On yesterday’s Monroe County’s conference call, County Health Director Dr. Michael Mendoza shared his concern about new cases of COVID-19 that I would like to share with you. He reported that new COVID-19 cases are popping up that have been traced to exposures at family Mother’s Day parties. And other new cases are emerging from people who were out in large groups enjoying recent warm weather without physical distancing. This is troubling.
Dr. Mendoza asked county leaders to appeal to the public to “not let your guard down.” He reminded us that the scope of Phase One is limited and does not pertain to most people. He further stressed that the virus is still out there and we all must “do the right thing when nobody's looking” to avoid a flip that will undo all the good we have accomplished as a community to slow the spread of COVID-19.
People who choose to ignore physical distancing and do not wear masks in public put the community at risk. If trends go in the wrong direction, Phase Two will be delayed and we may end up going backwards altogether.
I find the risk of slipping backward troubling on many levels. I urge Penfield residents to do the right thing: stay six feet apart from others, wear a mask when you can’t maintain separation and whenever you're in public, practice hand hygiene, and disinfect where you can. Given the tens of thousands of masks that were distributed in Penfield last week there are plenty of masks in our community and we should be seeing them, or other personal masks, on the faces of folks out and about in town. Penfield is known as a caring community—please “do the right thing when nobody's looking” and help keep us moving forward.
COVID-19 testing is now available for anyone who is symptomatic and all essential employees. If you are a member of the public with symptoms and would like a test, you are encouraged to make an appointment as soon as possible. If you are an essential employee, you don't need to have symptoms, you may still access testing. Please note, this is NOT an antibody test, it is a test to detect the COVID-19 virus. Call (888) 364-3065 or visit covid19screening.health.ny.gov and click "Start Assessment." Click here for more information on testing.
Have you registered for Monroe County’s symptom tracker? It only takes a few seconds to register and respond each day. By participating, you will contribute useful data to help monitor our community’s health and help the health department understand COVID-19 patterns. Data will determine how our region moves forward with Phase One and then on to Phase Two. If you would like to participate go to ROCCOVID.org. You can read more about this project at https://www.monroecounty.gov/?q=node/9396.
The county clerk’s office would also like to remind everyone that the DMV will be closed at least until June 8. When DMV opens, it will be by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Mobile DMVs are cancelled for the rest of 2020. The county clerk has shared that there many services are now available by mail online, so check out https://www2.monroecounty.gov/clerk-COVID-19 to learn more about your options.
We can all see a theme developing of appointment-only services as our region gets back to business. We should all expect new rules and procedures as we re-engage with all sorts of businesses and providers in the “new normal.” In general, it will be smart to call ahead or research online before taking action.
Find COVID-19 resources at www.penfield.org. Direct questions or concerns to the Monroe County COVID-19 hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov.
Stay home, stop the spread, save lives,
Penfield Supervisor R. Anthony (Tony) LaFountain