Monroe County officials are reaching out to the public in an effort to contact people who may have ridden a Greyhound bus with the Rochester man who was the county's first case of coronavirus disease.
The bus the man rode from New York City to Rochester made a total of 10-stops and went on to Buffalo. Monroe County officials believe the risk to other passengers was low.
Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said Saturday morning that his office's responsibility was to the passengers who got off in Rochester, and that his office notified the state department of health about the bus.
According to a Rochester Democrat and Chronicle report, Mendoza said Friday night that other bus passengers who got off the coach at other stops would have to be traced by other health agencies; people are thought to have exited in Binghamton and in Syracuse.
The Rochester man who tested positive for COVID-19 had traveled to Italy, and upon returning to Rochester he self-isolated and reported himself to the health department. Mendoza said Saturday morning that the man remains in good health, is in quarantine in his home and no people close to him had tested positive for the coronavirus disease.
According to officials, the man traveled on a bus that arrived in Rochester at 7:40 a.m. Tuesday. County officials said they had successfully contacted seven other riders who got off the bus with the patient, and that those seven were asymptomatic and in quarantine as of Friday night.
There are four additional passengers who Monroe County investigators have been unable to reach, and officials say it is important to make contact with all of them to take precautionary action.
CORRECTION: GREYHOUND BUS #252 (not #282)
— Monroe County Health Department (@MonroeHealth) March 14, 2020
The Greyhound bus was No. 252, which originated at the Port Authority Bus Station in New York City and made 10 stops, traveling through Pennsylvania and then north through upstate New York, including Buffalo, and terminated in Toronto.
Officials said they had video evidence that the man was wearing a mask and gloves while riding on the bus. According to the Democrat and Chronicle, officials believe the risk to other passengers was low.
The infected man told a Democrat and Chronicle reporter that he wore a face mask and "didn't have any neighbors in front of me or next to me" on the bus. Mendoza told the Democrat and Chronicle that video showed the man was the last to exit the bus, seemingly confirming his story that he also sat at or near the rear of the bus.
Anyone who may have been on that bus or knows someone who was on that bus are asked to contact Monroe County at 585-753-5164 (during business hours) or 585-753-5905 (nights and weekends).