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Onondaga County reports 2nd COVID-19 death, warns Tops customers of possible exposure at Manlius store

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon (middle) on Wednesday provided his daily coronavirus update on the Onondaga County Facebook page. He opened the briefing by saying that a woman in her 20s is the county’s third confirmed coronavirus case. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Onondaga County Health Department has received notification of the county’s second COVID-19 death.

County officials are also warning customers at the Tops Friendly Markets store in Manlius about possible coronavirus exposure from a store employee.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon on Thursday opened his daily coronavirus briefing at the Oncenter by confirming the county’s second death.


“I’m very sad to report that we have had our second death related to COVID-19. We’ve lost a neighbor. She was a woman in her late 60s. She had significant underlying medical issues,” said McMahon. “We want to think of her and her family at this time.”

 “I am profoundly saddened for the family of this individual who are experiencing this loss, we must take every precaution as a community to protect ourselves from the spread of this disease.” Dr. Indu Gupta, Onondaga County Commissioner of Health, added in a statement issued Thursday afternoon. “This individual had underlying health conditions and was hospitalized. For reasons of medical privacy, the department will not be releasing additional information.”

McMahon said that Onondaga County now has 301 positive COVID-19 cases, up from 277 on Wednesday. There are 29 COVID patients in the hospital, 14 of whom are in critical condition. And, 75 people have recovered and been released from mandatory isolation and quarantine.


Possible Tops Manlius exposure

The Onondaga County Health Department has confirmed a case of COVID-19 in an employee at the Tops Friendly Markets store at 119 West Seneca St. in Manlius.

Members of the public who visited the store on the following days and times may have been exposed:

  • Thursday, March 26 between 6:00 a.m. and 1:10 p.m.
  • Friday, March 27 between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.


Since that time, the store has been “deep cleaned” and management has informed all employees. Tops has been in contact with its employee and says the worker “is on the road to recovery,” according to the Onondaga County Health Department.

“We are in the process of identifying all close contacts of the individual and notifying them. Anyone who visited the market during the identified time periods should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing for 14 days after they visited the store. If symptoms do develop, stay home and call your doctor for further guidance about testing,” Gupta said. “If you are elderly, have underlying medical conditions, or are immunocompromised, call your doctor early even if your illness is mild. In an emergency call 911.”

In her remarks at the daily coronavirus briefing, Gupta reiterated the need for the community to practice social distancing and her disappointment that some people aren’t doing it.

“Sometimes it’s disappointing to see that despite how much we have been talking about social distancing [and] staying home unless you’re [an] essential worker … we still are seeing those similar behaviors … which are not good for the public’s health, so just a reminder that please continue to follow the principles of social distancing and do not congregate in large-group gatherings and do not do house parties … or have a kids sleepover … We still see those patterns. The cases will continue to emerge until people are cooperating with us. It is my plea, literally from both hands … I’m requesting all of you to help and work with us to reduce the transmission of [the] virus. Without you, we can’t do anything,” said Gupta.



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