Created: March 14, 2020 10:02 PM
GREECE, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County leaders declared the time had come for broad action to deal with the threat of coronavirus after tests revealed a second person in the county has been found to have the virus.
The patient, a Greece school system employee, had not been traveling outside the area.
“I believe this is our first example of local transmission here in Monroe County,” says Monroe County Health Commissioner Michael Mendoza.
“We just learned about this case last night,” says County Executive Adam Bello, who announced a State of Emergency existed, ultimately leading to the cancellation of all public schools in Monroe County.
Mendoza says the patient was a woman in her 60s employed at Arcadia Middle School. Very importantly, she seemed to have caught the virus locally. That's unlike the previously identified case, a man who had just returned from Italy, or the more than 30 SUNY Brockport students quarantined after returning from abroad.
“First of all, we believe that she had no contact whatsoever with the individuals under quarantine at SUNY Brockport,” says Mendoza. "So, we believe this is unrelated to that. We also believe that our individual today had no contact with the individual that we talked about a couple of days ago.”
Mendoza says the woman had started to feel sick on Wednesday, March 4, then went to work at Arcadia that Thursday and Friday.
Officials would not reveal what she does at the school, but she did apparently have contact with the kids.
I would say that this person was in touch with many of the students at the school,” says Mendoza. “We believe that all of the students in that school, as well as all of the staff and faculty, must follow those symptoms for the 14 days following, which would therefore end on March 20.”
Going back in time, the only clue as to where this woman caught the virus is that she went to church at St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian church in Irondequoit almost two weeks ago on March 1, which would time right for when she started getting sick three days later.
The pastor tells News10NBC that the church has been taking precautions, cleaning and using hand sanitizer while cancelling bingo, but that for now, services are still going on.
Mendoza reports going over the precautions at St. Josephat’s, too.
He said investigators have also been going forward in time to see who else the patient might have contacted but haven’t yet found anyone else who seems to have been infected.
“The most important message as you know that she does work in the school and people need to understand that and use that fact to assess their own risk,” Mendoza says.
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