covid 19

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A cool change in weather across Central New York is also a signal to get prepared for the flu season ahead as it overlaps with COVID-19.  The Medical Director of Blue Cross Blue Shield of CNY says it's challenging to distinguish between the viruses because both present differently from person to person.  Dr. Nick Massa says getting our flu shots now helps to provide our community a level of immunity.

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Students in Baldwinsville will be going to school in person for three days and then having three days of school online. Jamesville-Dewitt will have kindergarteners and first graders in school each day, but grades 2 through 12 in a hybrid model. And all 20,000 students in Syracuse City Schools will learn remotely until the beginning of October.

Katie Zilcosky / WAER News

Voluntary furloughs and reopening the retirement incentive program are part of a new agreement between the largest county workers’ union and Onondaga County. Compulsory furloughs are also a part of the deal.

Onondaga County Executive's Office / Youtube

Onondaga County and the CSEA union have a tentative agreement to include furloughs in upcoming county workforce cuts. County Executive Ryan McMahon said they are still waiting on some final signatures to the agreement.

Scott Willis / WAER News

More than 250 teachers in the Syracuse City School District have signed up for a four week course aimed at helping them provide effective remote learning for their students.  Syracuse University, the Allyn Foundation and a company called Blackboard are providing financial or in-kind support. 

Onondaga County Executive's Office / Youtube

The number of Onondaga County employees at risk of being laid off or furloughed could increase if sales tax payments don’t go up. The latest payment that arrived Thursday gave a small bump, but County Executive Ryan McMahon said it needs to be higher.

  Schools around Central New York are grappling with decisions about how to bring students and teachers back to classrooms safely – if at all.  Some new research out of Syracuse University could give them effective guidelines, if they’re willing to follow through.  Doctor Eric Schiff is interim Director of the Center of Excellence for Environmental and Energy Systems


New York Taking Steps to Focus on Ongoing Opioid, Overdose Crisis

Aug 31, 2020
ACR Health

National Overdose Awareness Day came at a time when the opioid crisis is being overshadowed by another public health emergency. Monday, we told you how the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has increased the urgency to fund substance abuse treatments. Last week, the state of New York took one step toward addressing the crisis by authorizing the use of the overdose reversal medication Narcan in public places, such as stores and restaurants.

Chris Yarzab /

Onondaga County has been relying on a combination of grant money, its own funds, and insurance company coverage to cover all of its asymptomatic testing. But now, insurance companies are less inclined to cover those tests.

Onondaga County Executive's Office / Youtube

After holding 300 open positions, cutting $18 million  in revenue, taking 15 million from reserves, and offering an early retirement program, Onondaga County is now looking to layoffs to help its struggling budget. County Executive Ryan McMahon said it could be up to 250 positions.