Coronavirus Update, June 4, 2020

In Tompkins County the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 stands at 163, as of Thursday. According to the Tompkins County health department, 0 are hospitalized for the virus. 142 of the positive cases have recovered, and over 10,600 people have been tested in total. 

There were 14 confirmed cases of the virus in Schuyler County as of Friday. According to health department officials 13 out of 14 people who were infected with the virus have recovered. Over 1700 people have been tested in total.

There are over 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 in New York State as of Thursday, bringing the statewide total to over 375,000, according to the state department of health.

At New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s press conference Thursday, Cuomo announced that anyone who has attended any protest in the state qualifies to get tested for COVID-19. 

Additionally, schools in New York will be permitted to hold drive-in and drive-through graduation ceremonies this year. The possibility of socially-distanced outdoor commencement ceremonies will be decided at a later time.

Ourbus is resuming their route from Ithaca to New York City after nearly two months without operation. According to the Ithaca Voice, the bus service will operate on a reduced schedule on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday due to a lower demand. 

Social distancing measures will be taking place on the buses. They will not be filled to more than 50% capacity, and drivers and riders will be required to wear masks. Additionally, the surfaces on the bus will be sanitized often.

Child care services were deemed essential business during the stay-at-home order, but have experienced financial troubles and a decrease in enrollment, reports Times Union.

According to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, 28 percent of child care providers outside of New York City have closed as of May 21. Care services that are still open experienced reduced enrollment and stated there was a shortage of resources before COVID-19.

The Brightside Up Executive Director says providers that are still open have adjusted floor layouts and protections for workers and children. $30 million of New York state’s federal CARES act funding were scholarships for childcare essential workers. Raising NY wants NY state to invest some of the remaining $134 million federal funding available in childcare. 

The New York State Thruway will resume accepting cash at its tolls after suspending the option because of coronavirus since March 22, reports Auburn Citizen.

Toll booth staff will take safety measures when handling tickets and cash, such as wearing medical masks, sanitizing work stations and installing plexiglass. 

Restarting the ticketed system will not affect drivers who use E-ZPass. The Thruway will likely transition to a cashless system by the end of 2020. Drivers who do not have E-ZPass and used the Thruway while the cash system was suspended will receive a bill in the mail.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Interns Tessie Devlin and Jon Donville