Broome County seeing largest number of hospitalizations since pandemic began

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BINGHAMTON, NY – Just as hospitalizations have replaced the COVID test positivity rate as the key metric Governor Cuomo considers as he looks to impose coronavirus restrictions, Broome County is seeing the largest number of its residents in the hospital since the pandemic began.

County Executive Jason Garnar reported today that 54 Broome residents are currently being cared for at Lourdes and UHS hospitals.

Add in patients from neighboring counties and that number jumps to 77.

Nevertheless, Garnar says the leaders of both hospital chains report that they still have thirty percent of their intensive care unit rooms available and believe they have sufficient capacity for now.

But Garnar says keeping the spread from worsening is imperative.

“We really do want to see those hospitalization rates stabilize. The good news is that they’re looking at this as a region. Our region the Southern Tier is decent with hospitalization, compared to other regions, we’re pretty good. But it doesn’t mean we’re not really concerned about this,” he said.

Garnar says another concern is staffing levels at the hospitals as some medical workers are being quarantined.

According to the state, the Southern Tier as a region has forty percent of its hospital beds available and thirty-four percent of ICU beds.

Garnar also announced that recent positive cases continue to stem largely from small, private gatherings but that the age range of those infected is ticking up from those in their 20s to adults in their 30s to 50s.

Next week, the county’s rapid response mobile testing unit will be stationed at the former Davis College campus in Johnson City.

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