Broome Hospitalizations Increasing, County Officials Say

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VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — Broome County is now seeing over 100 new COVID cases a day, according to county officials. More of those people are ending up in the hospital, with 92 residents hospitalized this week.

During the county’s weekly COVID update press conference, Broome County Executive Jason Garner said the more cases the county experiences, the more likely it is that hospitalizations will continue to rise.

Garnar said hospital staff are working long hours to meet demand. He emphasized the importance of residents masking up and getting vaccinated.

“Your community, your neighbors, are working in those [emergency rooms] around the clock, and they are tired, and they are getting really taxed,” Garnar said.

County Executive Jason Garnar. (Vaughn Golden/WSKG

Garnar added that if hospitalizations continue to rise, hospitals could be forced to reduce or cancel elective surgeries.

“They have a finite amount of staff,” Garnar said. “So as the ER [COVID-19 cases] grow, as they’ve grown in the past couple of weeks, [hospitals] are going to have to devote a lot of that staff to the ERs.”

Overall, the Southern Tier’s COVID-19 positivity rate has now reached over 4 percent. In Broome County, Garnar said half of the new cases this week were among people under the age of 40. Children accounted for 20 percent of new cases.