Onondaga County to begin testing of seniors in assisted living and residences next week

Coronavirus

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon revealed more details on the County’s proactive approach to tackling COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and its regional economic restart plan.

COVID-19 tends to hit seniors harder than other populations so in an effort to get ahead of the disease, the County has partnered with organizations like Walmart, Quest Diagnostics, and Nascentia Health to test employees and residents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior apartments.

The East Syracuse Walmart site started testing nursing home employees on Friday. The Walmart site has been setup in conjunction with Quest Diagnostics and is working with the Onondaga County Health Department to increase its testing capacity.

The Upstate Triage site will begin testing seniors and employees from assisted and independent living facilites next week.

Nascentia Health has been in contact with facilities to coordinate on-site testing for seniors who are unable to travel to the Upstate Triage site for testing as well.

McMahon said as more resources become available residents will see more efforts in proactive testing. The above-mentioned efforts could test close to 1,000 people next week, as long as testing capacity allows.

19 additional positive cases were identified in Onondaga County bringing the total of positive cases to 598.

31 people were released from isolation bringing the total of recoveries to 310.

The number of active cases is down 12 from Thursday to 271 cases.

While the data doesn’t merit an economic restart quite yet, McMahon said he and other county leaders will be meeting to discuss a regional restart plan.

Central New York will submit a plan as a region to New York State when the data supports it.

Regional leaders will discuss what plans they believe will work best to phase in. Once they are confident, they will pass their plans to health department officials for review. Regional health departments will look at data and determine if these plans are feasible. Then when the Central New York leaders feel the data makes a strong case for an economic restart, they will submit their plans to New York State and the Governor to review.


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