Broome County has over 4,000 active COVID cases, but hospitalizations remain steady

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BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — Broome County continues to see record numbers of COVID-19 cases, with 3,250 new cases in the past week. There are currently over 4,000 active cases.

During his weekly COVID briefing, County Executive Jason Garnar said that yesterday, there were over 600 new positives. He pointed out that a year ago, the record for the highest number of cases in one day was 245.

“That was the worst day in the pandemic for nearly a year. We broke that record in the middle of December and have now surpassed it each day for the past nine days. Suffice to say the omicron variant is spreading like wildfire,” Garnar said.

But Garnar added that for now, hospitalizations don’t seem to be increasing at the same rate. There are currently 111 residents hospitalized in the county.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar urged residents to make use of testing sites and home tests during his weekly COVID-19 briefing. (Phoebe Taylor-Vuolo/WSKG)

“So far, hospitalizations have not gone up proportionally with new cases. But even a small percentage of increase, on a spread that is about three times what we had, at the same time last year could spell disaster for the local health care system,” Garnar said.

Garnar urged residents to get tested and stay home if they are sick. But he said it’s important that residents use the county’s testing sites, rather than overloading emergency rooms and walk-ins.

This week, the county’s office of emergency services distributed 10,000 home test kits in a matter of hours.

On Saturday, another 10,000 test kits will be distributed at Otsiningo park, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Each car will get up to two boxes, or four tests.

Garnar said people should avoid driving that way if they aren’t picking up tests. He also said residents should not get there early, so as to not jam up traffic.

“One of the major reasons why we had the traffic issues that we did on Wednesday, was because we had so many people show up early, we literally had hundreds of cars in the park,” Garnar said.

Residents should fill out the county health department’s online form to report a positive home test.

Using the county’s form, you can do your own case investigation and receive an isolation order, as well as a release from isolation after the five-day period.