Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Growing knowledge about COVID-19 has changed the way doctors in Monroe County treat patients with the disease.

At the beginning of the outbreak locally, doctors at Rochester Regional Health and the University of Rochester Medical Center found that some patients who seemed like they would weather the illness instead deteriorated very quickly.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The latest numbers from the Monroe County Health Department show there were 32 new positive cases of the coronavirus and one new death. The numbers released on Sunday show that 167 people are hospitalized and 17 of them are in the ICU on a ventilator.

The total number of deaths in Monroe County from COVID-19 is now at 236.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Even as the numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths from COVID-19 tick upward in Monroe County, the county’s public health commissioner said Friday that he does not expect the peak of the epidemic to hit locally until next month.

The best estimates, Dr. Michael Mendoza said in an interview with WXXI News, put the peak in mid-May.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Monroe County public health department said two people died of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the  death toll in the county to 8.

"I share in the sorrow of their family, friends and our entire community," public health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said in a statement.

Of the 42 people hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment in Monroe County, 25 of them were in an intensive care unit on Monday, according to data from the health department.

Michael Krinke/iStockphoto.com/NPR

As the death toll from COVID-19 climbs in Monroe County -- three people have died since Monday, but officials say the rate is likely to accelerate as the disease spreads -- local doctors have begun to understand more about how to treat patients who develop severe symptoms.

The virus that causes the disease is only about 4 months old, and any hands-on experience treating it locally has only developed over the last two weeks since the first case was identified in Monroe County.