Coronavirus Update, April 20, 2020

As of today New York State has over 242,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, according to the state department of health. There are no new confirmed cases of the virus in Schuyler County, and according to health department officials the caseload stands at 9, with all cases having recovered. 236 people have been tested in total. In Tompkins County, over the weekend the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased to 123. According to the Tompkins county health department, 6 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19. 94 of the positive cases have seen resolved symptoms, and close to 2900 people have been tested in total.

Ithaca College has established an emergency relief fund for current students facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. 

Bonnie Prunty, the Dean of Students at IC said, “A number of students have come forward with concerns about how they will continue paying their rent, buying groceries...other students report not having access to laptops or Wi-Fi, further complicating remote instruction.”

The fund, IC Cares: Bombers Helping Bombers, can be found on the Ithaca College website. Anyone who donates will have their contributions matched by alumni donors who have pledged to match donations up to 50 thousand dollars. 

Tompkins Cortland Community College is also extending financial help to their students in need. 

For years before the pandemic, the TC3 Foundation has had an emergency fund to help students deal with emergency expenses such as unanticipated medical and transportation needs. Now the fund will be expanded to include new types of emergency expenses –– especially those associated with the College’s change to remote learning such as computer tablets, internet connectivity, and specialty software needs.

Current TC3 students in need of financial help adjusting to the new technological demands of remote learning can apply for assistance by emailing the Vice President of Student Services at

Over the weekend The Tompkins County Health Department announced a new effort to produce and distribute cloth masks for essential workers in the area. Any essential business that wants to request cloth masks for their employees can do so through a process set up by the Tompkins County Emergency Operations Center.

Currently, the TCHD is seeking folks who have sewing experience, but they are also seeking volunteers who can cut materials and support the sewers. The Health department is also asking for people to provide a sewing machine to the effort for use at the production facility. 

Information for persons unavailable to volunteer onsite but interested in volunteering to make masks at home with their own materials can visit For mask-making volunteer inquiries, and to sign-up, email

Contributing writing by WRFI News Volunteer Anna Lamb.