Coronavirus Update, June 23, 2020

Cornell University announced yesterday that two of the four committees appointed by President Martha Pollack have submitted their reports for plans for the fall semester. According to the Cornell Daily Sun, the 97 page report from the Committee on Teaching Re-activation Operations gave the first glimpse at some of the possible changes coming to the university. 

The report was generally supportive of re-opening in-person instruction in the fall. Some of the possible changes that would occur include requiring community members to take part in daily health assessments, seasonal influenza immunizations, and requiring masks indoors as well as outdoors when physically distancing is not possible. Included in the plan is large scale testing, and mandatory training for all students. 

Academically, the plan recommended that the classrooms only allow students to sit six feet apart from each other. This would reduce classroom capacity to 13-24% of what it currently is. The committee also recommended getting rid of all quad and triple rooms in residences, and shifting Cornell dining to a take out service.

Cornell is expected to make a full proposal to the state in the coming weeks. 

Ithaca College has also provided an update on their schedule for the upcoming year, according to the Ithacan. 

The plan now includes 4 options. As of now, classes will begin in person on October 5th, but there were three other plans released that would include 1,2,or 3 weeks of online instruction before the beginning of in person classes. The October start date is to allow time for the school’s residences to be cleaned properly, following the phased move out that is scheduled for the summer. 

The last day of the academic year is proposed to be May 20, with a commencement on May 23. The previously released commencement date conflicted with Cornell commencement. 

Officials from the school also indicated a desire to finish final exams in December, rather than January as previously proposed. This would allow for December graduates to finish on time and allow students to take winter classes.

The school said they hope to have a full schedule proposal by the end of this month. 

Ithaca City School District will provide food during the summer via grab and go pick-up services. Ithaca Voice reports that ICSD has been offering delivery only food services since March to prevent spreading coronavirus. This program will end on June 25.

The free and reduced-priced meals pick-up will be from July 13-August 14 between 9 am-10:30 am Monday- Friday. It is available to any student and can be picked up at Caroline Elementary at 2439 Slaterville Road, Enfield Elementary at 20 Enfield Main Road, Beverly J. Martin Elementary at 302 West Buffalo Street, West Village Apartments at 150 West Village Place, Northside Community Center at 635 Hancock Street, and DeWitt Middle School at 560 Warren Road.

Weekly menus are on the ICSD website and Ithaca School Food Facebook page. Questions can be directed to (607) 274-2302.

Looking to COVID-19 case numbers, the total number of confirmed cases stands at 166 as of today in Tompkins County. According to the Tompkins county health department, 165 of those patients have recovered, and over 14,600 people have been tested in total. 

According to Schuyler health department all 14 people infected with the virus have recovered. Over 2,800 people have been tested in total.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Interns Jon Donville and Tessie Devlin