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Onondaga County COVID-19 Deaths Rise to 36 Total. Executive Cautions to Distance in Milder Weather

Justin Sayles
Onondaga County

The amount of COVID-19 cases in Onondaga County surpassed 1,000 cases over the weekend to 1,047 cases… that’s an increase of 53 cases over Saturday.  Two more people have died, bringing the total number of local deaths to the virus to 36.  The latest victims are a white elderly male in his 90’s and an African American woman in her 60’s.  Both had underlying health conditions.  County Executive Ryan McMahon sent out condolences.  He also gave a snapshot of how many people are in the hospital.

“We now have 41 individuals in the hospital, this is up five from yesterday.  This is a moment in time.  Right now, many of our cases have been related to senior living facilities and nursing homes.  What has happened is many of these facilities have sent people to the hospital that were either asymptomatic or their symptoms did not deem them to be in the hospital.  We're working through with hospitals and nursing homes in giving guidance on how to handle this.”

McMahon adds that the reactions by the facilities simply represents that they have been overwhelmed in dealing with the number of positive cases.  He estimates that 2 or 3 people have gone to the hospital in recent days that shouldn’t have and could have been held in quarantine at their respective facilities.  Proactive testing at senior living facilities and nursing homes are almost complete.   

Out of 53 cases today, 12 are from household contacts and McMahon says that is an indication that people aren’t isolating themselves from others in their home.

“So, those are things we gotta just remind people; when you're in isolation, we really need you to be isolated in your house or else your family members could get this.  We've seen more and more of that.”

McMahon doesn’t want residents to get a false sense of reality with the arrival of sporadic milder weather and wants people to realize the virus is still able to be transmitted.  He surmises an increase in cases compared to last weekend because the weather was nice last weekend and more people were out.  The same is likely true this weekend.

"How do we get better?  The only thing in these numbers that I think we can be a little bit better at... we gotta be more cognizant as the weather gets better and we get together more about following physical distancing, being smart, putting ourselves in a position to succeed."

The County Executive wants people to know if they become ill with COVID-19, they can become very ill and risk spreading it to others.  So, he suggests taking the necessary precautions, so we don’t get sick.  McMahon also says there’s no excuse for anyone to not have a mask in public as the county has purchased them and is providing them to the public.  They are available upon request, preferably by emailing or by calling 315-435-3516.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.