In his weekly COVID-19 update, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says while the number of cases attributed to the Omicron variant is four or five times the rate as the previous ravaging Delta variant, far fewer people are ending up in the hospital or worse.

The Democrat says the county continues to shift its focus away from things like organized contact tracing to pushing for people to get vaccinated, testing and self-quarantine and reporting if they do get sick.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Garnar says, as everyone in the U.S. can sign up to have home COVID-19 testing kits mailed to their homes, 8,600 rapid home COVID tests are still being distributed locally over the next several days by Broome County Office of Emergency Services through Meals on Wheels, food pantries, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, the Binghamton Housing Authority, shelters and SEPP as well as to first responders.

Residents who test positive, whether they report a home test or are tested at a county or state site, for the most part should not expect a call from the County Health Department.  Instead, they should report online where they can also do their own case investigation.

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A new program announced Friday is that Broome Office for Aging is offering people over the age of 55 who have no access to a computer assistance in the reporting and quarantine-clearing process.  Those residents should call (607) 778-2411.

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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