Broome County to start testing those with milder symptoms


BROOME COUNTY – As the number of available coronavirus tests on hand increases, local hospitals are expanding those who qualify to get tested.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar announced at his daily COVID-19 briefing today that UHS and Lourdes have a combined 9,000 available tests.

Garnar says they will now be able to test patients with milder symptoms, provided they receive an order from their primary care physician.

And in many cases, those orders can come from virtual visits using telemedicine.

Meanwhile, Garnar says he supports Governor Cuomo’s announcement today of a regional approach to reopening the economy.

The County Exec says that while public health remains the top priority, many businesses can’t survive much longer.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of businesses in Broome County. They’re suffering. A number of them have been shut down for weeks. They can only go for so long,” says Garnar.

Garnar says the state plans to break the state into regions that mirror those of the regional economic development councils.

That would place Greater Binghamton in the Southern Tier region along with Elmira and Ithaca.

Garnar says the state also plans to share with local officials the results of COVID-19 antibody tests that were done across the state recently to determine the number of people who have been exposed to the virus and are therefore presumed to have developed an immunity to it.

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