Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says he's surprised Broome County hasn't been moved back into the stricter restrictions of a Yellow COVID-19 surge zone or even an Orange Zone with the soaring number of new cases and hospitalizations in recent days.

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Under New York State's updated metrics for micro-clusters, an area will "go Yellow" if it has a 3 percent positivity rate over the past 10 days and is in the top 10 percent in the state for hospital admissions per capita over the past week. An Orange Zone comes if the positivity rate hits 4 percent and 85 percent hospital capacity.

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Broome reported a record 117 new cases on December 15 and a record number of hospitalizations.  Garnar said ICU capacity, however was still at 33%.

During the December 16 update, Broome County's reported number of positive tests for the coronavirus continued to grow, but not at the record-high rate recorded on Monday. Broome County reported 56 additional cases for a total of 6,489. Deaths were unchanged at 154.

Cortland County reported the death rate doubled with seven additional deaths December 16. The county noted the total of 14 deaths in the county includes seven nursing home deaths reported to the New York State Department of Health. The basic report from the county Health Department did not indicate when those deaths may have occurred. Cortland County had 50 new cases for a total of 1,989.

Chenango County had 12 additional cases for a total of 892. Deaths are unchanged at 16. Delaware County added five cases for a total of 540. Deaths were unchanged at 10 and Tioga County reports 14 new cases for a total of 1,420.   The death rate in Tioga was again unchanged at 64.

Waverly, in Tioga County remains in a Yellow micro-cluster zone with restrictions on the size of gatherings, restaurant capacity and religious meeting size.

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