In Tompkins County the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 stands at 137 as of Thursday. According to the Tompkins county health department, 1 person remains hospitalized for the virus. 116 of the positive cases have recovered, and close to 5700 people have been tested in total. 

According to the Health Department, the GreenStar Food Co-op employee that tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday reportedly worked a shift on Monday, May 11, that was not previously announced. 

Customers may have been exposed either on Friday, May 8, 7:00AM – 3:15PM, Saturday, May 9, 7:00AM – 3:15PM, and Monday, May 11th from 10:30AM – 7:00PM. If you shopped at the store during these periods, the Health Department asks that you get tested at the Cayuga Health Sampling Site between the hours of 9am-3pm Monday through Friday at 40 Catherwood Rd. Pre-register online cayugahealthsystem.org or call 607-319-5708.

The Health department asks that any person who may have been exposed to self-quarantine in their home for 14 days from the last date they shopped at the location. If the result is negative, the Health department asks that they continue to self-quarantine and monitor for the full 14 days from the last time they shopped at GreenStar. If symptoms of cough, fever, and shortness of breath, seek testing again. Again, this applies to customers who may have been exposed on Friday, May 8, 7:00AM – 3:15PM, or Saturday, May 9, 7:00AM – 3:15PM, or Monday May 11, 10:30AM – 7:00PM at Greenstar on 770 Cascadilla Street.

There were no new confirmed cases of the virus in Schuyler County today. According to health department officials 9 out of 10 other people who were infected with the virus have recovered. 728 people have been tested in total.

The Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, or CHESS, will restart operations next month for research related to the treatment of COVID-19, according to the Cornell Chronicle.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the research will focus on cancer-fighting enzyme blockers which could also be used as inhibitors for COVID-19 and other future viruses.

The lab studies enzymes that play a crucial role in the metabolism of cancer cells as well as viruses like the one responsible for COVID-19. Viruses depend on these enzymes for their infection, replication and transmission. X-Ray crystallography performed at CHESS is unique and will reveal structural differences that cannot be determined through other types of imaging. These structural pictures will be useful in designing drugs to combat viral infections in the future.

No live infectious cultures of COVID-19 will be involved in the research, and the results can help scientists prepare for future infectious diseases.  

A Senate hearing with top health officials left many questions unanswered regarding whether or not college campuses can reopen in the fall, according to the Cornell Daily Sun.

In the May 12 hearing, top health officials met with members of the Senate to explore the policies regarding the reopening of America, including safely reopening schools and college campuses. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci informed Senators that there will be no vaccine treatment to help schools reopen in August.  The closest treatment option to give student’s hope is a serum which contains antibodies from the blood of those who have recovered. Fauci stressed that the focus should not  be on treating an entire campus, but making them feel safe. He emphasized the importance of wide-spread testing. By August, the US will have a testing capacity of 25 to 30 million tests per month.

The Southern Tier will meet the criteria for reopening tomorrow, but incoming students from all over the world could complicate the reopening. Cornell President Martha Pollack has announced the creation of 4 planning committees tasked with evaluating pathways to reopen certain campus activities. The results will be presented this month and next.

The Hangar Theatre Company is presenting “The Skin of Our Teeth” at a one-time virtual event, according to a theater press release. The theater’s 46th summer season will open with a reading of Thornton Wilder’s 1942 classic on Saturday, May 23. The cast includes over 20 artists. 

The 1943 Pulitzer Prize winning play is about the history of mankind told through one family. The audience follows the Antrobuses, who live a seemingly normal life in 20th century New Jersey, as they escape catastrophic historical events including the Ice Age, the Great Flood, and a catastrophic war - all by the skin of their teeth. 

The Hangar Theater’s Artistic Director considers the topic of people surviving extraordinary times to be relevant to our community right now. He also sees the virtual platform as a way to serve the audience by providing theater in a collaborative, yet safe, way.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Volunteer Susan Fortson