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Monroe County has first coronavirus death


A patient diagnosed with COVID-19 in Monroe County has died, the county public health commissioner, Dr. Michael Mendoza, announced Tuesday.

The death is the county's first related to the coronavirus.

Mendoza said in a prepared statement that the patient died at Rochester General Hospital. No other details about the patient were released.

"Out of respect for their privacy, I cannot release details about this patient other than to say there were complicating factors that contributed to the death," Mendoza said. "My sincerest condolences to this patient's family and friends."

County Executive Adam Bello said of the death in a prepared statement, "Our entire community grieves this loss."

"My heart is with the patient's family, and I ask the community join me in keeping them in our thoughts and prayers," Bello said.

Earlier in the day, the county reported 14 confirmed cases of coronavirus. The first was confirmed a week earlier, on March 11.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren called the patient's death "a tragic day for our city" and urged residents to precautions to safeguard themselves and others.

"I am deeply saddened and extend my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of our community's first victim of COVID-19," Warren said.

"We cannot let this passing be in vain and I pray that this will provide inspiration to all of us so that we can take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves, our families, and our community," she said.  
"I know that social distancing and separation being forced upon us is difficult because change is always challenging," she added. "However, it is truly the  only way to protect each other. Together, we must follow the advice of our medical professionals to get through this crisis."

David Andreatta is CITY's editor. He can be reached at