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Health & Medicine

Onondaga County Yellow Zone Expands, Parts Transition To Orange Zones

Onondaga County

Onondaga County’s yellow zone has expanded and parts of it have transitioned to an orange zone as coronavirus cases continue to rise. Most of the city of Syracuse in addition to parts of Dewitt, Lyncourt and Solvay are in the designated orange zone. Orange zone rules go into effect Wednesday, and includes the closure of high-risk, nonessential businesses such as salons and gyms.

But Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh says those places haven’t been sources of significant spread.

“And so I asked the Governor’s team to reconsider whether or not those businesses should be considered in the orange zone for closure,” said Walsh. “I think that’s worth exploring. We’ve been at this for a long time. We have a much better sense now what contributes to spread and what doesn’t.”

Additionally, dining is limited to 4 people per table and outdoor only and schools must go remote for at least four days. While schools have not proven to result in increased spread of the virus, gatherings have. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said Halloween gatherings are what kick-started the second wave of COVID-19 in Central New York. He’s hoping the community has learned its lesson and will modify behavior to preserve the local healthcare infrastructure.

“It’s about making sure that our sick in the community, not just COVID-19 patients, can get into the hospital and get the care they need. The car accident, the heart attack,” said McMahon. “We’re at a point with hospital numbers where we never got to the point with some of peers throughout New York state in the first wave. We don’t want to get there in the second wave.”

107 people were in the hospital due to the virus as of Monday, with 19 of them in critical condition. McMahon and Walsh both are calling on the community to modify their holiday gatherings so there won’t be a further surge. Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta echoed their point. She says she is limiting her own gathering.

“I’m a cook. I’m a mother. I’m a daughter-in-law. And it’s just very hard. I get it. I get it. But I want them to be good next year,” said Gupta.

Gupta says the only protection from the virus until there is a vaccine is ourselves. She reminds everyone to wear a mask, wash your hands, and gather in a safe way over the holiday.

Onondaga County will offer targeted asymptomatic coronavirus testing in certain zip codes. Residents of the zip codes 13204, 13208, 13066, 13104, and 13039 are eligible for a rapid COVID-19 test. Individuals must pre-register and can only get tested at the location corresponding with their zip code.

  • 13204: Hamilton Street Boys and Girls Club (201 Hamilton St)
  • 13208: McChesney Park (2308 Grant Boulevard)
  • 13066 and 13104: Fayetteville Village Hall Community Courtroom, 3rd Floor (425 E Genesee St)
  • 13039: North Syracuse Community Center (700 South Bay Rd)

Testing sites for 13208 and 13204 will be open Tuesday November 24th and Wednesday November 25th 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Sites for 13066, 13104, and 13039 will be open Wednesday November 25th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Registration for any of the sites can be found here.