Broome County brings back rapid COVID testing, weekly briefings

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BROOME COUNTY – As the COVID spike continues in our area, Broome County is returning to many of its past practices including a resumption of testing and weekly briefings.

County Exec Jason Garnar announced today that the county is once again partnering with the state for a rapid testing location.

This time, it will be located outside of the county health department on Front Street in Binghamton.

The state will provide the tests while the county furnishes the equipment and workers.

However, its hours are limited to 3 to 6 P-M on weekdays due to limited health department staff.

Garnar says our local hospitals can’t keEp up with the increased testing demand.

“Lourdes is getting anywhere between 400 and 500 tests a day and I think UHS had a day when they had almost 800 tests that they conducted right here in Broome County,” says Garnar.

You must make an appointment at GoBroomeCounty.com/HD/coronavirus, no walk-ins will be accepted.

Appointments for next week will open this evening at 8.

Meanwhile, the county’s nursing home Willow Point is bracing for the midnight deadline Sunday night for medical workers to get vaccinated.

Garnar says roughly 30 of them remain unvaccinated and will not be able to work come Monday without a first dose.

As a result, Willow Point has stopped accepting new admissions, has closed 2 units and its down to just over 200 residents out of a capacity of 300.

Garnar says many private nursing homes have stopped taking new patients for the same reason.

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