Rochester, New York — Monroe County’s seven-day average of new daily COVID-19 cases was just 75 as recently as March 14. That number is up more than five times that amount less than a month later.
As of Friday afternoon, Monroe County is averaging 400 new COVID-19 cases per day.
According to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard, last updated on April 8, 375 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Friday and a seven-day average of 400 new cases per day.
The recent rise in cases has been attributed to the presence of the highly contagious omicron BA.2 variant, first identified in our community on March 24. Despite the rise in cases, Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza told News 8 last week that this variant is “not as serious,” but he added that does not mean that individual people might not be at risk.”
“Well, we’re at a point in the pandemic where, as you said, people are very tired of having to hear about COVID, hear the numbers and cases and surges and all of that but the reality is we don’t have the luxury of yet saying that COVID is gone,” Dr. Mendoza said. “COVID is still with us — in fact this week I’m in the hospital taking care of people who have long-COVID and for those individuals, COVID is very much a very real thing.”
According to the New York State Department of Health, while cases are up in recent weeks, regional COVID-19 hospitalization numbers have held steady over the same time frame. NYSDOH reported 159 COVID patients hospitalized in the Finger Lakes Region on Saturday, including 23 in the ICU. One month prior, when cases were declining, those figures were 202 and 36, respectively.
COVID hospitalizations in the Finger Lakes region reached their lowest levels since last fall early this month, but have seen a slight uptick over the past week. Throughout the course of the pandemic, COVID-19 hospitalizations have been a “lagging indicator,” with the increase usually happening a few weeks after a surge in new cases.
Officials from the Monroe County Public Health Department are expected to release the latest COVID figures Monday afternoon, with updated case counts from Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, along with new regional hospitalization numbers, and any potential new COVID-19 deaths.
According to the county’s update, last Monday, 533,107 Monroe County residents have completed their vaccine series — 71.8% of the county population — and 300,150 residents have received a booster dose.