Coronavirus Update, August 11, 2020

The last of Watkins Glen International’s auto racing schedule was black-flagged earlier this week.

Auto racing fans witnessed a complete elimination of 2020 auto racing at the storied race course with the announcement that the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix on September 13th will have “no spectators”.  Other low profit races that same weekend from smaller organizers, including “GT World Challenge America” and “Ferrari Challenge North America” are “postponed”. Therefore, the races are waved off the track until next year, according to the Star Gazette.

The immensely profitable NASCAR races and the race “Six Hours at the Glen” were transferred to southern state venues where pandemic restrictions are far less stringent than in New York. Though, COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southern states are accelerating rapidly.  “Six Hours at the Glen” is part of the international endurance series which includes the “24 hours Nurburgring” in  Germany and “24 hours of LeMans” in France.

Ticket holders for this year’s black-flagged Watkins Glen races can get refunds or credit at the website

Looking at the local COVID-19 caseload, as of Monday there was 1 new case of the virus confirmed in Tompkins, and no new recoveries. According to the County Health Department, that leaves 13 active cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins.

In Schuyler County, again there are no new cases of COVID-19 reported as of Tuesday, according to their Health Department. All active cases have recovered.

On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Alaska, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington State have all been removed from New York’s travel advisory list. However, Hawaii, South Dakota, and the Virgin Islands now meet the metrics to qualify for the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from those areas to isolate for 14 days upon entering the state.

According to the Governor, individuals in quarantine after traveling from a state that is now removed from the advisory should continue to quarantine for the full 2 weeks.

Some New York schools are speaking out after Governor Cuomo said that their districts have yet to submit reactivation plans to the state - when in fact, those districts did submit plans by the July 31 deadline.

Finger Lakes 1 reports that Governor Cuomo says that over 100 districts in the state did not submit a plan for in-person learning. Among the 107 districts listed are Corning, Hammondsport, Odessa-Montour, Geneva, Seneca Falls, and others. The Governor notes that those districts have until this Friday to submit reactivation plans -- or else they can’t open this fall.

Seneca Falls Superintendent Jeramy Clingerman is backing the district’s work to assemble reactivation plans to the state.  in a letter to the community he states that the district formally submitted a plan on July 31, adding, “this is the same date we uploaded our plan to our district website.”

Contributing writing by WRFI News Volunteer Fred Balfour