new phase,” Cuomo said to an audience of reporters and elected officials, including County Executive Adam Bello, spread out to maintain physical distancing guidelines.

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Bill Pearce, the longest-serving president of WXXI, has died at the age of 95.

His son Ryder said that his father passed away Saturday night at The Friendly Home in Rochester. Ryder Pearce said his father passed away peacefully and some family members were able to be there with him in his final days.

In the latest WXXI Business Report, it looks like the economic downturn could last a bit. A Cornell University economics  professor says that it may take up to a few years for the economy to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Plus, local and regional amusement parks are still closed due to the pandemic, but they are looking at how they might safely open up again when they get the ok.

Also, if you're looking for a job, Spectrum is hiring 'virtually' in the Rochester area.

The University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health are among the institutions partnering with the drug company Pfizer and the immunotherapy company BioNTech to test a group of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

Even with the pandemic, some business will still go on with their expansion plans. In the latest WXXI Business report, see what Greater Rochester Enterprise thinks about expanding in a pandemic, plus, Constellation Brands keeps increasing their stake in a Canadian pot-producing company.

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The coronavirus pandemic has touched every aspect of our lives, and there is no definite end to all the changes.

It's not surprising then, that therapists are talking to a lot of people about stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.

Tonya Girard's list of clients has grown quickly since the beginning of the pandemic.

The licensed marriage and family therapist is treating some people who have never sought counseling before.

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Jared Valentine used to own a restaurant, and he has marketing experience, but in recent years, he’s been working gigs whenever he can get them. 

After he lost his seasonal job in Zagster’s operations department due to the bike-share company leaving Rochester, he found himself looking for work immediately. 

He recently answered an ad for a per diem position called "COVID relief" with Rochester Regional Health. He said he wanted to pitch in on the front lines of the pandemic. 

His interview started with a phone call.

Sue O'Brien

No one knows why the coronavirus hit Ted O'Brien so hard. His wife, Sue, tested positive, too, but she recovered at home.

She said Ted has none of the underlying conditions associated with severe COVID-19 illness. He was in great shape and could run a 5K in less than 30 minutes.

That was before his coronavirus symptoms escalated and the former New York state senator, now the head of the state attorney general's Rochester office, was admitted to Rochester General Hospital in March.

NYS Comptroller's Audit of the Rochester City School District

About six years ago, Rochester’s Board of Education received a presentation from former Superintendent Bolgen Vargas, and then-Chief Financial Officer William Ansbrow. 

Ansbrow said: “If ‘this’ continues, the district’s finances will hit rock bottom within three to five years.” 

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