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Health & Medicine

Low Numbers Of Community Spread, Senior Facility Coronavirus Cases Give Hope For New Trend

Onondaga County Executive's Office

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Onondaga County was one of the lowest in weeks Wednesday. County Executive Ryan McMahon reported just 14 new cases of the virus, with only 3 of them from community spread.

The number of new cases from senior facilities was also low.

“The real good news to me is the trend we’re seeing related to our positive cases and senior related facilities,” said McMahon. “There are direct correlation to these cases and hospitalizations, which is a direct correlation to the ICU. And let’s hope this is a sustainable trend.”

He said most of the cases coming from assisted living and nursing homes are now from asymptomatic employees. The low number of new cases is accompanied by other positive data which will allow Central New York to begin Phase Two of reopening on Friday.

“Our hospital numbers are stronger than they were in Phase One. Our community spread numbers are on par with the weeks before Phase One,” said McMahon. “And even our assisted living, senior numbers related to positive cases has gone down in this Phase One compared to before Phase One. So there are no metrics to slow us up from Friday.”

Guidance for businesses reopening is expected by Thursday. McMahon said he hopes to get more details about future phases earlier but recognizes it is a large amount of work for the State Health Department. Locally updated business guidance can be found here.


Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said today that if he does not get clarification about what to do with houses of worship by Friday, he will make a decision on his own. President Donald Trump has labeled them essential, meaning they would be able to operate at full capacity. Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said they can hold services with 10 people or less.

McMahon said right now he is talking with state partners about potentially allowing churches, mosques and synagogues to reopen at 25% capacity. He hopes that if there is clear guidance going into the weekend, these institutions will be more likely to operate in a safe manner.