Nine of the new COVID-19 cases reported in Tompkins county this past week are related to a social gathering where participants did not wear masks or follow social distancing guidelines. The Tompkins County Health Department announced the news in a press release yesterday, adding that multiple attendees at said gathering had also travelled or returned from states that are on New York’s mandatory quarantine list.

All of the positive cases are now in isolation, and immediate contacts are also in mandatory quarantine. Public Health Director Frank Kruppa says that there were not believed to be any public exposures of the virus outside of the social gathering.

As of Monday, there is 1 new case of COVID-19 in Tompkins County. There are now 35 active cases in Tompkins, and 184 recoveries. Close to 23,000 people have been tested for the virus.

In Schuyler County, there were no new cases of COVID-19 reported as of Tuesday, according to their Health Department. As of yesterday the 4 active cases have recovered, and there have been 21 cases of the virus total to date in Schuyler County.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has added three more states, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico to New York’s travel advisory list, due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

In a press conference held Tuesday, Governor Cuomo announced that Illinois, Kentucky, and Minnesota have been added to the mandatory quarantine list. Individuals coming from these states and regions will have to isolate for 14 days upon arrival to New York. These new additions join the 31 other states on the travel advisory list.

Governor Cuomo has again called on Congress for funding for state and local governments to be included in the next federal stimulus package. He has also extended an offer to have Major League Baseball teams play in New York if they are having difficulties in their home states, and said he would set up a health protocol.

Finally, the Governor also addressed recent violations of social distancing guidelines taking place in the state, including 26 violations observed by the State Liquor Authority and New York State Police Task Force.

United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul are advocating for increased child care spending in the state. The pair visited the Ithaca Children’s Center yesterday, and according to the Ithaca Voice, Gillibrand has pledged her support of the “Childcare is Essential Act” proposed as part of the next COVID-19 relief package. The act would give $50 billion to childcare providers for operational costs over the next five months.

Gillibrand says the childcare industry will need more than $9.6 billion per month to provide proper assistance for daycare centers. She expressed her concern that parents will not be able to return to the workforce if more federal funds are not allocated to child care.

A new analysis assessing a so-called “vulnerability score” says that over a dozen higher ed schools in New York may have to shut down in the next year due to economic hardship from the pandemic.

The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that New York University Marketing Professor Scott Galloway has outlined which schools in the country are expected to quote “perish, struggle, survive, and thrive,” unquote. He’s divided these schools into these groups based on traits such as endowments, and financial dependence on international students.

Galloway predicts that 90 schools will perish, 14 of which are in New York state, and 5 of those located upstate. Other New York schools are expected to thrive, like Cornell University, Hamilton College, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Syracuse University and the University of Rochester are among those expected to “survive.”

The schools predicted to “perish” are, Adelphi University, Bard College, Daemen College, Fordham University, Hofstra University, Long Island University, and Pace University. Galloway predicts that Sarah Lawrence College, Skidmore College, St. John’s University, St. Lawrence University, The New School, The Sage Colleges, and Yeshiva University are also predicted to close in the next year. Ithaca College is not listed among the over 400 schools considered in the study.

Beginning Wednesday July 29, the Main Lobby entrance to Schuyler Hospital will serve as the main entrance to the entire building. Outpatients and medical-surgical visitors will undergo COVID-19 screenings and have their temperatures taken at the new entrance.

The Odessa File reports that hours for the entrance will be Monday - Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors during other times should go through the Emergency Department admissions area, along with Emergency Department patients.

All visitors must follow Cayuga Health guidelines while at the hospital, and medical-surgical visitors are limited to one person at a time.

Cornell and Tompkins County Public Health Officials have responded to a series of concerns posed to the group by Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, on behalf of her constituents. This comes after Cornell’s announcement that they would be reopening the school on September 2nd with a hybrid model of a mix of in-person and online classes.

According to the Ithaca Voice, the submissions were the most frequently asked questions by residents in the 125th assembly district. The questions, submitted last monday, cover a number of topics, including concerns over how Cornell will test students, how they will discourage partying, and how the return of students will affect Tompkins County Health facilities.

Cornell President Martha Pollack, Tompkins Public Health Director Frank Kruppa , and Tompkins County legislature Chair Leslyn McBean Clairborne answered the questions late last week. In response to their answers, Lifton has voiced her support for Cornell’s rapid testing regimen, and that the school’s Student Behavioral Compact quote appears strong, noting the “rigorous enforcement and consequences, including possible expulsion, for violators.”

The Park Center for Independent Media, or PCIM, is holding an online panel tomorrow afternoon covering journalism work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and protests against racial injustice.

The event features Andrew Buncombe, Chief US correspondent at The Independent, Tara Conley, Assistant Professor of Transmedia Storytelling at Montclair State University.

D.D. Guttenplan, Editor at The Nation, and Amanda Silverman, Editorial Director at Mother Jones will also be on the panel, which will be moderated by PCIM Director Raza Rumi.

Panelists will review the mainstream media’s coverage of the pandemic and protests, and explore if recent reporting on racial justice protests represents a shift from the traditional underrepresentation of race in police stories.

The speakers will also explore how the pandemic is affecting independent media outlets, and what the future holds for indie media. This online panel discussion will be followed by a question and answer session.

The webinar takes place Wednesday, July 29, from 4-5:30pm and is being held via zoom video conferencing. Learn more and register for the event at

New York State is working to increase their supply of personal protective equipment, or PPE, and other medical equipment to avoid paying the high costs they had to pay during the first wave of the pandemic. According to the Albany Times Union, with a possible second wave of COVID-19 this fall, the Empire State development is working with over 20 companies to ramp up the production of PPE.

This move comes after the federal government declined to use the full power given to them under the Defense Production Act, which would have allowed them to take measures such as asking companies to prioritize government orders. This would have allowed the federal government to be the first group to access such materials, but instead local and state governments had to bid against each other for materials -- the cost of which grew significantly during the pandemic.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Interns Jon Donville and Phoebe Harms.