BROOME COUNTY – COVID numbers are rising in Broome County again causing concern as the local hospitals begin to fill up.

County Exec Jason Garnar gave a sobering weekly coronavirus briefing today, saying the number of hospitalizations is the highest its been since the peak of the surge last January.

And while 20 percent of new infections are under the age of 17 and half are under 40, most of those hospitalized are older and the vast majority are unvaccinated.

Garnar urges residents to return to safety precautions such as wearing masks indoors, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.

“Your community, your neighbors are working in those E-R’s around the clock and they are tired and they are getting really taxed. These are people who are putting in tons of amount of time to literally save lives. And the thing that upsets me is that this can be prevented,” says Garnar.

Garnar says some additional staffing has allowed the county health department to increase the number of COVID tests it can conduct each day to 116.

Testing takes place at 225 Front Street Monday through Friday between 3 and 6 P-M.

You must preregister at the county website.

Garnar asks people to please complete their registrations, and not sign up for multiple slots, so as to decrease the number of no-show appointments.