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Monroe Community Hospital marks the end of the New York National Guard’s local COVID-19 support



Rochester, New York — On Thursday morning Adam Bello hosted a press conference announcing that NY National Guard ends the local COVID support mission at Monroe Community Hospital.

“Months ago, we faced a crisis that needed a larger response,” Bello said. “The National Guard has been in Rochester for about six months and without their help, Monroe Community Hospital would not have been able to take in some of the most vulnerable patients in our community.”

Back in December, New York National Guard members arrived in Rochester in order to assist with the pandemic during the holiday surge where the region saw record amounts of new COVID cases, driving up hospitalizations in the process.

Over the past six months, 96 soldiers came to the area for COVID support. “With their help, we were able to accept 182 additional residents because of these men and women,” Bello said. “Our family members and neighbors were able to get the critical health attention they needed, thanks to them.”

The county executive credited the success of this mission to organizational collaboration — saying “we’re never going to succeed if we work in silos” — and also credited the Guard members for their selflessness. “These soldiers sacrificed weekends, and time with family to care for our community,” Bello said. “They answered their call to service in a desperate time of need. Over 100 Guard members, from every corner of the state, came here to give their time, talent, and care to Rochester.”

While the COVID situation has changed and the National Guard assistance is no longer required, the county executive said staffing issues in hospital systems continue to be an issue. “Our staffing issues in the local health care workforce are definitely not solved,” Bello said.