CDC says Monroe County has high COVID-19 risk levels, recommends masking

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County is listed in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s "high" COVID-19 category due to its spiking 7-day average positivity rates, which according to the federal agency, means county residents should be wearing a mask while indoors.

News10NBC asked Monroe County Executive Adam Bello if the designation means anything will change. Bello said for now all recommendations the county has been following will remain in place.

"This isn’t surprising in any way. We’ve been talking about this for days, and weeks," Bello said.

Since early March the CDC has been tracking a spike in COVID-19 positivity rates based on both lab-confirmed tests and self-reported at-home tests.

"While it’s highly transmissible it’s also not having as negative of an impact on people’s health. So the hospitalization have not been as high relative to the number of cases," Bello said.

So while a new designation from the CDC might seem like a big deal, we asked Bello if there are any plans from the county to make any changes to its covid contingency plans?

"No I don’t believe we need to put new mandates in place, or anything like that," Bello said. "I think we need to be reasonable. We all know, and have common sense of what works."

That being said, Bello said they continue to track these rising numbers.

"I just talked to Dr. Mendoza this morning. We met with our hospital systems this week. We monitor this every day, and when the recommendations need to change we’ll do that," Bello said.

So while no mandate, what’s the county recommending about who should wear a mask indoors?

"If you are someone who is at a high risk of a negative course of disease, unvaccinated then we would of course encourage you to wear a mask if you’re going to be indoors, or around a lot of other people," Bello said.

Just like Monroe County, Ontario County also got bumped up to high levels of COVID-19 transmissions.