Monroe County's top doctor is reassured, but remains concerned, about COVID in our community.

What You Need To Know

  • Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Michael Mendoza remains concerned about COVID in our community

  • Mendoza is communicating with school superintendents throughout planning of possible school reopening

  • He supports the required quarantine for travelers arriving to New York from certain states

“There is no risk free path through all of this. And what we've learned throughout this crisis is that it's not about making risk zero, it's about understanding it so that we can manage it responsibly," said Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Michael Mendoza says.

Dr. Mendoza says that, right now, the numbers show about two percent of the county's population is infected with COVID-19.

"That means that in a given gathering, 98% of the people in that gathering are not infected. And that's what's carrying us through this right now."

Does Dr. Mendoza have concerns following the Fourth of July holiday weekend?

"I always have," he said. "And I've been reassured by the fact that with all of the reopening, with each of the phases, with all of the weekends where we've had numbers of gatherings, and for a variety of reasons we have not seen a spike. What I will say is, given what we've seen in the data, the most risky interactions are between unmasked individuals indoors or in close proximity for extended periods of time."

He also weighs in on the effort to reopen schools.

"What I will say is, there's a whole lot of planning involved," Dr. Mendoza said. "To anybody who thinks that the school districts are doing this casually, I want to say for the record, they are not. They are thinking about this and we've been talking about this since March 13."

Dr. Mendoza is communicating with the school superintendents throughout the planning, "I will tell them, good, bad, or ugly, what I know, based on what I've seen, and guidelines and science that’s evolving, the data that we're seeing and what we're noticing locally."

He supports the required quarantine for travelers arriving to New York from certain states.

"I think it's important because, you know, while we do everything we can to reduce that point prevalence here in the county we have to be mindful that other people could be introducing it," he said, emphasizing, "and so that's why, travelers or not, everybody should be wearing a mask. Everybody should assume that they may have the infection and transfer it to somebody else. And we should all assume that other people in our company may have that infection and comes to us. And so that's why we're advising masks as universal as possible."