SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said there have been 28 new cases of COVID-19 as of 3 p.m. Wednesday and many are affiliated or contact cases.
Contact cases are household members who live with someone who has testing positive for COVID-19. These are family members who are already under quarantine because they share residence with someone who is positive.
An affiliated case is a positive case resulting from a common thread, like nursing or assisted living homes.
These types of cases are different than community spread, which has slowed because of social distancing efforts.
Onondaga County has started a proactive testing initiative to tackle affiliated cases by testing residents and staff in assisted living and independent living facilities.
McMahon wouldn’t highlight which facilities have already undergone testing, but said they are working with every facility, starting with those that have positive cases already.
Employees from nursing homes have also been able to test at the site located in the Walmart parking lot in East Syracuse. The County has not received those numbers yet.
New York State, who has jurisdiction of nursing homes, has also begun an effort to test nursing home employees as well.
Proactive testing is one key to an economic restart.
Regional leaders are still formulating plans and phases.
McMahon said he understands talks of a regional restart come with anxiety, both for those who think it’s too soon and those who think it’s not soon enough.
Factors to consider before a restart happens include:
- Positive case numbers level off or flatten
- Recovery case numbers increase
- Hospitalization rates to stabilize
- The region’s ability to obtain PPE
- Hospital capacity
- A COVID-19 tracking team will be established
- Health Departments are able to track virus in real time
McMahon said there is no 100% risk mitigation but at some point there needs to be a balance and the region needs to move into the next phase.
He said once our region is ready and the governor approves, we can take a courageous step forward and then be ready to pivot if something happens but finding that balance is important as a community just like we have every step of this crisis.
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