(WIVT/WBGH) As people are getting out and enjoying the last stretch of Summer, that’s caused a summer surge of positive COVID cases.

UHS recognized the recent uptick in cases and has required all patients and staff to wear masks while inside any of its facilities. The Public Health Director for Broome County, Mary McFadden says that as we open up our social circles, we also increase our risk of getting and spreading COVID.

The CDC has a nationwide map that details the amount of cases in each county. It was last updated for Broome on August 18, and even though the county is shown to be in the “green zone” it says there has been a 50% increase in cases.

“We have been battling with this COVID since 2020 now and we have come a long way. We really want it to be over with, but it’s not over with. And we just, right now, are seeing a summer surge. We’re seeing an increase in cases, somewhat of an increase in hospitalizations. But the good news is we know how to mitigate this,” said McFadden.

McFadden says that as the virus continues to evolve and change, so is the CDC’s research and development of mitigation strategies such as masking, and new vaccines. She reminds the public that we are coming up on flu season, so do what you must to be as safe as possible.