Broome County’s pandemic State of Emergency is over and its senior centers are again offering services including hot meals and social programs.

County Executive Jason Garnar says with the new infection rates of one or two a day and several days with no new fatalities from COVID-19, he would not renew the executive State of Emergency order in place for 475 days after it expired at 3 p.m. July 1. The Democrat says there are no restrictions remaining, so there was no reason to continue the historic order, which was the longest ever emergency declaration in effect in county history.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News

During the health crisis of 2020, an Emergency Operations Center was opened and help coordinate the collection and distribution of personal protective equipment like face masks, gloves, respirators and gowns, get 1.2 million meals to students who were forced to learn at home without the access to normal school breakfast and lunch programs and, with the Health Department, helped oversee testing for and tracking of the virus.  The E.O.C. is now being closed.

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Meanwhile, the new director of the Broome County Office for Aging, Mary Whitcombe announced June 26-27 on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up, that all eight senior centers and two adult day care programs have reopened to the public.  Those services were shut down by pandemic restrictions, cutting off socialization and other benefits for the senior population.  Whitcombe says, however, a good thing to come out of the crisis was the development of a virtual senior center, connecting residents to seniors all over the state.

You can hear more about Broome’s Office for Aging and senior programs featured on Southern Tier Close Up on the WNBF podcast.

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