michael mendoza

James Brown / WXXI News

Monroe County Legislature President Joe Carbone said sick leave should be unlimited for county employees until the novel coronavirus is contained. 

“We don’t want any of our Monroe County employees to have any repercussions if they don’t feel well and they want to take a day off and they don’t have a day off coming,” said Carbone.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Holding a briefing at the public safety training facility, Congressman Joe Morelle, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and the county’s health commissioner, Dr. Michael Mendoza, wanted to get across that they are closely monitoring the situation with the coronavirus and the need to make preparations. But they also note we’ve had no local cases so far.

On Sunday night, New York state officials confirmed the first person in the state to test positively for the coronavirus. A statement Sunday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office says a woman in her late 30s contracted the virus while traveling in Iran. A state official says she is currently self-quarantined in her Manhattan home. The statement says she is not in serious condition.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Monroe County officials said that although federal authorities have stepped up warnings for Americans to prepare for the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States, few extra precautions are necessary locally -- at least for now.

County public health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said at a news conference Thursday that people should not rush out to buy face masks. Mendoza said masks are to prevent spreading disease, not to protect against getting sick.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In a message to Monroe County school superintendents and nurses Thursday afternoon, public health commissioner Michael Mendoza said there are no suspected cases of novel coronavirus locally.

National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, China CDC

The Monroe County public health department’s emergency preparedness team met for a special session Friday afternoon to plan for the potential arrival of novel coronavirus in upstate New York.

The virus has been spreading rapidly in central China, and the first case in the U.S. was confirmed in the Seattle area on Tuesday. It causes fever and respiratory symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath. Severe cases result in life-threatening pneumonia. About 3% of people who have been confirmed to be infected with the virus have died from it, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Monroe County Public Health Department and University of Rochester Medical Center Center for Community Health & Prevention

The University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health both announced that they will begin restricting visitors to their hospitals now that the number of flu cases in Monroe County has more than doubled in the last week.

Monroe County also has the highest number of reported flu cases in the state outside of the New York City metro area, according to the state health department.


Youth use of electronic cigarettes has come under increased scrutiny as federal health authorities and local officials respond to a growing number of deaths and hospitalizations blamed on the devices.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and public health commissioner Michael Mendoza on Wednesday urged families to get their children vaccinated in time for the school year and announced extended hours at the county’s immunization clinic.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

A group of surgeons in upstate New York has adopted new guidelines for prescribing opioids.

The recommendations, developed by a team convened by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, aim to reduce excess supply of the drugs in the midst of an opioid epidemic that killed almost 200 people in Monroe County last year.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office


Nearly 200 people died from opioid overdoses in Monroe County last year, according to data released Monday by the county medical examiner’s office.

That’s the first decrease since 2015, but it’s still 17 times as many overdose deaths as the county had in 2011, when it first started tracking the data.

Monroe County public health commissioner Michael Mendoza said one of the primary reasons for last year’s decline was likely the prevalence of overdose reversal drugs like naloxone, which is sold under the brand name Narcan.