Post-holiday Omicron Covid surge hits Yates County

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express

222 news cases and one death reported since new year began

YATES COUNTY — The combination of the omicron variant and holiday gatherings has resulted in a predictable surge in new COVID-19 cases. Last week, the state delivered a supply of KN95 masks to be distributed for free within the county. With the help of Yates County Emergency Management, distributions sites were quickly established.

Free KN95 masks are available for Yates County residents at these locations.

Yates County Public Health reported Jan. 3 that they received 102 new cases over the New Year's holiday weekend: Thursday (40), Friday (36), Saturday (12), Sunday (14), with 59 cases reported recovered.

The new cases reside in the towns of Barrington (2), Benton (10), Italy (5), Jerusalem (13), Middlesex (4), Milo (30), Potter (9), Starkey (24), and Torrey (5).

They also received notification of a COVID-19 related death of an individual in their 70s.

The update on Jan. 4 reported 28 new cases with eight cases recovering. The new cases reside in the towns of Barrington (3), Benton (2), Jerusalem (4), Middlesex (2), Milo (8), Potter (7), and Starkey (2).

Public Health's report of Jan. 5 showed a 14.51% positivity average.

The update on Jan. 5 reported 45 new cases with 17 cases recovering. The new cases reside in the town of Barrington (4), Benton (5), Jerusalem (6), Milo (22), Potter (4), and Starkey (4).

The COVID 19 update of Jan. 6 reported 47 new cases, one hospitalization, and 67  cases recovering. The age range of new cases is 1-year-old through the 70s. Total active cases: 142. Total cases to date: 2,776.

"We are extremely busy and inundated with new cases," states YCPH on its Facebook page, "and we are trying our very best to reach everyone in a timely manner with the help from the N.Y.S. case investigation team ... Thank you for your continued support!"

Due to the high volume of cases, if you tested positive for COVID-19, it will be several days until someone reaches out to you about your positive test results. Please follow these instructions.

Shortened daily updates will continue for the interim during this very busy time for their department. The Yates County COVID-19 Dashboard is also updated every Monday.

New testing site in Watkins Glen

In an attempt to get through the winter surge, the New York State Department of Health is launching new COVID-19 testing sites throughout the state – one of which will be in Watkins Glen. Registration is encouraged, however, walk-ins are also welcome. To register for an appointment visit

A new testing site has opened in Watkins Glen.

For more information on the new COVID-19 testing sites visit

For more information and to fill out a COVID-19 self-reporting form please click the following link: