Coronavirus Update, March 25, 2020

The Tompkins County Health Department has announced a confirmed COVID-19 case in a food worker in Ithaca. The individual worked two shifts at Mango Mango Dessert, located at 159 Dryden Rd., in Ithaca.

The health department is asking that if you ate at Mango Mango Dessert Saturday, March 14 from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM or Sunday, March 15 from 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM, please take the following steps: Self-quarantine in your home for 14 days from the date you were at the restaurant. Check for any symptoms of cough, fever, and shortness of breath. If you do develop symptoms, seek testing at the Cayuga Health Sampling Site located at The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd., between the hours of 10am-3pm Monday through Friday. Pre-register online or call the Cayuga Health Registration Line at 607-319-5708.

As of the time of broadcast, there are 23 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins county. There are no confirmed cases of the virus in Schuyler County.

In New York Governor Cuomo’s press conference this morning, he reported that there are over 30,000 cases of the virus state-wide. According to the Times Union, those cases also include a number of people who may have recovered from the virus. As of right now, New York State Department of Health officials have not made a statement about whether they’re tracking resolved cases. State Health Department Commissioner Howard Zucker, said at the conference, that there are, "hundreds and hundreds of people who have left the hospital and those individuals have resolved, and there are many other individuals who never even came into a hospital."

Early Wednesday morning Congress and the White House reached a deal for $2 trillion dollars in government relief for the US in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York Times reports that the legislation is the biggest economic stimulus package in recent American History. 

The deal includes an expansion of benefits that would extend unemployment insurance by 13 weeks and include a four-month enhancement of benefits, according to the New York Times. Essentially, workers could maintain their full pay if they lost work amidst the spread of COVID-19. The measure would also apply to gig workers and freelancers. $1,200 would go to workers with incomes up to $75,000 per year, and families would receive an extra $500 per child in the household.

Under the agreement, $100 billion would go to hospitals, and $150 billion would go to local and state governments. Additionally, the latest bill includes stricter oversight of a $500 billion fund to bail out businesses in distress. 

Senate leaders may vote on the stimulus bill later Wednesday, and the House will follow Thursday.

Tompkins Financial Corporation has announced a relief program for its local business and retail clients, the Ithaca Times reports. 

The local bank will be deferring all commercial loans for up to 60 days.  It also offers loan relief options for retail customers.

Stephen Romaine is the President and CEO of Tompkins Financial.  In a statement, he acknowledged his bank’s duty to its small business and retail customers.  He adds that, as a community bank, Tompkins Financial hopes that other local banks will duplicate its model of loan deferment.

Tompkins informs its commercial and retail customers that if they experience difficulty with loan repayment, they should contact their banker by phone or call their customer care line at 1-888-273-3210.

A group called Ithaca Mask Makers intends to help remedy the shortage of masks for healthcare workers in need.

The group was formed by 30 year old Adrienne Huffman. According to the Ithaca Times, she posted on Ithaca’s subreddit asking if anyone would be interested in joining a group that would help make masks to combat the growing shortage of masks. Anyone interested in helping out can contact Huffman at