Binghamton Mayor Tests Positive For COVID-19

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UPDATED: 10/8/20 – 4:23 P.M.

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — Binghamton Mayor Rich David tested positive for COVID-19 late Wednesday.

Binghamton Mayor Rich David. (Gabe Altieri/WSKG)

“I’m feeling fine and will be resting at home,” he wrote in a statement Thursday morning. “I will follow the recommendations of healthcare providers on treatment and isolation, and I’m working with health department staff to ensure proper contact tracing.”

WSKG’S calls and emails to Mayor David’s office have not been returned.*

The announcement comes amid a surge of cases in Broome County that began last month. As of Wednesday, there were 540 active cases across the county, including 191 in Binghamton.

In his weekly COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar asked residents to stay home, aside from essential functions, for the next 14 days.

New York State designated areas of the county a “yellow zone” earlier this week, including parts of Binghamton, Endwell, Endicott and Johnson City. Measures to contain the spread of the virus outlined by the state will go into effect Friday.

“I continue to encourage all residents to follow state and federal safety guidelines, including wearing masks in public, social distancing and frequent hand washing,” David wrote. “As I said in my budget address Tuesday night, COVID-19 is a deadly virus and America is far from the end of this pandemic.”

David’s diagnosis comes one day after he spoke indoors at Syracuse’s City Hall Commons during a New York Conference of Mayors event. According to Syracuse.com, David began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms after the morning news conference and later went to Auburn Community Hospital, where he spent the night after being diagnosed with COVID-19.*

Several City of Binghamton employees who work closely with David are now in quarantine, Deputy Mayor Jared Kraham told Syracuse.com.

David, who is NYCOM president, traveled to Syracuse to speak about the need for a federal stimulus package to help local governments alongside ten other mayors from around the state, including Albany, Hamilton, Syracuse and Ithaca. None of the mayors wore a mask while they spoke at the podium, but otherwise wore them and maintained distance between each other, WRVO reported.

Mayor Svante Myrick of Ithaca tweeted Thursday that he will immediately enter a precautionary quarantine and await contact from the health department.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced they will do the same. The Onondaga County Health Department will conduct contact tracing of those who were at the event.

*This story has been updated to reflect new information regarding the quarantines of several New York mayors after standing alongside Mayor David at an NYCOM event Wednesday.