Coronavirus Update, July 22, 2020

Around 4,000 students at Cornell University live in restricted states on Governor Cuomo’s COVID-19 travel advisory list and will have to return to Ithaca two weeks before classes start in order to comply, the Cornell Daily Sun reports.

Students from these states will return by August 17th in order to attend classes on September 2nd. They will be provided with their housing and meals if living on-campus, as well as a location for quarantining if necessary. Students in off-campus housing will have to remain in their houses.

The travel advisory list now applies to 31 states as of Tuesday and is based on a rolling average of a rate of positive tests greater than 10 percent or a rate of positive cases larger than 10 per 100,000 residents for seven days in a row.

With 3 new added cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins County as of Wednesday, and 1 more recovery, there are currently 35 active cases in the county. Two of the four people hospitalized for the virus in Tompkins have been discharged as of today. In Schuyler County, there were no new cases of COVID-19 reported as of Wednesday, according to their Health Department. There are 4 active cases, and 17 recoveries in the area.

At the meeting for the Tompkins County legislature held yesterday, County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa and County administrator Jason Molino provided some guidance on the recent surges of COVID-19 in the county, as well as updates to the 2020 budget. 

As written in a press release from the County, while discussing the impacts of colleges returning next month, Kruppa said, “this is not a student problem to-date, what we know about our cases so far is that it is community behavior, not student behavior." It was noted during the meeting that an increase in cases is attributed to individuals going out of and returning to the area. Kruppa is urging residents to quarantine for the full 14 day period, as even getting tested early in that time does not mean someone will not get the virus. 

County Administrator Jason Molino has also clarified ways that the Legislature will make up for losses in revenue in the 2020 county budget. Those include continued furloughs to county staff, a reduction in fourth quarter payments to supporting agencies, among other measures. Employees who are furloughed will still get access to health benefits, and positions will not be eliminated. 

The annual Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival has joined the list of the city’s canceled events for the remainder of 2020.

The Downtown Ithaca Alliance announced the cancellation Monday due to uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Ithaca Times reports. The other  Downtown Ithaca events that have been canceled include Welcome Student Weekend, Fashion Week, Halloween on the Commons, Chowder Cook-Off and Santa’s Arrival.

The remainder of the 2020 CFCU Summer Concert Series organized by the DIA will be held virtually, and they are planning to hold other events virtually as well.

New York Governor Cuomo announced Tuesday that fall college sports in New York will not be allowed to have fans in the stands, according to the Times Union. The announcement comes after many schools have cancelled their seasons for the rest of the year, but if and when some fall seasons do happen, there will be no spectators allowed.

The program that is expected to be affected the most is the D1 Syracuse football team. As a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the football team is still scheduled to play a full schedule this fall. While their games will be allowed to be televised, there will be no fans in the stands.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Interns Jon Donville and Phoebe Harms