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Broome County Health Department responds after four public health alerts of COVID-19 cases in one day

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(WBNG) -- With four public health alerts of positive COVID-19 cases in public locations, the Broome County Health Department is sharing their response as the county continues reopening.

The four alerts coming from Topper Eatery and Saloon in Endicott, Pete's Legacy Diner, Manni's Donuts and Diner, and Church of the Holy Family in Endwell.

However, the positive case at a church service happened on July 5. The public was notified of the exposure on July 16, 11 days after the event had happened.

"It's taken anywhere at times from seven to ten days to get test results back. We contact trace 48 hours before symptoms happen," said Broome County Health Department Director Rebecca Kaufman.

Between two days of tracing before symptoms, and waiting seven to ten days for the results, public alerts can end up delayed. While four alerts in one day sounds like a lot, it's not much of a surprise for the health department.

"We knew as we opened up the community, we would have to be making more public health alerts because people are going more places," said Kaufman.

The growing number of cases has lead to a constantly growing contact tracing team.

"We started with a small team, then we grew it to ten, and then up to 50, and we're currently not only using health department staff, but other county employees," said Kaufman.

As the reopening continues in the county, Kaufman says the health department is ready to go.

"I definitely expect these will continue," said Kaufman. "We do this just so everyone has the knowledge they were potentially exposed at one of these events or restaurants, or whatever it may be."

If you feel ill, the health department asks you to contact your medical provider. If you have to get tested for the coronavirus, health officials want you to stay home until you have received your results.

Tioga County also reported an exposure Thursday, citing a wedding on July 11 at Cornerstone at W&W in Apalachin.

Katie Jones

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