The total number of people in Broome County who have been infected with the coronavirus is now over 32,000.

County officials have announced 118 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded by 9 a.m. December 20, bringing the pandemic total to 32,024.

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The number of active cases in the county continues to soar. While the Health Department numbers just a couple months ago recorded dozens of new cases a day, the daily numbers now are over 100. Monday, December 20, Broome reported 118 new positive test results for COVID-19 with 84 residents hospitalized.

The largest age group infected in the past 7 days is in the 18 to 24-year-old range while the largest group succumbing to the virus remains the elderly.   The largest number of deaths has been among 80 to 89-year-olds according to the Broome County Health Department Dashboard.

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Nationally, health officials say the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus has taken over from Delta as the dominant variant. However, it remains unclear just how deadly Omicron is compared to Delta, which has been responsible for the greatest number of hospitalizations and deaths in the latest surge. Omicron does appear to be more widely transmissible and can infect individuals who are vaccinated and even those who have also received their booster shots. Nationwide numbers show, however, those breakthrough cases are generally mild and very few end with hospitalization and/or death.

With Christmas days away, experts advise that gatherings be limited to small numbers of vaccinated and, if possible, boosted guests, masks may be worn for added protection and good ventilation should be provided indoors, including opening windows.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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