There continues to be encouraging news in the Southern Tier on the pandemic front. For a second day in a row, Broome, Chenango and Cortland Counties are all reporting a slow drop in the number of active cases of COVID-19 while hospitalizations are also creeping down in Broome County.  Broome, however, reported another death due to the pandemic, bringing the death toll Wednesday, January 12 to 472.

Kathy Whyte/WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/WNBF News
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Chenango County’s pandemic numbers are pointing up a flaw in keeping accurate tallies.  While the county has been posting daily updates weekdays, including as deaths, the morbidity numbers have taken a big, one-day jump, but only due to a big lag in reporting. The County on Tuesday, January 11 listed 98 deaths while the day before that number had been at 92.  County health officials explained the additional deaths actually happened between November 21 and December 27.  They did not explain why there had been such a big lag in reporting.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
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While numbers are showing some improvement, health officials are warning residents not to let their guard down and that includes proper masking.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky on January 12 said the CDC is not going to change its recommendations for mask-wearing to push products like the N95 or KN95 respirators that better filter out small particulates over other face coverings.  The CDC director said the agency would rather have people wear whatever mask they can tolerate indoors than none at all. She summed up that the best mask is the one someone will keep on.  During a news briefing, CDC officials indicated there were updates planned to the agency website to help people in selecting the best masks.

Meanwhile, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Ziets also said the White House is looking at improving accessibility to high-quality face coverings that were in short supply and reserved for medical staff at the start of the pandemic.

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