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Garnar Asks Broome Residents To Stay Home For Next Week

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — Active COVID-19 cases in Broome County have now reached 243 as of Thursday afternoon.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar has asked residents to stay home for the next week to limit the spread of the virus.

“Make no mistake about this, this is probably—in the short-term—going to get worse before it gets better,” Garnar said. “But the way that it gets better is staying at home.”

54 new active cases were added to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard between Wednesday and Thursday, with 8 people currently hospitalized. 104 of those cases are in the city of Binghamton.

More than 1,100 people are now under quarantine, up from 1,000 on Wednesday. Garnar said he expects many of them to result in new positive cases over the next few days.

Many of the newly reported active cases are the result of exposures from a week ago, Garnar added.

“The numbers we are seeing are based on what happened seven days ago, eight days ago,” Garnar said. “I am very concerned about what we’re going to see over the next few days.”

According to Rebecca Kaufman, director of Broome County’s Health Department, a higher share of positive results are coming from those between ages 20 and 40 years old.

“We need people for just a week to really lock it down, stay home, let this spread slow down so we can keep everything open for the rest of the community,” Kaufman said.

In response to the rise in cases, Binghamton City School District announced it will postpone the start of in-person instruction Thursday. The district, which had planned to resume classroom learning on Monday, said it will confirm its new re-opening date on Oct. 8.

Schools are expected to continue, but Kaufman said she fears further spread of the virus may put more school staff under quarantine, and possibly lead to a shortage of staff available to keep school buildings open.

"School staff are a part of our community, so are the children, and as our community numbers go up we expect that we also see school cases go up," Kaufman said.

Garnar added residents should postpone all social gatherings until cases are back under control. Businesses will remain open.