Beach OK, Parades, Ceremonies Not Allowed for Memorial Day in Onondaga County

May 19, 2020

Memorial Day Parades are now a victim of the COVID Pandemic. County announces restrictions in place for large gatherings wipe out scheduled events

People anxious to celebrate Memorial Day in Onondaga County will see a mixture of restrictions and permission to go places this coming weekend.  County Executive Ryan McMahon Tuesday announced Oneida Shores will be open this weekend. There will not be any parades or ceremonies in veterans’ cemeteries.

“This is going to be a year where we need to remember why we have Memorial Day Weekend, and the sacrifice that so many have given us, so we can experience freedoms that we have a newfound respect for because many of them have been restricted (recently).”   

Oneida Shores Beach will be open this holiday weekend, though other areas, such as Jamesville Beach remain closed.

Later this week the county will release plans and guidelines for reopening Jamesville Beach and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.  McMahon added that health officials are monitoring how the corona virus reacts to warmer, sunny weather, when the typical flu viruses fade. 


McMahon also said Onondaga County is staying well within state guidelines to continue the Phase One reopening of certain businesses.  The five-county region is doing on average about 1400 COVID tests-a-day, twice the number the state is requiring.  There’s also a requirement not to have more than 70% of hospital beds full; Onondaga County’s total is less than 5%.  McMahon says a number of new cases of COVID 19 are among people who can’t self-isolate because of their living situation or need to take care or children.  He continues to urge people to wear masks and social distance in public. 

The county has started a special website and phone hotline for businesses preparing to reopen: or 315-435-2210.  McMahon urged businesses to call for guidance and to have questions answered.  There is also a link to make complaints if someone is concerned about a business opening or operating illegally, regarding pandemic guidelines.  He urged people not to call 9-1-1 any longer, but rather go to the website or call the county. 


The county has done 25,893 tests as of Tuesday afternoon, with 23,454 coming back negative.  McMahon explains to date, 6.3% of tests are coming back positive.  The rate was above 8% when only people showing symptoms or with expected exposure were being tested.  Mobile testing will continue:  Thursday a test site will be set up at the pastime Athletic Club, 1300 block of North Salina Street in Syracuse; May 22nd the Mobile Testing Unit will be at Dr, Weeks Elementary on Hawley Ave.  Both sites are open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

“over on our Northside, high populations of New Americans.  We want to get in there.  We want to make sure that we have lots of opportunities for these individuals to get tested.”

He adds anyone can come to get testing at the downtown testing site at the Syracuse Community Health Center.