BROOME COUNTY – County Executive Jason Garnar says Broome has gotten over its omicron peak.

During his weekly COVID briefing today, Garnar says the county’s numbers have started coming down from their high of a couple weeks ago.

He says that fortunately, because the omicron variant causes less severe symptoms, there has not been the same corresponding surge in hospitalizations and deaths.

Nevertheless, it still poses a danger.

“The reality is that compared to last year, our daily cases continue to be high, and we need to continue to do all we can to protect ourselves, our families and the community,” says Garnar.

While the Broome County Health Department is no longer contact tracing the general population, the state is assisting with tracing efforts for K-12 school settings.

And the health department encourages those who test positive using at-home rapid kits to continue reporting their positive cases on the county website.

Also online, they can report their own case investigations if they’ve tested positive by any means.

And those who have had exposures can receive quarantine releases online as well.

We are not leaving the COVID-19 front by any means. We are just going to reinvest our efforts in important items like vaccination, public messaging, testing efforts, and any other items that we deem necessary to assist us in relieving the burden from COVID-19,” says Interim Public Health Director Mary McFadden.

Over 8,000 rapid home tests are being distributed by the Office of Emergency Services to Meals on Wheels, Foster Grandparents, the Food Bank, SEPP, the Binghamton Housing Authority, homeless shelters and first responders.

And Garnar reminds people that they can order 4 free tests online from the federal government.

People with internet issues can call 2-1-1 for assistance.

For more information on the county’s COVID response, go to GoBroomeCounty.com/HD/coronavirus.