Broome County officials say in the wake of Harpursville Central Schools having to go to remote learning until after Thanksgiving due to an outbreak of COVID-19 and staff shortages, other districts are also keeping close tabs on infection rates.

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Several districts in the region, according to the New York State COVID tracker for schools, are showing jumps in cases of infection in the elementary schools.

As of November 15, no other districts were reporting district-wide remote learning.

Chenango Valley had over 40 elementary school students who had tested positive as of the report on November 12.  Binghamton City Schools had 22 students in the elementary and middle schools and 14 in the high school testing positive. Vestal Schools had 49 cases reported in elementary students, 24 in the middle school and 24 in the high school.  Johnson City showed 51 students in the elementary school, 21 in the middle and 21 in the high schools. Chenango Forks had 22 positives in the elementary school, 22 in the senior high school and 13 in the middle school. Maine Endwell had 51 positives in the elementary schools, 28 in the middle school and 24 in the high school. Susquehanna Valley showed 34 cases in the elementary schools, 15 in the middle school and 18 in the senior high school.

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Broome Deputy County Executive Michael Ponticello says there was a 21% increase in COVID cases county-wide in the past week with over half of them in children under 16. In the weekly COVID-19 briefing, Ponticello said 60% of cases in the county are in residents under the age of 40. He says the cases are being linked back to household spread following Halloween parties where people were not wearing face coverings that are effective in blocking the virus.

The County Health Department is working to host more vaccination clinics in schools and parents can contact their pediatrician or even pharmacies to schedule appointments for vaccinating their children.

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