High positivity rates in Broome County, what that means going forward


BROOME COUNTY – The percentage of positive COVID test results within Broome County’s micro-cluster continues to exceed a key metric that determines whether a cluster is in the yellow, orange or red zone.

The Governor’s Office says the 7 day rolling average for the positivity rate in the Triple Cities cluster is currently at 6.65%.

Yesterday, Cuomo reported a 6.39 percent rolling average.

On Saturday, it was 6.62 and on Friday 6.39.

The 7 day rolling average positivity rate is the first of 5 metrics Cuomo released last week that are considered when moving a cluster into the more restrictive orange and red zone designations.

The Triple Cities are currently in the yellow zone, which among other things, limits gatherings to 25 people and mandates testing of 20% of students, teachers and staff in school buildings holding in-person instruction within the zone.

If the rolling average is above 4% for 10 consecutive days, it could trigger a move into orange status, would would force affected schools to be fully virtual, limit gatherings to 10 people, close gyms and hair salons and prohibit indoor dining at restaurants.

A rolling average of greater than 5 percent could lead to red zone status in which all non-essential businesses would need to go remote.

However, there are other more ambiguous criteria in the plan so exceeding the positivity rate threshold won’t automatically lead to greater restrictions.

Cuomo is expected to update each cluster on its status next week.

We reached out to County Executive Jason Garnar’s office and got the following statement:

“We are keeping a close eye on these numbers reported by the State for the yellow zone every day and certainly find the high positivity rate concerning. We will continue to evaluate with our team at the health department and emergency services. Now is the time to stay home whenever possible and continue to follow restrictions. We need to bring our positivity rate down for the health and safety of our community.”

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