Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Onondaga County approaches 350, over 100 people recovered from virus

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — At his daily COVID-19 press conference on Saturday, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced 27 new coronavirus cases within the county bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 349.

McMahon announced a fourth person in Onondaga County passed away from the virus, and the county executive sent prayers to the family members and friends affected. The county reports that the newest death was a man in his 80s with “significant underlying health conditions.”

At the press conference, it was reported that 29 people in Onondaga County are currently hospitalized from the virus, and 14 of those are in critical condition.

McMahon said the good news is over 100 people have recovered from the virus, and one more person was released from the hospital since Friday’s press conference.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said, “This is a terrible disease, it affects people in different ways, it comes on fast and it comes on strong.”

The county continues to perform robust testing. According to McMahon, over 4,672 tests have been performed in the county with about seven percent of the results coming back positive.

The county executive said they are not testing people who do not show symptoms. McMahon says Onondaga County is only testing people who show symptoms and were referred to get tested by a health official.

County Executive McMahon reported that some of the new cases the county is seeing are from people who felt sick, but didn’t stay home from work. This action puts the lives of thousands of others at risk, and McMahon said there has to be zero tolerance with this.

The county executive said if you feel sick you must stay home, “This is no joke.”

McMahon expanded on this topic saying, if you are considered an essential employee and you feel sick, but your employer is giving you a hard time to call McMahon’s office.

As more and more people recover from the virus and are released from isolation, the county announced they have set up an online application process to expedite the process. Individuals who test positive can input their symptoms and other information throughout their isolation process, and if health officials deem they have recovered from the virus, they could be released from isolation early.

Only the Health Department in Onondaga County can determine if you have recovered from the virus, and they are the only organization who can release you from isolation in Onondaga County.

The county executive sent a reminder to people who have been released from isolation at his press conference. He said if you are released from isolation, it is not a free pass to disobey social distancing rules.

At his press conference, McMahon supported the CDC’s recent recommendation of wearing a protective mask or cloth in public. He said the county can’t provide the public with PPE as they are dealing with a shortage, but people can make their own at home, and even if it is just a cloth that covers your face, it can still protect you.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that the state is getting over 1,000 ventilators that were donated by China and Oregon. At his press conference, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said the county is trying to get more ventilators and PPE, but the process is difficult at the local level.

McMahon explained at the local level you are third in line to get supplies such as PPE and ventilators. If Onondaga County puts in an order for supplies, FEMA and New York State have the option of intercepting those supplies before they reach the county.

McMahon asked any businesses that have PPE and are not using them, to donate the PPE to the county.

The county executive also announced on Saturday that that some hospitals in Onondaga County might send some of their employees to help the pandemic Downstate.

During the press conference, McMahon also referenced a research project headed by Upstate University Hospital to help better understand coronavirus. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and are interested in being part of the solution, you are asked to contact Upstate University Hospital. According to McMahon, over 100 people have already reached out. You can learn more about the project here.

Social distancing is still the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 according to McMahon. If we do our part and social distance ourselves from others completely, we can eradicate the disease and return to normal quicker than the models predict, McMahon said.

For any phone numbers you may need to contact during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

To watch the full press conference from Saturday, click on the player below.

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