Coronavirus Update, July 31, 2020

Cornell University has announced that students returning to Ithaca from states that are currently on the travel advisory list will not be provided quarantine housing on campus. According to the Cornell Daily Sun, the reversal of policy will require those individuals to either find their own accommodations off-campus where they can spend 14 days in quarantine, or remain in their home state or region until the travel restrictions are removed.  

International students will still be provided with quarantine accommodations, according to the email sent out last night by Provost Michael Kotlikoff and VP of Student and Campus life Ryan Lombardi. 

The announcement comes amid concerns about the impact on the community of the students’ return will have on Ithaca, and as schools across the country backtrack from their in person plans and take classes completely online 

Some students have expressed concerns that the university might cancel in-person instruction, given that course enrollment has been pushed back into August, and the behavioral compact isn't ready. In the email, Cornell officials also announced that all students will have to sign the behavioral compact, not just those living on campus.  

Looking at the local COVID-19 caseload, as of Friday, there are no new cases of the virus, and 5 recoveries in Tompkins County. According to the Health Department, there are 28 active cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins.

In Schuyler County, there is 1 active case of COVID-19 as of Friday, according to their Health Department. All other active cases have recovered.

Monday, August 2nd through Saturday August 8th will mark national farmer's market week, and markets across New York State have plans to celebrate. 

The Odessa file reports that markets in the state will be participating in the Give Back NY program which is a way for markets to thank the communities that have supported them throughout the pandemic. During the week, markets will host local food pantries at their markets, who will be accepting food donations. 

In Schuyler county, the Sunset View market will be hosting the Catholic Charities and Schuyler county food pantry on Thursday August 6th from 4-7PM. The Sunset View market is located at 1618 County Road 15 in Odessa.

In New York State News,

Governor Cuomo is postponing New York’s proposed 3 billion dollar “Restore Mother Nature Bond Act” over concerns about the state’s finances amid economic fallout from the pandemic.

WXXI news reports that the loan would have gone to environmental projects related to climate. The State Division of Budget thought it would be unwise to take on further debt, considering the state is already expecting to see a $14 Billion dollar deficit next year due to the pandemic. 

Governor Cuomo proposed the act in January, and was approved by lawmakers in early April. The legislation passed in April gave the division of budget the right to pull the act off the ballot this year. 

Cuomo told the press he would try to pass the bill again next year, but at this point removing the bill from the ballot is considered repealing it. Therefore if Cuomo wants to get it back on the public ballot next year, state lawmakers will need to review the bill again.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Intern Jon Donville and News Volunteer Esther Racoosin