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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 reports 26th COVID-related death, warns residents about antibody testing

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News (file photo)

Onondaga County officials reported another death from COVID-19 Monday. A woman in her 70s became the 26th person in the county to die from the disease. There are now 819 total cases in Onondaga County. 40 people are hospitalized, 10 in critical condition.

Officials in Oneida, Oswego and Wayne counties all reported new deaths from COVID-19 Monday. Statewide, the number of deaths climbed to 17,303.

Health officials in Onondaga County said Monday there was a potential exposure of the coronavirus at two locations. Employees at both location tested positive, but both wore masks while at work, so the risk of transmitting the virus is low, health officials said.

Officials say anyone at those stores at the following times should watch for potential symptoms.

Target, Route 31, Clay

  • Sun. April 19: 7 a.m. - noon
  • Mon. April 20: 7 a.m. - noon
  • Tues. April 21: 7 a.m. - noon

Walmart, 6438 Basile Rowe, E. Syracuse

  • Tues. April 21: 4 p.m. - 11 p.m.
  • Wed. April 22: 3 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Officials are also warning central New Yorkers to be careful if they want to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. If a person tests positive for antibodies, that means they were infected with COVID-19. But some antibody tests have been less reliable than others.
Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said people should ask their doctors for reliable tests.

"Don’t just go because somebody is advertising. Because like with PPE, there was a lot of scams out there.  So be aware of that," Gupta said.

Random testing of 7,500 people in new York showed only about 1.3% infection rate in central New York

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said he was suspicious of some of the tests that are out there.

"It seems there’s a lot of people getting into this business real quick. When everybody’s rushing to get into one line of business real quick, you have to be careful who you are doing business with," McMahon said.

Gov. Cuomo said Monday that the state had recently conducted 7,500 random people across the state for the presence of antibodies. It showed about 14% of those tested had antibodies. Only about 1.3% of those in central New York who were tested showed antibodies.  

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.