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COVID-19 Update: Senior Recovery Definition Changed, Restart Planning Continues

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Onondaga County Executive's Office
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Youtube

For the fifth day in a row, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced a death due to COVID-19. A man in his 50s with underlying health conditions lost his battle to the virus. It’s the 34th death in the county. McMahon said the virus has hit senior communities especially hard, and recent proactive testing has proven that.

Because of this, the definition of recovery for seniors is changing. 

“Remember before the guidance is 7 days of no symptoms. Three days of no temperature. You then qualify for a recovery,” said McMahon. “With our seniors we are now extending that to 14 days.” 

Seniors and contact cases are still making up well over half of the active cases in the county. McMahon said with the extended recovery period added to the number of positives found through proactive testing, the number of recoveries may remain flat until these cases resolve. 

In the meantime, McMahon said the county has met or will soon meet all the metrics the state has issued for a regional restart. Officials in counties across Central New York continue to work together to get the economy back up and running. The coutny will recieve the first sales tax payment that covers the beginning of the shutdown soon. McMahon said once they start seeing these numbers, they can make more decisions.

“We’re anticipating that those numbers are between $75 and $125 million,” said McMahon. “Certainly once we know how bad these sales tax payments are in June, we’re going to have to make a certain number of decisions based off of that. The last thing we want to do is let go of people.”

He is still hoping that by June, the federal government will give aid to state and local governments to help deal with the losses.

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, poverty, and identity.