5 new Covid deaths in Onondaga County; McMahon urges vaccine patience – syracuse.com

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A nurse performs a coronavirus test on a passenger in a car

Maria Giannino, a nurse with Nascentia, tests a passenger for coronavirus at the F shed at the Regional Market.
Dennis Nett | [email protected]

Syracuse, N.Y. – Five Onondaga County residents died of Covid-19 since Monday, two more than died the day before, County Executive Ryan McMahon said today.

Among the day’s victims were two men, ages 86 and 48, and two women, ages 87 and 81. The other person was a nursing home resident for whom no additional information was available.

McMahon had said Monday that he hoped fatalities would continue to decline as more and more residents of senior living facilities get vaccinated. So far, there’s no evidence of a trend.

But the general outlook appears to be improving as the number of active cases in the community slowly declines.

The number of coronavirus patients in local hospitals fell to 230 today, the lowest point in a month. Forty-three patients are in intensive care.

The county reported 289 new cases of coronavirus since Monday, 30% more than a day earlier but still below the average earlier this month. The positive test rate for the past seven days fell to 6.4%, down from 8.6% a little over a week ago, McMahon said.

The county has 3,637 active cases, down from more than 6,000 earlier this month.

“We’re clearly going in the right direction,’’ McMahon said.

State officials today opened up eligibility for vaccines to millions more people, but thus far the supply of doses has not increased. The county gets 3,600 doses a week, in addition to vaccines directed to the State Fair Expo Center, pharmacies and other sites.

County officials only book vaccine appointments three days in advance at the downtown War Memorial, so residents are encouraged to keep checking to see if slots open up, McMahon said. The state vaccination site at the fairgrounds, on the other hand, books appointments for weeks at a time.

Seniors who don’t feel comfortable registering online can call 211 to schedule appointments at the War Memorial. Eligible residents can also register online. But until there are enough vaccines to meet demand, some people will have to wait.

“We just have to be patient right now,’’ McMahon said.

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