Completing your 2020 census could help Onondaga County combat COVID-19


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Earlier today, City of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon issued their first e-proclamation declaring April 1 as Census Day.

“COVID-19 gives us a life and death example of why the census is important,” said Mayor Walsh.

The census is issued every 10 years to count populations and determines the amount of federal funding and resources a region receives.

The County Executive and Mayor are encouraging everyone to take 10 minutes to complete the form online, by phone, or by mail.

Everyone should have received a mailer and reminders with access codes. Learn more about the 2020 Census and how you can complete it at

Onondaga County’s total of positive COVID-19 cases has increased to 277. That’s up from yesterday’s 249. 27 are hospitalized with 14 in critical condition.

67 people have recovered from COVID-19.

Recent reports from area employers have stirred some panic within the community.

“COVID-19 is in every part of our county,” said McMahon. “It doesn’t matter where you live, people in your community have the virus.”

The Onondaga County Health Department is reiterating that because there is evidence of community spread everyone should be practicing social distancing and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.

Symptoms include headache, fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell. Anyone concerned or having symptoms should contact their primary care provider or the Upstate Triage Center.

When someone does test positive for COVID-19, the Health Department immediately begins an investigation and identifies anyone who may have been in direct contact with the patient and orders them to quarantine and monitor for symptoms.

If there is a gap in the investigation, the Health Department will alert the public as they did in the case of Ascioti’s Market and Bethany Baptist Church.

The Health Department will share any pertinent information with the public. They will always err on the side of caution.

“Dr. Gupta and her team’s sole goal is to keep the public healthy. They work directly for the people of Onondaga County,” stated McMahon.

Companies may issue a statement about an employee testing positive to be proactive. This is upon the company’s discretion.

McMahon asks everyone to use common sense and continue to practice social distancing. Don’t treat a trip to the grocery store as a family outing. His office has received reports of riders using Centro for joy rides. He urges riders to use Centro for necessities like work or grocery shopping.

McMahon ends his briefings with a good note for the day. The County Sheriff’s office has donated iPhones to patients at local hospitals to keep them in contact with their loved ones while visitations are restricted using FaceTime. McMahon encourages anyone with an old iPhone 4 or higher to also consider donating.

To view the full press conference from Wednesday, click on the player below.

Important Contacts

315-464-3979 Upstate Triage 24-Hour Hotline | For anyone who does not have a primary care provider or anyone with questions

315-218-1987 Senior Health Hotline | For anyone who needs food assistance

315-446-1220 Child Care Solutions | Daycare needs for essential workers provided free of charge

315-428-2229 VolunteerCNY | For anyone who is looking to volunteer

211 211CNY | Connection to resources in Central New York, including mental health resources or 315-435-2525 | PPE donations like gloves, medical-grade masks, gowns, etc. | Medical Volunteer Signup

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