covid 19 testing

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Onondaga County is working to set up a central rapid testing site for school students and staff showing symptoms of COVID-19.  The move comes after two students tested positive at two Syracuse-area elementary schools.  County Executive Ryan McMahon says the cases don’t come as a surprise, and they’re putting the infrastructure in place to handle them.

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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

School districts in Onondaga County are getting their staff tested starting this week to ensure school starts safely. Syracuse Catholic Schools, Cicero North Syracuse, and East Syracuse Minoa are among the schools scheduled to hold staff testing next week, and more will be added.


Katie Zilcosky / WAER News

Social media videos surfaced early Thursday morning of a large group of Syracuse University freshmen gathering on the campus’s quad, disobeying the University’s social distancing and mask requirements.


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The State released long-awaited guidance on reopening gyms and bowling alleys Monday, giving Central New York fitness centers a chance to open their doors again. Bowling alleys will be able to open at half capacity, and gyms will need an inspection by the local health department before reopening.


Onondaga County Executive's Office / Youtube

Despite some bipartisan calls for state and local governments to be a part of the next coronavirus stimulus package, it’s looking less and less likely that Senate Republicans are going to include them in their bill. Municipalities like Syracuse and Onondaga County have not received any direct federal aid during the pandemic, but they have lost significant amounts of revenue.


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New rules from the State Thursday forbid bars and restaurants to sell alcohol without selling food. Specific guidance has yet to be issued, but Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said he expects to see creative ways to keep business going in Central New York.


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Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’s opening an investigation of the state’s nursing homes who might have violated rules regarding how to care for COVID-19 patients. The announcement comes as the governor says a random antibody testing of 3,000 New Yorkers finds 13.9% have already had the virus.


Governor Cuomo's Flickr page

Governor Andrew Cuomo says former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has offered to take over the complex and labor intensive process of contact tracing after someone becomes sick with corona virus, and is putting up $10.5 million to help do so.


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The number of patients being admitted for COVID-19 at St. Joseph’s Hospital seems to reflect the larger drop in hospitalizations across the county.  Nurse Pearl Lavalette is St. Joe's infection prevention and control manager.