BINGHAMTON, NY – Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says that while the lifting of yellow zone status is welcome news, the county is not out of the woods yet.
That’s because while the percent of people testing positive within the cluster has gone down, active cases and hospitalizations county-wide are up.
Garnar says recent testing and contact tracing data show a large number of younger people, those in their 20’s, testing positive and that a lot of infections can be traced to Halloween gatherings.
Garnar says this continues to make him very concerned about Thanksgiving get-togethers.
“This is not a celebration. We’re not screaming and shouting that we got taken off this yellow cluster zone. I think it can help restaurants and other businesses and things like that. It doesn’t change the fact that we absolutely cannot let our guard down with COVID,” says Garnar.
Garnar says the winter months may prove to be the most challenging yet.
He says the state will allow the county to continue using the mobile rapid results testing equipment that it provided with the cluster designation.
It’s currently at Saint Paul’s Church on Chenango Street through Friday and will be at the
Harpursville Baptist Church on Monday and Tuesday before taking the holiday off.
While it will be up to the 3 school districts impacted, Binghamton, Union-Endicott and Catholic
Schools, to determine whether they continue surveillance testing, Garnar expects they may not as the testing did not turn up a large number of positives.