Broome County is again reporting two new deaths from the coronavirus bringing the death toll to 19 while hospitalizations are on the decline. 

County Executive Jason Garnar says in spite of the rise in deaths, which could be attributed to a lag in the passing of a patient from their being hospitalized, he believes Broome is ready to start discussions with the state about being among one of the first regions to “unpause” and start to slowly reopen businesses.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file photo)

April 27, Governor Andrew Cuomo said some areas of the state, including Central New York and the North Country could be taken off pause before other areas so long as they have plans for controlling the opening of businesses while maintaining public health and not overwhelming hospitals should cases of COVID-19 start to rise again.

Garnar says the State has provided the regional results of anti-body testing which shows the Southern Tier at less than 3% indicating they had the coronavirus.  He says that information and the county’s record of tracking every positive case, leads him to believe the area is ready to start talking with the state about how to gradually turn on the economy.

The Democrat says it’s already believed the reopening will be done with regulations requiring masks, social distancing and temperature checks.

The Governor said over the weekend construction and some manufacturing could be ready to resume by mid-May.