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COVID-19 Update: Onondaga County Plans Use For Walmart Testing Site, 12th Death In County

Onondaga County Executive's Office

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said a new mobile COVID-19 testing site in the East Syracuse Walmart parking lot will collaborate with the county in its overall strategy.

McMahon said the site is run by Quest Diagnostics, and he has recently spoken with them about their function in the community.

“One: They’re going to share data with us. Because if they weren’t going to share data with us, I’d rather not have them in the community, quite frankly. Because we need that data to make informed decisions,” said McMahon. “And two: One of the strategies we’re looking at is testing nursing home workers. This site will be used to help us address our need with our nursing home workers getting testing.”

McMahon said the site will also be open to the public, but nursing home employees will get preference for proactive testing. He expects the site to open soon.

Though the number of active cases rose to 258 Wednesday, the number of pending tests is at the second lowest number since the COVID-19 pandemic began. There are 115 pending tests. McMahon said the data shows the shelter in place order is working. He hopes the data from these two weeks will help restart the region at its own pace.

“The faster this improves for us, the better argument we have to New York State to treat Central New York as its own region, as its own restart,” said McMahon.

The federal shutdown of the country lasts until April 30th, with Governors examining their states ability to reopen individually.


County Executive Ryan McMahon reported a 12th person died as a result of COVID-19. The victim was a man in his 90s. McMahon offered his condolences to the man's family. The County Executive said 10 of the 12 deaths in Onondaga County involved people with underlying medical conditions.

Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, economy, and identity.