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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Rocky Mountain Laboratories

An anticipated major post-holiday surge of COVID-19 cases hasn’t happened in the Rochester region -- at least not yet. 

Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said on Thursday that this could be attributed to fewer tests being administered in the last few weeks.

“We are, however, seeing the effects of Christmas Day gatherings -- visits with grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins -- and travel to other states,” said Mendoza. “I anticipate that the numbers are likely to grow in the coming days.”

URMC

Hospitals in the Rochester area are seeing the highest numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic. Doctors, nurses and medical staff have all taken lessons learned from the first surge in the spring to adapt their care now.

Dr. Paritosh Prasad is the director of the highly infectious disease unit at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Strong Memorial Hospital. During the first coronavirus surge in the spring, Prasad was caring for a young patient in the intensive care unit.

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The rapid COVID-19 tests being used by schools in New York state has a connection to a local hospital.

The test takes about 15 minutes to process, and it’s being used in schools in Monroe County since parts of the county are within the state designation of a ‘yellow zone.’

Zoom

Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS) is a new illness associated with COVID-19 that doctors in Rochester are trying to understand.

There have been more than 100 cases of PMIS in New York state, mainly pre-teens and younger children.

“We’re working with multiple federal and state agencies to document and try to identify all the symptoms and signs that bring kids to us with PMIS,” said Dr. Patrick Brophy from the University of Rochester Medical Center.

urmc.rochester.edu

UR Medicine says that Strong Memorial Hospital is sending a team of providers downstate to support health care workers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City.

A group of 15 emergency medicine staff from Strong left Rochester on Sunday, traveling to one of Northwell Health’s major medical facilities. According to UR Medicine, the emergency medicine physicians, physician assistants and registered nurses will be working this week alongside Northwell Emergency Medicine staff caring for patients.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

As health officials in New York City warned that the novel coronavirus is likely to spread there, hospitals in Rochester have begun preparing for the virus’s potential migration upstate as well. 

Kathy Parrinello, the Chief Operating Officer at Strong Memorial Hospital, said the hospital is well stocked with the medical supplies and equipment that staff will need if the virus shows up in Monroe County.

What’s missing, however, are test kits.

“Sometimes the panic sets in,” Lyn Lessard said. “It’s the worst part of my job.”

Lessard handles drug purchasing for Rochester Regional Health’s Unity Hospital in Greece, where drug shortages -- many caused by manufacturing and supply problems -- have become routine.

“It really is the new normal,” Lessard said. “You have to find something to help these patients. You can’t put this on the back burner. It’s got to be the first thing that you’re working on, all the time.”