COVID-19 Update: Community Spread Slowing, Antibody Testing Clarifications
Another Onondaga County resident lost her life as a result of COVID-19. County Executive Ryan McMahon said a woman in her seventies lost her battle with the virus. She had underlying health conditions. However, McMahon also shared good news regarding the virus Monday.
Of the 21 new cases reported, 17 are associated with senior living facilities where the county is doing proactive testing and one is a contact case.
“So we have 3 community spread cases, so that’s good. We are seeing the social distancing clearly working, and we need to continue to do that,” said McMahon. “We knew we would get more affiliated cases as we do more robust testing specifically in all these senior facilities that have had previous cases.”
60% of active cases in Onondaga County are connected to senior living facilities or contact cases. While the county continues to do proactive testing, the health department has received an influx in calls about antibody testing. Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies does not guarantee immunity.
“Because these are not considered, at this point, neutralizing antibodies. So it is not a free pass to revert back to what we will think will be a new normal,” said Gupta. “So positive tests can assist in determining who may donate part of their blood convalescent plasma, as we all hear about it, which is a very very important part of antibody testing.”
It also helps determine the prevalence of the virus in the community. Gupta added that the public should be vigilant for antibody testing scams, saying the best source for testing is through your primary care provider. More information on antibody testing can be found on the FDA’s website.
POTENTIAL PUBLIC EXPOSURE
Onondaga County health officials say the public may have been exposed to COVID-19 by employees who worked at two local big box stores. Those who visited the Target in Clay last Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday from 7 to noon, and the East Syracuse Walmart last Tuesday from 4p.m. to 11p.m. and Wednesday from 3p.m. to 10:30p.m. should monitor themselves for symptoms. Officials say the employees were wearing their facemasks during their shifts.