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Stay up to date with the latest news on the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. We'll post regular updates from NPR and regional news from the WRVO newsroom. You can also find updates on our live blog.

Onondaga County buys $1 million in personal protective equipment; cases rise above 200

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Tom Magnarelli
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WRVO News (file photo)
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.

Onondaga County’s number of positive COVID-19 cases now stands at 228. Officials point out at the same time, 41 patients have recovered and have come off quarantine. While that number is promising, local health professionals on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic continue to face a daily concern over access to PPE or personal protective equipment. In central New York, Onondaga County is coming to the rescue.

Onondaga County is expecting hundreds of thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment by the end of this week, to help local doctors, nursing homes and first responders who need this kind of protection from the coronavirus. Onondaga County Commissioner of Emergency Management Dan Wears said the county has spent $1 million on equipment that will arrive Friday.

“It’s a combination of gloves, eye protection, surgical masks, N95 masks, disposable gowns, Tyvek suits if we can’t get disposable gowns,” Wears said. “We’re still trying to get a baseline of all the different basic kind of PPE to distribute to the community that needs them.”

St. Joseph’s Health Center this week announced it is critically low in personal protection equipment for their healthcare professionals. Officials said the county has also acquired about 70 ventilators. 

Onondaga County Executive Ryan Mcmahon has asked for families stuck at home during the coronavirus crisis to not make going to the grocery store a family outing.

“We’re getting a lot of emails, a lot of calls from people who are nervous, whether you are going to the grocery store, or Home Depot, that this is a family excursion,” McMahon said. “If you can keep your kids home, keep them home.”

McMahon said going to the store should be considered a necessity, not a day out. He said there’s no specific guidelines regarding this.