As of 6 p.m., in Tompkins County the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 stands at 134 from over the weekend. According to the Tompkins county health department, 1 person remains hospitalized for the virus, and 1 was discharged over the weekend. 114 of the positive cases have recovered, and over 4800 people have been tested in total. There is 1 new confirmed case of the virus in Schuyler County, in an asymptomatic patient. According to health department officials all 9 other people who were infected with the virus have recovered. 640 people have been tested in total.

The Governor said at his press conference Tuesday that New York will need $61 billion in federal support so state leaders won’t have to make 20% cuts to local governments, hospitals, and schools. According to the New York Times, the Governor also noted that it would be impossible for the state to go back to normal without funding needed to develop more testing and contact tracing.

This announcement comes alongside reports that top health experts told U.S. senators that if the country reopens too quickly there will be a spike in the virus. Additionally, House Democrats revealed a $3 trillion economic relief measure in response to the pandemic. The aid includes $1 trillion in aid to tribal, state, and local governments, another $1200 in payment to the American people and a $25 billion bailout for the US Postal Service.

Following Greenstar’s opening of their new flagship store, the co-op has announced that they have sold their Space@GreenStar property located at 700 West Buffalo Street.   Before the new owner occupies the property, the gathering space is temporarily being used as a food hub site.

Tompkins County legislator Anna Kelles  is credited with coming up with the idea to use the vacant space as a food hub. In her role as a founder of the Tompkins County food systems task force, Kelles saw the need for a central location for the hub. She told the Ithaca Voice that the new owners essentially handed her the keys to 700 Buffalo so that it could be used as a food hub.

The 700 W. Buffalo site, together with other properties at 702 through 706 West Buffalo will eventually be developed into a mixed-use complex.  For now, the Space is hosting a Food Hub used by the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, various meals and CSAs.

Tenants and landlords that have questions about their rights amid COVID-19 pandemic can get some answers during a virtual presentation this Thursday.

According to the Ithaca Voice, the Cornell Cooperative Extension has set up the Zoom meeting with Assistant Attorney General Michael Danaher Jr. He will be hosting a Consumer Issues program during which tenants and landlords can learn about issues such as leasing, how security deposits are managed, and when, and how, evictions can occur.

During the meeting, Danaher will take general questions from attendees through the chat-box function on the Zoom meeting platform. He will not be able to provide individual consultations during the meeting.

Danaher has hosted regular meetings at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Tompkins County for the past two decades.  Listeners who would like to attend the virtual meeting should sign up at ccetompkins.org/events. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cornell University suspended classes on Friday, March 13.  Following the resumption of classes, the administration announced on April 5th that they would offer students the option to take a grade of satisfactory/unsatisfactory for one or more of their classes.  Students can decide to take this option up to the end of the last day of classes -- which is today.

The Cornell Daily Sun reports that, despite offering this policy, the university administration has failed to compel professors to provide students with preliminary grades. So many students are left in the dark as to whether they should take the S/U option.

After Provost Michael Kotlikoff made the announcement on April 5, a number of student groups lobbied for the University to enact what they called universal S/U.  The student groups pointed out that the necessity of having to take classes from home, placed hardships on underprivileged students. Other students asked for an opt-in S/U grading system, which is what the administration eventually decided on.

Some students expressed concern that graduate schools would not look positively on an S/U grade. In response, the Cornell Graduate School released a statement indicating that it would recognize the difficulties encountered by students during this semester when examining the transcripts of future applicants.

Ithaca City School District students have received plant kits that include a small plant, seeds, and instructions. This is thanks to a joint effort by the Frank Lab at Cornell and the Ithaca Children’s Garden. 

According to the Cornell Daily Sun, the project sprouted in March after both the lab and the garden shut down their physical spaces due to the pandemic. ICSD is using district school buses to bring the plant kits to students ranging from Pre-K to seniors in high school. 

The project aims to provide a hands-on experience to educate students about plant science and provide them a way to interact with nature while sheltering at home. Students are encouraged to send pictures of their growing plants to the project leaders, who will use the photos to create a video at the end of the project.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Volunteers Esther Racoosin and Pamela Tan