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Broome County Health Department and area hospital officials are expressing concern about an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in recent days.

United Health Services Hospitals, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and Broome Health Director Mary McFadden say the latest, highly contagious, Omicron subvariant is responsible for the surge in many regions, including in Broome and more people are ending up in intensive care.

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UHS and Lourdes both say many of those hospitalized have not been vaccinated at all or lacking a timely booster shot against COVID-19.

Speaking on The weekly, local public affairs program Southern Tier Close Up May 14-15 on Townsquare Binghamton radio stations, McFadden said she was concerned that only 65 percent of Broome residents were fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID.

You can hear the entire Southern Tier Close Up May 14 program on WNBF's podcast.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
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The health director and hospitals this week urged resident to “take appropriate measures to keep themselves safe” including getting the free vaccine and booster shots.  Vaccine clinic locations and times can be found at www.gobroomecounty.com.

People who are vulnerable to becoming seriously ill and those gathering in public indoor spaces should consider wearing masks to protect themselves. Residents should test following suspected exposure or if they exhibit symptoms. Free home tests kits are available at the Broome County Health Department on Front Street and if you test positive, contact your physician about antiviral treatments.

McFaden says “We understand the public may be tired of dealing with the virus, but we still need to maintain our vigilance.” "It’s important everyone do their part to keep each other safe.” 

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