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As infections drop and vaccinations rise, Onondaga County scaling back some COVID-related services

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media (file photo)
Onondaga County's vaccine clinic will move from the OnCenter to the Civic Center, and will be held once a week on Tuesdays

As the rates of COVID-19 infections have dropped and the number of people vaccinated rises, Onondaga County has scaled back many of its pandemic related activities. 

Starting Tuesday, Onondaga County will offer vaccines only one day a week, and not at the Oncenter, which has been ground zero for vaccinations since early this year. Anyone looking for a shot can get it at the Civic Center instead.  County Executive Ryan McMahon says walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are still preferred.

The county is also scaling back on testing. This week is the last week the county will be offering asymptomatic tests for the COVID-19 at the OnCenter. McMahon said they simply aren’t needed anymore.

"More recently testing was more of a strategy to keep certain elements of the economy open, because certain regulations made that necessary, and to help people so they didn’t have to pay for a test,” McMahon said. “Now those guidelines are gone, we can redeploy those resources to other really pressing health issues.”

McMahon said there will continue to be attempts to reach vaccine-hesitant individuals with pop-up clinics, and traveling nurses. But at this point, McMahon said the county’s watchphrase is “be prepared.”

"I think we continue to vaccinate and will continue to be prepared in case this virus throws us a curveball later in the year. But I think for right now, we’re in a good spot.”

And if that curveball does come, McMahon said any service that has been scaled back can be scaled back up.

“We always reserve the right to pivot and open things back up, if the public health conditions on the ground change, and it merits that,” he said.

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.