SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said clarification on data from New York State’s Health Department could put Onondaga County’s death count from COVID-19 at 60.
The disparity in numbers is in regards to where the patient died.
McMahon believed that Onondaga County’s previous 41 deaths included those who died in nursing homes but New York State released numbers that included 19 cases from patients who died in nursing homes.
McMahon said his office is waiting on confirmation from the state and expects to know by Friday.
Onondaga County had an additional 56 positive cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 1,234.
Hospitalizations went up to 60, however, McMahon said many of these are nursing homes finding a COVID-19 positive patient and sending them to the hospital even if they don’t need hospitalization. This is an issue occurring as proactive testing in nursing homes continues. Some nursing homes are sending residents who have tested positive to the hospital because they don’t have a separate COVID-19 floor to care for those residents.
McMahon said he’s been working with these facilities and those who are able to separate COVID-19 positive patients will begin taking them.
Hospitals have also agreed to test seniors for COVID-19 before sending them to nursing homes, to avoid the spread of the disease.
Onondaga County is also establishing a rotating schedule to continue to proactively test employees of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and independent living facilities.