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Broome County Executive Urges Support For Local Business Amid State Order

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) - Broome County Executive Jason Garnar is encouraging people to support local restaurants that will be limited due to the concern over COVID-19.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered restaurants and bars to close to dining from 8 P.M. Monday night until further notice. Take-out and delivery is permitted. Movie theaters, gyms, and casinos are also closing.

“What I would encourage people to do is still order take-out from the restaurants, still support your small businesses,” said Garnar, noting the economic hit that these businesses will likely absorb.

Several restaurants in Broome County are offering free lunches for pick-up for kids who are home due to school closures.

Garnar was speaking at a press conference to announce two executive orders. The first follows C.D.C. guidelines that limit gatherings to 50 people and the second requires daycares to prioritize children of workers who are essential to the public’s health and safety, like nurses and first responders.

Garnar also said Broome County still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, but according to the New York Health Department, the county has one case.

The mix-up happened last week. Garnar said the case was inaccurately associated with Broome and should be credited to Albany County. He said he’s asked the state to rectify this, but it hasn’t.

“Really, at this point, it doesn’t matter if it’s zero or one," Garnar said. "We expect it’s going to be more than that and our efforts to respond to this have nothing to do with whether there's a zero or a one in front of a state statistic.”

Garnar said he expects to see positive tests in Broome at some point.

As of Monday afternoon, Tioga, Tompkins and Delaware Counties each have a confirmed case of COVID-19. As does Wayne County in Pennsylvania.