© 2021 WRVO Public Media
Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Regional News

Nearly 25% of new COVID-19 cases in Onondaga County are under the age of 11

Ellen Abbott
Syracuse City Schools Superintendent Jaime Alicea speaks to students at Clary Middle school.

The number of kids getting COVID-19 in Onondaga County is rising. Nearly a quarter of the 158 new cases reported on Wednesday were under the age of 11.

County Executive Ryan McMahon said the data shows that the spread is not happening in schools.

“As we see more cases in this same demographic, it shows us, to tell the adults, that the spread is happening outside of the school,” McMahon said. “It’s happening in the home.”

Nearly 40% of the new cases are household contacts.

“That’s a double-edged sword,” McMahon said. “For the community at large, that’s better because these folks have mostly been isolated or quarantined before they’ve been sick. That’s less risk to the community. But it shows you that it’s very contagious and we should be doing everything we can to mitigate that.”

Kids 11 and under can’t get the vaccine yet and until they can, McMahon expects these COVID infections to continue.

“The virus finds unvaccinated pockets, and this is the largest unvaccinated pocket we have.”

The county is opening a new testing site for students and staff in K-12 schools. It will provide same-day results and is meant for those who had COVID-like symptoms, who are no longer symptomatic. McMahon said it’s meant to solve the problem of kids out of school waiting four or five days for results. People can sign up for appointments here.

McMahon emphasized that the vaccines have been incredibly effective and the best tool to stay out of the hospital and ICU. The county reported three more deaths on Wednesday. Eighty-eight people are in the hospital. Twenty-five people are in the ICU and nearly all of them are unvaccinated. Only about 1% of county residents who are fully vaccinated have ended up having a breakthrough case of COVID.