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Politics and Government
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.

McMahon asks residents to stop joyriding on Centro buses, bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

Centro.jpg
Ellen Abbott
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WRVO Public Media File Photo
The Centro Transit Hub in downtown Syracuse.

There have been multiple reports of people joyriding on Centro buses in Onondaga County, after Centro temporarily waived the fee to ride, last week. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is asking people to not take advantage of the free service.

“You should be traveling if you’re going to and from work or to and from the grocery store or pharmacy,” McMahon said. “No joyriding on the Centro buses.”

Centro put out a statement Wednesday, saying a bus operator recently tested positive for COVID-19. McMahon said a health department investigation determined there was no contact with people. Riders have been entering from the back of the bus, rather than the front, by the driver. The health department has identified and contacted those who may have been exposed and is placing them under quarantine.  

Onondaga County is up to 277 positive cases of the coronavirus, McMahon said at Wednesday’s news briefing. That’s 28 new cases since Tuesday. There are 27 people in the hospital with 14 in critical condition. Six people have been released from the hospital since Tuesday. In total, 67 people have recovered and have been released from quarantine. The county has conducted more than 3,700 tests. There are around 480 tests still pending.

2020 Census

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and McMahon issued their first digital proclamation Wednesday, proclaiming April 1 as Census Day. Walsh said the current pandemic is a life and death example of how important it is for residents to complete the 2020 Census, to get an accurate count of the population.  

“So many of the resources that we’re turning to now to help people, whether it is feeding our young people, helping our homeless population, so much of that comes from the federal government,” Walsh said. “The way in which the federal government determines how much of its resources is allocated, is based on population.”

Walsh said the city of Syracuse missed out on direct aid from the federal government’s stimulus package because it went to cities with populations above 150,000. The city’s population has been around 143,000 in recent years.