Cases spike due to proactive testing

Cases spike due to proactive testing

Nearly 30 new cases are confirmed after people without symptoms are being tested in "areas of density".
Published: April 20, 2020
Graphic: Onondaga County Coronavirus Update

April 23, 2020 5:00 pm

In his daily briefing on Wednesday afternoon, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced the county was beginning to test asymptomatic individuals who live in “areas of density”. McMahon warned that confirmed cases will spike over the next few days as a result.

These areas of density include several senior living facilities that have confirmed positives. In total there were 29 new cases confirmed in the last 24 hours, 16 of these cases were discovered through proactive testing at senior living facilities. These facilities, however, do not include nursing homes, which are not under the county’s jurisdiction.

McMahon also noted that as the shelter in place order is coming to an end, it is still crucial to be social distancing in order to prevent a second wave. He stated he has confidence the residents of the county understand this fight is serious, and that social distancing is crucial regardless of a shelter in place order.

“we are making progress with the virus, but it is still here,” McMahon said, “We need you to be very diligent, your health is your greatest asset.”

Mayor Ben Walsh joined the briefing to update the community of the work of the economic resiliency task force. Walsh stated that the county will not open until public health data supports that decision. However, he believes onondaga will be “ahead of the game” on the path to economic recovery.

The task force which is comprised of eight members, representing both non-profit organizations and the private sector, proposed 35 specific recommendations for re-opening the economy.

“Going forward, the group will complete its recommendations,” Walsh said, “and they will continue to provide assistance and support as needed, both to the county and the regional restart efforts.”


Onondaga begins proactive testing
April 22, 2020 5:00 pm

Onondaga County has begun testing individuals with no symptoms in “areas of density”. According to County Executive Ryan McMahon apartment buildings and assisted living facilities will be prioritized.

“If you are going to find asymptomatic [cases], you are going to find them where there have been a bunch of positives,” McMahon said at his daily briefing.  

Through this proactive strategy five affiliated cases were confirmed, meaning they were a result of contact either in an apartment building, assisted living facility. However, McMahon stated they are expecting more cases in the next few days as results are processed. 

“As you get capacity,” McMahon said, “you get the ability to do more [testing] because the numbers are going down”

The numbers are going down. Even with the highest number of new cases in weeks, the number of recovered cases outnumbered active cases with 35 recoveries since Tuesday. The number of patients in the ICU is at its lowest since the end of March. 

“Very good news,” McMahon said, “Our ICU number is trending downwards.”

McMahon noted that although we may see a spike from these hot spots, community spread is decreasing and the percentage of cases in the hospital has gone down.

Another death bring the COVID-19 death toll to 22 in Onondaga County

Another COVID-19 death in Onondaga County brings the new total to 22. The individual was a man in his 50s who had underlying health problems.

During his coronavirus daily update on Tuesday, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon reminded people the importance of human life. “Behind every data point we are talking about people, human beings and human life,” he said . “Even though our numbers are getting better this virus is still a serious threat.”

Confirmed cases also increased by 21 to 667. There was also a decrease in those quarantined by  55 to 859.

McMahon reassured residents that strategy to fight this coronavirus is working. “We are starting to play offense with this virus. We are hunting this virus now,” he said.

Four new COVID-19 deaths over the past three days
April 21, 2020 4:37 pm

Four new deaths have been reported in Onondaga County since Friday’s press briefing, bringing the total to 21. Confirmed cases also surpassed 600 over the weekend as the new total is 646.

But people continue to recover with the new total at 362. Since April 15, there have been more recoveries (89) than there have been newly confirmed cases (83).

The number of people quarantined also decreased by 94 down to 914.

The County Executive continues to urge social distancing even as talks of the federal government plans to reopen the county circulate. “Now if you bring everybody back together again too quickly you could be in a situation where it comes back and the curve is much larger; the toll on public health is much worse,” he said. “It will be very hard to get people to listen to social distancing again and that will then lead to more death.”