While the number of new COVID-19 cases in New York State and the Southern Tier is taking a tick upward, mainly driven by the BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the region has gone its longest since the start of the pandemic with no additional deaths.

The streak ended March 24 when Broome’s death toll increased by one to 498.

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Prior to that, the last COVID-19 related death in the region was reported on March 15 when Cortland County’s deaths rose from 115 to 116 since the outbreak began in March 2020.

Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware and Tioga Counties had recorded new cases through the period, Broome County mostly in the double digits, but on one rare day last week, March 21, Delaware and Tioga County each recorded zero new cases of COVID-19.

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Statewide, the week marked a somber milestone. New York early in the week crossed the line of over 70,000 deaths due to the pandemic.  The addition of seven deaths put the state at 70,062 deaths officially attributed to the coronavirus pandemic but experts agree that number is much higher when unreported COVID deaths and deaths attributed to other health conditions that may have developed or been exacerbated by the virus, such as heart disease or respiratory illness.

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