BINGHAMTON, NY – Broome County is shifting its budget priorities to purchase more personal protective equipment while more people are now eligible for coronavirus tests.
During his daily COVID-19 briefing, County Executive Jason Garnar announced that the county legislature has agreed to cancel the $150,000 Small Communities Fund in order to use that money to buy more PPE and tests.
Garnar says the county plans to purchase 50,000 n-95 masks, 150,000 surgical masks, 15,000 face shields, 15,000, 75,000 gloves, 12 infrared thermometers, and thousands of more test kits.
The County Exec says the acquisition of additional tests this week has lead to an expansion of whom gets tested.
“Any primary care provider, seeing patients in person or virtually, who feels symptoms at a moderate or concerning level are now able to get tested. And that’s really, really important. That was not happening last week but it is happening now,” says Garnar.
Garnar says that since the pandemic began, the county health department has monitored 11 hundred people in mandatory quarantine.
He reports that the among Lourdes and UHS, 33 of 68 total Intensive Care Unit beds are currently occupied and 17 of 65 ventilators are being used.