BROOME COUNTY, NY – Broome County Executive Jason Garnar held his weekly coronavirus briefing today.

Garnar says medical workers who quit due to the state’s vaccine mandate have only made the healthcare worker staffing crisis worse.

He says Lourdes and UHS have lost a couple hundred workers combined.

And he says many nursing homes have stopped accepting new residents due to the shortage.

Garnar says county-owned Willow Point had 6 nurses and 9 certified nursing assistants refuse the shot.

With the increased number of active COVID cases in the county, the health department is conducting more contact tracing in an effort to curtail the spread.

Garnar says contact tracers making the calls are being treated poorly.

“They’re being done to keep you and your family safe. These individuals are your neighbors and they are just doing their jobs. Please treat them with respect, treat them the same way that you would want to be treated if you were making that call,” says Garnar.

Garnar says Broome County has scheduled 4 additional vaccine booster clinics to take place at the health department and county-run senior centers over the next 2 weeks.

And the county is doubling the number of rapid COVID tests it can perform weekdays from 3 to 6 at the health department.

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