Coronavirus Toolkit

Local Updates and Resources

COVID-19 vaccine information, including who is eligible and how to get one, can be found here.

Find the most recent COVID-19 information from Onondaga County officials at including updates, press briefings and announcements related to the local COVID-19 situation. Links to important phone numbers and information.

Important Phone Numbers

NYS Vaccination Hotline: To make an appointment at a state-run vaccine site

Upstate Triage Hotline: To discuss your symptoms and get info on testing

Senior, Healthcare Worker and Adult Nutrition Hotline: If you need food assistance of any kind

Child Care Solutions: For essential workers who need childcare

Essential Community Services: Mental health services and hotline

NYS Office of Mental Health Emotional Support Helpline: For those experiencing increased anxiety due to the coronavirus emergency

Please Wear a Mask in Public!

Effective April 17, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as on public transportation.

Updated information from the CDC (as of May 23, 2020) advocates for wearing face coverings in community settings where you’re likely to come in contact with people, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. Visit the CDC’s Q & A on this topic for details.

How Do I Make a Mask at Home?

Because surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply, the CDC recommends they be reserved for healthcare workers or other medical first responders. For the rest of us, there are several ways to make cloth face coverings at home. WDAM in Hattiesburg, Mississippi has a good review of all your options in one place:

Helpful Information Sources

The following sources are the best places to find reliable and up-to-date information on the current coronavirus outbreak: is the website for the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our country’s health protection agency. The agency works to protect America from health and safety threats, both foreign and domestic. Find their latest updates here. is the World Health Organization’s Information Network for Epidemics that provides tailored information to different audiences during public health events like the coronavirus outbreak. is the New York State Department of Health website. The New York State Department of Health also has a phone hotline at 1-888-364-3065 if you want to speak with an expert. is where you’ll find information from the Onondaga County Health Department, including frequently asked questions and the latest local news. is the website for the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO works worldwide to promote health and keep the world safe. During health emergencies, the WHO helps to prepare for emergencies by identifying, mitigating and managing risks, supporting the development of tools during outbreaks and supporting the delivery of essential health services.


Local News is providing online access to their full coronavirus reporting during the health crisis without subscribing. The local news coverage includes updates on what’s happening in Onondaga County and New York State. is a commercial-free, listener-supported public media organization licensed to Syracuse University. Founded in 1947, WAER serves the greater Syracuse area with National Public Radio (NPR) and local news, eclectic music and Syracuse University sports. is a non-profit, non-commercial, multi-platform news and information service for residents of central and northern New York state and a member station of National Public Radio (NPR).

How to #FlattenTheCurve

Public Health Recommendations

The CDC recommends the following procedures for better public health during the coronavirus outbreak:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Hand washing video from the CDC.
  • Watch a video from the CDC for what older adults need to know.

Coronavirus = COVID-19

COVID-19 is the name name given by the WHO to the disease caused by a new (novel) coronavirus that first appeared in 2019 (that’s where the 19 comes from). It was first detected in Wuhan, China and is now spreading worldwide. This virus can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath.

There are ongoing investigations into the virus, and information will evolve as doctors and scientists learn more. Always look to trusted sources for current, accurate information, like those we’ve listed above. Not sure if something is true? Check with the CDC!

What is a pandemic?

A pandemic is defined as an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population (definition from Merriam Webster). The WHO has categorized COVID-19 as a pandemic as of March 11, 2020.

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