Broome Briefing: County hits COVID milestones, mass vaccination sites planned

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BROOME COUNTY – As Broome reaches some grim coronavirus milestones, the county is taking additional steps to ramp up immunizations as soon as more vaccine becomes available.

County Exec Jason Garnar announced today a partnership with SUNY Broome to launch a mass vaccination operation inside the college’s Ice Center.

The plan is to vaccinate as many as 500 people per day.

But while the county has lined up a team of vaccinators, including public health nurses, E-M-T’s and retired medical professionals, it’s still relying on the state for vaccines.

It has requested 3,000 from the state for next week.

“We have been building capacity to distribute large amounts of doses with our community partners. We are ready, but I want to emphasize that this will all depend on getting the doses of vaccine,” says Garnar.

Public Health Director Rebecca Kaufman says the state’s strategy is to have the local health department focus on vaccinating the essential workers eligible in the 1-B priority group.

Those 65 and older will be directed to get their shots at local pharmacies.

And 1-A medical personnel will continue to be vaccinated at UHS and Lourdes.

Garnar is asking people to not call the health department as it doesn’t have any appointments to schedule currently.

Today, Broome County went over 10,000 people who have tested positive since the pandemic began with more than 200 deaths.

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