McMahon: Community keeps being tested but is performing well when faced with COVID-19


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced 8 deaths in the last 48 hours during his COVID-19 briefing.

Two neighbors died on Monday and two more died earlier Tuesday in the hospital. Two were females in their 90s, one was a male in his 90s, and another was a male in his 60s. Four others died in nursing homes.

Onondaga County has lost 123 residents to the fight with COVID-19.

The infection rate in Onondaga County is at 6.6% with a 3-day average of 3.3%.

Over 31,000 tests have been administered. Proactive testing continues with the Onondaga County Mobile unit traveling to 3 different locations this week.

  • LaFayette High School located at 3122 US-11 in LaFayette.
    • Wednesday, May 27 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Syracuse Community Health Center located at 1938 E Fayette St. in Syracuse
    • Thursday, May 28 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Valley Plaza located at 4141 South Salina St. in Syracuse,
    • Friday, May 29 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 everyday.

Testing is open for any individual who would like to be tested. Walk-ups are welcome but if you’d prefer to make an appointment you can visit the Onondaga County Health Department website.

26 of 76 new positive cases are attributed from community spread. McMahon said these numbers are very good and in the coming days data will show if the community continued taking precautions over the Memorial Day weekend.

From an operation standpoint, McMahon said the opening of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo and Oneida Shores Park worked well.

The Central New York region is looking towards Phase Two, which is set to begin on Friday, May 29.

Phase Two guidelines for businesses are expected to be released from New York State soon. Financial services, law offices, real estate, salons and expanded retail are all a part of the phase.

McMahon said Phase Two will be the biggest adjustment with density and expects an uptick in community spread cases therefore the County employees who underwent training for contact tracers will be ready to assist with COVID-19 investigations.

McMahon said he is a big proponent of opening in phases. He gives gyms as an example of businesses that may have parts or pieces that could work in earlier phases. A gym may not be able to open to everyone but certainly has plenty of space to social distance with one-on-one training.

Destiny USA retailers can open in Phase Two. A plan has been submitted to the County and the Health Department is reviewing and making recommendations for the safest way to operate. Physical distancing is going to apply certainly and McMahon said it will not be a place for “hanging out”. He said we are just not at that point yet.

Outdoor dining may be allowed in Phase Two. McMahon said it’s been discussed with the State.

The County is also waiting for guidance on religious organizations. The Federal and State governments have conflicting guidelines. McMahon expects to have an update on these services by Thursday.

“We’re marching towards Phase Two and we’re having a nice little week of weather here. There are a lot of good things going on,” said McMahon at the end of his briefing. “And our community is being tested at different points of this process and we’re performing well. As painful as this process has been in so many ways, the good news fortunately always seems to be more than the bad news.”

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