ELMIRA, NY (WETM)- While the nation mourns 1 million lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, Steuben County has reached a grim milestone of its own.

Steuben County has recorded just over 300 lives lost to the virus, this comes as cases in the Southern Tier rapidly spread.

Steuben County has had its highs and lows when it comes to the pandemic, says Public Health Director Darlene Smith.

Steuben County is still in a bit of a surge right now, averaging over 100 cases a day.

However, that number could be higher, if someone takes an at-home test they may not report it online.

Hospitalization rates are remaining low, which Smith believes is due to people being fully vaccinated.

“Our hospitalizations remained fairly low, at 11. And our deaths have certainly slowed way, way down. The last death we reported was about 10 days ago, but prior to that one, it had been a month since we reported a death,” says Smith.

She adds that she is optimistic that those positive cases will continue to drop as the weather warms up and people start spending more time outdoors.