Southern Tier positive case numbers continue to decline

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BINGHAMTON, NY – Just .2 percent of those tested for COVID-19 in the Southern Tier Monday came back positive.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said at his daily coronavirus briefing today that the low number is further proof that the region is ready for further reopenings.

Garnar says the percentage of people testing positive for COVID antibodies is also one of the lowest in the state.

While the numbers show that the virus isn’t as rampant in our region as other parts of New York, Garnar attributes the small number of positives also to the regular precautionary testing of nursing home staff.

Now that the Southern Tier is in Phase 3, those workers are being tested once a week.

While some local nursing homes have borne a cost of tens of thousands of dollars to conduct their testing, the county-run Willow Point Nursing Center continues to rely on the state-sponsored testing at Binghamton University for its employees.

Garnar says it’s hard to argue with the testing since that’s largely where the COVID is.

“If you look at the 51 active cases that we have today, I would probably say that 12, 13, or 14 are out in a community setting. The rest are in congregant settings. There’s a lot of tests being conducted on healthcare employees, on congregant care employees, but that’s where we’re seeing most of the positives,” says Garnar.

Garnar says the beaches at Dorchester Park will open this Friday, joining beaches at Cole and Greenwood Parks.

They’ll remain open 7 days a week through Labor Day.

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