novel coronavirus

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

The Monroe County public health department and the nonprofit organization Common Ground Health launched an online survey on Thursday to track COVID-19 symptoms in the Finger Lakes region.

County public health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said he wants people across the region to take the survey daily, even if they don’t have any symptoms of the disease.

He said current data points lag behind reality.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Monroe County health department confirms six more deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total death toll to 137.

But, the number of people hospitalized for the disease in the county continues to tick downward, and the number of people being treated in an intensive care unit remains at 17 for a second-straight day.

The last time so few people were in an ICU for COVID-19 was March 26, according to the county’s figures.

John Owens Jr. has been doing contact tracing for 20 years. Usually, his work focuses on sexually transmitted infections -- each year, there are thousands of cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia, hundreds of syphilis cases and dozens of HIV diagnoses in Monroe County.

In the last few months, however, his focus -- and his job description -- have changed. Owens, 46, is now the county’s COVID-19 contact tracing lead.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center said Thursday that their part of a national study into a drug called remdesivir showed promising signs for treatment of COVID-19.

URMC is one of nine study sites in the U.S. that have been running a placebo-controlled trial to gauge the effectiveness of the antiviral drug.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Monroe County public health department confirmed one new death from COVID-19 in the county on Wednesday, bringing the total to 113.

It was the lowest daily increase in death toll since the county reported no deaths from COVID-19 on April 13.

The health department also confirmed 26 new cases of infection with the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, including a boy younger than 10 and five people in their 80s.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Rochester Regional Health and the University of Rochester Medical Center can resume elective surgeries after receiving clearance Wednesday from the state health department.

The state cleared hospitals in 35 counties, including Monroe and all of its adjacent counties, to begin scheduling those operations again, determining that they are “without significant risk of [a] COVID-19 surge in the near term.”

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Psychiatrists at the University of Rochester Medical Center are now holding 85% to 90% of their appointments remotely, through phone calls or video chats, Dr. Yeates Conwell said Tuesday.

Conwell, the director of the medical center’s Office for Aging Research and Health Services, said telepsychiatry was largely off-limits before the pandemic, barred in many situations by state and federal guidelines.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On Tuesday, the Monroe County Health Department reported four more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the local death toll to 112.

Out of that total, only three were people under 60 years old.

The over-60 age group accounts for 97% of COVID-19 deaths in Monroe County and 84% statewide.

Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

The New York state health department is constructing drive-through coronavirus testing sites in five upstate counties, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

Several details were still unclear. The state health department and the governor’s office said the facilities would be opening this week in Monroe, Erie, Broome, Niagara and Oneida counties, but they did not respond to questions about why those particular counties were chosen.

The health department also did not set a more specific timeline for the facilities’ opening or answer questions about where the sites would be set up.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The number of people in Monroe County who have died from COVID-19 has reached 99, including three since Friday, the county health department said Saturday evening. 

Of the 1,257 confirmed cases, 101 people are currently hospitalized, and 29 of them are on a ventilator. 

Among the 40 new cases in the county since Friday is one boy under the age of 10, the health department said.

In Livingston County, officials said there have been two new cases of the virus since Friday, bringing the county’s total to 59.