ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester Regional Health says the mutation found in the more infectious South African and Brazilian strains of the coronavirus has been identified in four patients locally.
An infectious disease doctor warns this is a sign it's too early to be lifting mask mandates and going to full capacity like some states.
He says the strains aren't identical to the South African and Brazilian variant, but do contain the same mutation.
"It's more important than ever for anybody that can get the vaccine, get the vaccine. Because the more people you protect from infection, the less opportunity the virus has to mutate," said Dr. Emil Lesho.
Dr. Lesho stresses that everyone should take whichever vaccine is available to them.
"Based on what we know, I think there is no reason for alarm right now," said Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Michael Mendoza. "I think we need to follow this and ensure that the vaccines are in fact effective against them. But but we also have to balance that against the real risk which is that if we're too hesitant and we're too timid and people don't get their vaccine that has real consequences too."