VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — Broome, Chenango and Delaware Counties have all reached the threshold for “high” COVID-19 transmission areas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A county is considered a “high” spread area if it has 100 or more weekly cases per 100,000 people, or if over 10 percent of tests come back positive in a week.
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said the county has seen a 600 percent increase in cases in the past month.
“These numbers are going to get back to January and February numbers if we don’t do anything. We cannot do that,” said Garnar. “I’m not being alarmist, I’m just looking at what the data is showing, and we’re kind of on the brink.”
In a press conference on Wednesday, Broome County officials urged residents to wear masks when indoors, stay home if they have any symptoms, and get vaccinated. Garnar emphasized the importance of slowing down transmission.
“At the current rate, things have the potential to get out of control,” said Garnar. “And the last thing anybody wants to see is another shutdown.”
This week, Broome County began requiring masks in all county buildings. Officials also recommend people wear masks in businesses, churches, and other indoor-public spaces.
The CDC recommends that residents in counties with “substantial” or “high” transmission wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.