Rep. Joe Morelle has tested positive for COVID-19.
Morelle, D-Monroe County, revealed his positive status in a statement Sunday. He says he sought testing for the virus after experiencing mild symptoms and is staying in isolation “until it is safe to resume my duties.”
“Thankfully,” says Morelle, “I am fully vaccinated so my symptoms remain mild. Had I not been vaccinated, my experience could have been much different.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccinated people can be hit with so-called breakthrough infections like Morelle’s, but immunized individuals are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms, need hospitalization or die from the virus. Vaccinated individuals infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus, however. Unvaccinated individuals are 29 times more likely than vaccinated people to be infected, the CDC said in an Aug. 24 report.
As of Sept. 9, Monroe County’s seven-day rolling average of COVID hospitalizations stood at 142 new cases a day, county Health Department data show.
Morelle urges those who are not yet immunized against the virus to get shots of COVID vaccines. Under current rules, anyone over the age of 12 is eligible to get shots of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Rochester-area drugstores including CVS, Walgreens and Wegmans Food Markets pharmacies offer free COVID vaccine shots. A government vaccine-finder website shows locations of area pharmacies offering COVID shots. Information is also available by calling a toll-free number, 800-232-0233.
Will Astor is Rochester Beacon senior writer.