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‘A little bit of hope,’ but more positive cases from avoidable behavior in Onondaga County

Onondaga County Facebook
15-20 percent of testing done in Onondaga County is for residents outside of the county.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said this week’s data on coronavirus cases is starting to show a little bit of hope. There are currently 377 cases of the virus in the county. That includes 13 new cases since Sunday. 

"That number is better than yesterday’s new cases, which was better from the day before,” McMahon said.

But McMahon warned that the bad news is that the most recent cases came from behaviors that were avoidable.

“That is more quarantines and more positives because of avoidable behavior,” McMahon said.

Independent monitors have downgraded Onondaga County’s social distancing.  

“Our data shows that two weeks ago, based off of mobile cell phone data, we were graded as a B," McMahon said. "Now, we’re at a C- today, a week later."

On Sunday, McMahon announced a two-week, voluntary, shelter in place for the county. Residents born in even-numbered years are asked to go out on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Those born in odd-numbered years, can go out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

“If everybody just did that and they went shopping just on those days, the density would get thinned out,” McMahon said. “That’s been a challenge, as everybody knows, at a lot of our retail establishments. I’m pleading with you to work with us on this.”

Credit Onondaga County Twitter
An algorithm developed by Upstate Medical University showing the varying curves of new infections based on the amount of social distancing.

McMahon also issued an executive order closing all private golf courses. He said modifying when people leave the house can get the county to 50 percent social distancing, which flattens the rate of new infections to a level McMahon called manageable.

“It will give us a very good argument to make to opening up nonessential businesses and getting back to work and getting our lives back,” McMahon said.

The county is also following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and recommends everyone wear a mask if they’re going outside.

“Let’s get through this for the next 2-3 weeks,” McMahon said. “We’re seeing data that if we hunker down for two weeks, we’re going to put ourselves in a position for success.”