BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) – With a steady rise in COVID-19 cases and an increase in testing requirements, Broome County officials said local healthcare providers have been overwhelmed by the demand for tests.
In response, the Broome County Health Department has reopened their rapid testing site. Starting this week, residents can get tested on weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., by appointment only, in front of the health department on Front Street in Binghamton.
In a press conference on Friday, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said some local providers are administering as many as 800 tests per day.
The health department had stopped doing testing when case numbers dropped, but Garnar said a recent increase has made the rapid site necessary again.
“Last year, I think we conducted well over 14,000 tests with the rapid testing site,” said Garnar. “And our numbers had gotten so low that we did not need to continue the rapid testing site. But the numbers are going up.”
Garnar said the county is still dealing with staffing shortages, which is why the site is only open for three hours per day.
“The fact of the matter is, there’s just not enough health care professionals in Broome County to run this site like we were able to run it back, you know, six or so months ago,” said Garnar.
The state has provided the antigen testing supplies, while the county is responsible for staffing and equipment. Garnar said the county is working to add hours for testing, when it can find the staff.