Onondaga Co. finding ‘pockets’ of COVID-19 with proactive testing that may have otherwise gone undetected

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — If Onondaga County was doing a lot of COVID-19 testing two weeks ago, this past week Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said the county did, “a ton of testing.”

At his press conference Saturday, County Executive McMahon said this week’s coronavirus numbers may be inflated because of all the proactive testing being done in nursing homes and senior assisted living facilities.

According to the county executive, Onondaga County will continue to proactively test for COVID-19 in these senior facilities moving forward, as they try to protect the county’s most vulnerable population from COVID-19.

“We’re finding pockets of the virus, we wouldn’t have found before, because these folks either they didn’t have symptoms or many of them had very light symptoms and probably would have never been tested,” McMahon said.

Testing in Onondaga County will continue to improve, as Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order earlier on Saturday, allowing all pharmacies in New York State to begin COVID-19 testing.

As far as the numbers go in Onondaga County, McMahon announced 28 new cases of COVID-19 in the county on Saturday. In total, 774 people have been infected at some point with coronavirus in Onondaga County.

According to the county, 39 people remain hospitalized in Onondaga County due to COVID-19. McMahon was happy to report the number of people in critical condition declined by three since Friday, and now only 11 patients remain in critical condition from COVID-19.

Since Friday’s update, 20 more people have recovered from the virus, bringing Onondaga County’s recoveries to 505.

As of Saturday’s update, Onondaga County was monitoring 244 people currently battling coronavirus.

Of the 28 new COVID-19 cases reported on Saturday, 14 of them were from people who were proactively tested in senior living facilities.

McMahon said it may be difficult to report testing numbers in the future because testing is so widespread right now.

In terms of a possible restart in Central New York, McMahon said county leaders from across Central New York continue to work on a plan to send to Governor Cuomo. At his press conference Saturday, McMahon said the data has to show more progress before Central New York sends any plan to the governor.

McMahon offered a reminder on Saturday, saying a restart is not like flipping on a light switch, instead it will be a phased in restart.

Before ending Saturday’s press conference, McMahon reminded everyone to continue to social distance themselves, and to remember to wear a face covering in public.

To watch Saturday’s press conference in its entirety, click on the video below:

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