Syracuse, N.Y. — Onondaga County was added this weekend to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of counties with “substantial” coronavirus transmission.
The CDC recommends people wear masks indoors in areas with “substantial” (orange areas on map above) and “high” (red) transmission of Covid-19. That includes places with at least 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the past week.
Onondaga County had 257 new cases, or 55.81 cases per 100,000 residents (a 162% jump) in the past week, according to the CDC. The numbers are based on a 7-day average ending Saturday.
That rate means the CDC recommends all Onondaga County residents – vaccinated and unvaccinated – should wear masks indoors.
Of the 460,528 residents in Onondaga County, at least 61% are fully vaccinated, and 64% have received their first dose, according to the state health department. Among adults 18 years or older, 76% have received at least one shot.
Three days ago, nine Downstate counties and three Upstate New York counties — Greene County, Saratoga County and Warren County — made the CDC’s list of “substantial” or “high” Covid-19 community spread.
On Sunday, there were 23 counties throughout the state on the list.
The CDC website shows Onondaga County has had 257 cases, or 55.81 cases per 100,000 residents — a 162.24% jump — in the past week.
As of Thursday, the county reported the number of active cases of Covid-19 in the county had jumped from a low of 40 or so to about 140.
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon reported the following new Covid-19 cases over the past week on his Twitter account: 19 new cases on July 26, six cases on July 27, 30 cases on July 28, 37 cases on July 29 and 41 cases on July 30.
McMahon has not yet reported the number of new coronavirus cases from over the weekend, and he could not be reached for comment on Sunday after the CDC added Onondaga County to its list of areas with “substantial” Covid-19 community spread.
Last week, McMahon told reporters that Onondaga County planned to resume mass testing for Covid-19 this coming week in response to the rising numbers. At the same time, McMahon said the Syracuse area remained “in good shape’’ as the virus surged in other areas of the country.
McMahon urged anyone who has delayed getting a vaccine to get one, saying it’s the best way to prevent the spread of the virus and to avoid kids having to wear masks when they return to school.
This week, the county plans to re-establish a site to provide rapid Covid tests, which it stopped doing in late June. County officials also are preparing to offer Covid tests for teachers and staff before school starts in a few weeks. And the county is looking for a vendor to provide surveillance testing in schools during the school year.
Although the vaccines don’t offer 100% protection against infection, they are generally effective at preventing serious illnesses that require hospitalization or death, officials have said.
Onondaga County continues to hold clinics to offer vaccines, which are also available at pharmacies and other sites.
“The vaccine is what’s going to help,’’ McMahon said last week.
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