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Some areas of NY seeing more COVID, Genesee has moderate increase

By Joanne Beck

While some areas in New York are seeing an uptick in COVID cases — enough to warrant stricter masking policies — that hasn’t been the case in Genesee County so far, Genesee and Rochester Regional Health officials say.

Two Upstate Medical hospitals recently reported revised policies to reinstate mandatory masking for all staff, visitors and patients in clinical areas of the hospitals’ spaces, and masking was also strongly encouraged for non-clinical areas as well, according to news reports

Genesee Orleans (GO) Health’s Public Information Officer Kaitlin Pettine said that there’s been an increase in COVID cases in the second week of August, but there has not been any new masking policy considered.

Her agency is reflecting the recommendations set forth by the state Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at this time, even though “medical centers/systems can also determine their protocols at their own discretion.”

"For the week of August 9 to 15, Genesee County had 10 new cases,” Pettine said. “As expected, we are seeing new strains of COVID. Each strain will present with varying levels of transmissibility and severity.  We will continue to monitor activity in our communities and provide recommendations as indicated."

Rochester Regional Health is seeing some increase in COVID inpatient admissions, but the number is considered “rather small,” communications specialist Cristina Domingues Umbrino said.  

“We are not considering reinstituting the mask mandate at this time,” she said. “Some restrictions remain in high-risk areas.”

Hospital restriction policies are available HERE.

As everyone moves into the fall season, Pettine encourages residents to practice the following public health advice for all respiratory illnesses: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often. If soap is not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Talk with your healthcare provider and get vaccinated. 

If you're curious about local cases, GO Health updates COVID-19 data on Wednesdays at the GO Health website 

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