Onondaga County Executive: Central New York is in ‘good shape’ to move into phase two of restart plan


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — With the COVID-19 infection rate in Onondaga County hovering just above three percent, County Executive Ryan McMahon said the Central New York region is in “good shape” to move into phase two of the restart plan on Saturday.

Since Onondaga County continues to do robust COVID-19 testing and is testing asymptomatic patients, County Executive McMahon said the infection rate is becoming the critical number to look at.

In Onondaga County, the average infection rate over the last three days is 3.1%, which McMahon says is low.

“We are in very good shape as far as a region to move to phase two,” McMahon said.

Despite Onondaga County looking ahead, County Executive McMahon was sad to report that three more “neighbors” in Onondaga County lost their fight with COVID-19 since Friday’s briefing.

Below are the details from the three deaths reported on Saturday:

  • 102-year-old woman
  • Man in his 90’s
  • Woman in her 80’s

New York State also reported three additional deaths in nursing homes in Onondaga County, but the county executive did not know the exact times of those deaths.

In total, 115 people have passed away due to COVID-19 in Onondaga County.

McMahon said, “Let’s all take the time to remember them and their families this weekend, please.”

Hospitalizations in Onondaga County decreased by four since Friday’s briefing, and 79 people are now hospitalized with COVID-19. However, 51 of those patients are waiting to be discharged, and the county is working with the state to try and identify a nursing home or a wing of a nursing home to become a COVID-19 only facility and discharge those patients there.

McMahon said 28 of the 79 people hospitalized need to be there, and 17 of them are in critical condition.

“Let’s keep these 17 people in your thoughts and prayers,” McMahon said. “They’re folks that are really in a fight, and many of these folks need help to breathe, so let’s keep them in our thoughts over the weekend.”

Onondaga County reported 48 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. Eight of the new cases were associated with senior living facilities, 15 were contact cases and 25 were from community spread. This brings the total number of cases in Onondaga County to 1,836.

With 71 COVID-19 recoveries being reported since Friday’s briefing, 990 people have now recovered from the virus in Onondaga County. The large number of recoveries also caused the number of active cases in the county to dip to 736.

About half of the new positive cases in Onondaga County were from people who did not show symptoms of the virus.

This means many people could be going about their daily lives not knowing if they have the virus or not. For this reason, McMahon urged everyone to continue to wear their masks and abide by social distancing guidelines.

The county executive also urged people to get tested for COVID-19, and announced two more testing sites that would be open for a limited time next week.

  • Lafayette High School – Wednesday, May 27 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Syracuse Community Health Center located at 1938 E Fayette St. – Thursday, May 28 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Syracuse Community Health Center located at 819 South Salina St. will continue to do COVID-19 testing almost everyday, but will have limited hours for Sunday and Monday because of Memorial Day.

On Sunday, the Syracuse Community Health Center on Salina Street will only be open from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. On Monday, the health center will be closed completely.

County Executive McMahon said COVID-19 tests are free for the patient, and urges everyone to get tested even if you do not show symptoms.

Onondaga County will not have a briefing on Sunday or Monday, but County Executive McMahon will return with more updates on Tuesday.

To watch the full press conference from Saturday, click the video below:

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