In Tompkins County the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has increased by 1, to 146. According to the Tompkins county health department, 1 person remains hospitalized for the virus. 121 of the positive cases have recovered. In the last day, over 1200 more people have been tested in total, bringing the total number to over 8200. The drive thru sampling site at The Shops at Ithaca Mall has differing hours for the week of May 18-25. Friday, it’s open 8:30 AM–4:00 PM, the site is also open Saturday from 8:30 AM–12:00 Noon, and closed Monday, May 25 or Memorial Day. Pre-register online at or call 607-319-5708.

There was 1 new confirmed case of the virus in Schuyler County as of Thursday. According to health department officials 10 out of 13 people who were infected with the virus have recovered. Over 1000 people have been tested in total.

Statewide, there were about 2,000 new cases detected as of Thursday, according to the state department of health. This brings the total number of cases in New York to over 356,000.

It was announced Thursday by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that distance learning will continue through the summer, with all summer school classes being held virtually. A decision from the state about the fall semester, in addition to guidelines surrounding school reopening, will be issued next month. Then in July, K-12 schools, and colleges will be required to submit plans to the state about reopening. 

Additionally, the Governor is reminding residents not to ignore calls labeled from “New York State Contact Tracing” as the state puts its contact tracing program into place.

The Tompkins Cortland Community College athletic department turned on the lights of the Panthers Stadium Thursday night at 8:20 to pay tribute to the class of 2020. 

The graduation ceremony was originally scheduled to be held today and turning on the lights at the end of the ceremony is a tradition.

TC3 Director of Athletics Mick McDaniel had the idea to turn on the lights for seniors. He says, “we want to use this little gesture as a way of letting our College community know we haven’t forgotten what this day was supposed to be.”

The college is planning a commencement ceremony for the class of 2020, but the date has not been determined. 

All summer camp services in the Town of Newfield have been canceled, reports The Ithaca Voice.

Newfield Town Board members tried to determine a way for camps to remain open and adhere to current regulations and social distancing guidelines, but they were unable to do so. The town would not have a location for the camp, because Newfield District schools are unavailable. 

The Newfield Recreation Supervisor says the Recreation Department is working on possible summer programs and is looking to the Tompkins County Health Department for guidelines on safe programming.

On May 28, the Newfield Town Board is meeting to analyze the budget to make sure there is not a shortfall for the fiscal year. There have not been any budget changes yet, but Town Supervisor Michael Allinger anticipates proposals at that meeting.  

Additionally, Newfield is selected for the Cornell Design Connect program for Fall 2020, where students will study and design municipal changes for the town.

Watkins Glen International racetrack has stated they will continue to work with NASCAR, health experts and government officials to open safely to protect the competitors, staff and the community. This comes following New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that Watkins Glen International racetrack can open without crowds or fans on June 1st, reports Observer Review.

Watkins Glen International is changing its schedule because of COVID-19. Six Hours of the Glen is rescheduled for October 1-4 2020. The SCCA Majors Super Tour, which was scheduled for June 19-21, is now canceled. Additionally, the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, scheduled for July 10-12, is postponed until 2021.

NASCAR returned to racing this past Sunday, May 17 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina with no fans in attendance. The sport is running on a modified schedule. 

2.4 million workers filed new unemployment claims last week as states allow businesses to reopen, reports Politico. 

In the span of 9 weeks, around 39 million Americans have become jobless and rely on state benefits due to coronavirus.

Economic Policy Institute Senior Economist Heidi Shierholz says the number of claims filed last week are more likely to be around 4.4 million. 2.2 million people applied for regular state unemployment programs and around 2.2 million Americans applied for the temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

New York state was second to California for the highest number of new claims last week with an estimated 226,521 new claims. 

Federal Reserve officials say that if there are various outbreaks as state’s relax lockdown orders, there could be a long and severe recession in the US.

The House passed a $3 trillion stimulus bill on Friday that will expand some unemployment benefits and more direct payments for the public. However, the Trump Administration and Republicans plan to wait to see the effect of the three relief packages passed in March.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Intern Tessie Devlin