Onondaga County records 30th COVID death

Onondaga County records 30th COVID death

Another death is recorded in Onondaga County as County Executive expresses financial concerns.
Published: April 26, 2020

April 30, 2020 4:00 pm

As Onondaga County continues proactive testing in senior living facilities, 44 positives were confirmed overnight. This is the highest daily total the county has seen since March.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon reiterated that as proactive testing in these senior living facilities ramp up, there will be an increase in active cases. However, he also noted that these facilities are currently quarantining, regardless of test results.

“The actions that we are doing, by identifying these hidden pockets, is saving lives” McMahon said.

In total 25 of the cases confirmed overnight, originated in senior living communities. McMahon stated that there are very few facilities that have not been tested. “We are getting to a point where we are on top of this” he said.

Unfortunately, as these vulnerable populations continue to test positive, it is likely the county will seek a spike in deaths. Overnight, three more patients passed away. All three were women, two were in their 80s and one was in her 60s.

“The reality is, when this virus gets into pockets of our community with folks with underlying medical conditions,” McMahon said, “its brutal.”

However, McMahon announced that he believes the plasma project is working and may be the reason for a number of recoveries. Upstate Medical is utilizing the plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients to treat those still actively battling the disease.

Positive patients that recover, they have a special ability to be able to help out their neighbors, and I believe it is working,” McMahon said. 

Onondaga County records 30th COVID death
April 29, 2020 9:28 pm

During the Wednesday COVID-19 media brief County Executive Ryan McMahon announced the County’s 30th death.

The number of confirmed cases also increased by 35 to 876. Thus far 111 of those cases are due to household contacts so that leaves 765 separate individual cases.

With this increase in the number of confirmed cases, the number of active cases, which had been relatively flat lately, grew from 269 to 296 (a 10 percent increase) since yesterday’s briefing.

McMahon also expressed financial concern regarding the “shortfall” of sales tax that comes with this pandemic. McMahon claims that sales tax is about 52 percent of the county’s revenue. He also said that the state may cut local governments.

“Our ability to raise revenue at this time doesn’t really exist. Our only option if we are looking at funding cuts or certainly revenue losses, which we know are going to happen, is to cut from within,” McMahon said.

He then discussed what the county has already done which included a hiring freeze as well as freezes on certain funding. But McMahon still wants state and federal aid.

“You can’t say ‘everybody has got to shut down’, and then ‘we are not going to help you when all your revenue goes away,’” McMahon said.

McMahon: The virus is going to be with us for a while
April 28, 2020 8:00 pm

Onondaga County executive Ryan McMahon announce on Tuesday that three individuals had died since his briefing on Monday. This represents the second largest spike since the first death was reported on March 24.

McMahon shared his fears that although trends suggest the county is has seen the wort of the pandemic, deaths will continue. Currently there are eight individuals in critical condition who continue to fight for their lives.

“Unfortunately, the grim reality of this virus is here, and it’s going to be with us for a while,” County Executive Ryan McMahon said.

However, the trends are demonstrating positive progress. The percentage of hospitalized cases has gone from around 20% to 14%. The county has also seen a decrease in symptomatic cases and hospitals are no longer exceeding 70% of capacity.

“we are winning many aspects of this fight right now, but we are still getting punched square in the mouth every time we lose a resident of our community” McMahon said.

McMahon reiterated that although proactive testing has given them a head start, the county is concerned that most new cases are coming from senior living facilities, affecting the people most at risk.

Currently, around two-thirds of the almost 350 tests awaiting results are proactive tests from senior living facilities according to McMahon. This may mean that there will be a spike in serious cases as it spreads amongst this vulnerable population.


Confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 800 in Onondaga County

During his Monday COVID-19 media brief, County Executive Ryan McMahon announced 21 newly confirmed cases in the county, bringing the total to 819. Nearly 45 percent of the confirmed cases are residents of Syracuse.

He also announced the county’s 26th death, who was a woman in her 70s with underlying health problems.

A majority of the newly confirmed cases (17) were associated with senior citizen facilities. There has also been a slight increase in the percentage of those who have tested positive who are also over the age of 60, which McMahon attributes to the prioritization of testing senior citizens.

On Sunday, Governor Cuomo released a loose plan that could reopen “low-risk” businesses in upstate New York in mid-May. The plan comes after the Governor has expressed his belief that New York has passed its peak with the virus.

McMahon described the news as “exciting” and said that the county has been working with private businesses on a plan to reopen since even before the virus had entered the county.

“We have come a long way over the last 45 or 50 or 60 days together and I think the fact that we are getting close to talk about a restart is another step in this process that we’ll all learn from and we’ll all get through it together again,” he said. “Let’s just continue the fight and let’s stay strong and be safe.”