Status in Onondaga County

Due to an increase of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Onondaga County, the city of Syracuse and surrounding areas will transition to an orange precautionary zone, and the existing yellow zone will be expanded. The zones are a state designation requiring stricter health precautions. The changes go into effect on November 25 for businesses and November 26 for schools. See the zone map here.


Protect Yourself and Stop the Spread
It is important for everyone to continue to take steps to protect themselves and others to stop the spread of COVID-19. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and if you are sick, stay home and get tested. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Stay home as much as possible–even young people and those who feel well. When you go out, stay at least 6 feet away from others. You must wear a cloth face mask or face covering in public when social distancing (staying 6 feet apart) is not possible, especially on public transport, in stores, on crowded sidewalks, or when working and have direct contact with members of the public. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The virus is still with us, and we need to remain diligent. This responsibility doesn’t fall on a few–it is the job of everyone in order to recover from this as a community. Community spread case study diagrams from this past July and this fall are examples of how easily COVID-19 can spread from infected individuals, most of whom didn’t even know they were sick yet, to people they know.
Now you can use your phone to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and you can receive exposure alert notifications without compromising your privacy or personal information. COVID Alert NY is a voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. You will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested, and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others. Download the app today.

Stay Informed
Information and guidance related to COVID-19 changes daily. See the most recent updates, press briefings, and announcements here to stay up to date on the COVID-19 situation in Onondaga County. Also regularly visit the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites for statewide and national news about COVID-19.

Watch for Symptoms
If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, stay home and call your doctor
If you do not have a doctor and have questions, symptoms, or may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, call Upstate University Hospital’s Triage Line at 315.464.3979. If you are older, have severe underlying medical conditions, or are immunocompromised, call your doctor early, even if your illness is mild.

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, call 911 and notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Testing for COVID-19
Anyone can now get tested for COVID-19, even if you have no symptoms. Testing information is available here

Anyone who is tested and is experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result. Individuals with negative test results will be notified by the office/clinic that provided the test and may end quarantine at that time.

The Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) receives notification of positive results only and patients are notified immediately. Positive individuals are placed under isolation and monitoring, and OCHD begins contact tracing and notification of close contacts.

Learn more about isolation and quarantine here.