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Monroe County Public Health Commissioner discusses changes in guidance as cases spike

Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza stated that he’s glad people in Monroe County are noticing the increase in positive Covid-19 cases.

He said that it is clear the county is heading into a phase where the numbers are increasing rapidly.

Officials announced on Monday that employees for the county will be required to wear masks in all county-operated facilities.

Mendoza said the hope is for schools to fully open in the fall, but the most important thing to do right now for that to happen is follow CDC guidelines and get vaccinated in time for it to take effect by the fall.

He also stated that if the rate continues the way it is, masks are likely to be worn this fall.

Employees of Monroe Community Hospital, the Monroe County Department of Public Health, Rochester Regional Health, URMC, the University of Rochester and UR Medicine affiliates are required to either show proof of vaccination by September 8 or submit to frequent and regular testing for the virus.

Employers have all come to an agreement for how to handle the situation and keeping the environment safe.

Employees must document their vaccine status, whether it’s vaccinated, choosing to not be vaccinated, being medically exempt from vaccination, or having approved religious exemption.

Employees who who aren’t vaccinated after September 8 will need to have regular testing done, wear masks and social distance.

Employees who choose to decline to report their status or submit to tests will face disciplinary action.

Employees that choose to get the vaccine after September 8 will no longer need to be tested, masking or social distancing once their status is documented.

Mendoza said the plan is to simply follow the science and maintain safety.