As Cornell students move into their living spaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic, those coming from states on the New York quarantine list must stay in their apartments for a period of 14 days. Because Cornell is supplying food only to students living in on- campus housing, students living off campus have to find a way to feed themselves while they are under quarantine.
Two Cornell sophomores saw the dilemma faced by these students and decided to start a free grocery delivery service.
On Monday, August 24th, Isabel Dawson and Hannah Robins, both from the class of 2023, initiated their delivery service by advertising it in a post on Cornell’s subreddit, the Cornell Daily Sun reports.
The students purchase groceries and other requested items from a number of different stores and restaurants in the Ithaca area. Cornellians who use the service need only pay for the cost of the goods.
Dawson, an Ithaca native, said she and Robins so far have completed 44 deliveries. She added that they foresee many more orders as students continue to move in this week.
Many local organizations have had their major yearly fundraising events upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Southern Tier AIDS Program, also known as STAP, usually has its major fundraiser, the Ride for Life, in early September. During the event, participants cycle around part or all of Cayuga lake.
Mary Kaminsky, STAP’s Director of Development, knew that this year, her organization would have to put on a virtual Ride for Life. The Ithaca Times reports that, this year, Kaminsky and colleagues decided to encourage their regulars to do anything, anywhere, anytime. This year’s virtual ride for life is underway until September 12.
Some cyclists, such as John Zisk, have decided to do their ride in other states. Zisk is cycling along the coast of Maine. Rider Lee Holman will ride around each of the Finger Lakes over the course of four weeks.
Kaminsky says that the COVID crisis has caused an uptick in drug overdoses, and they are doing their best to reach out to clients. Listeners can learn more at aidsrideforlife.org.
Looking at the local COVID-19 caseload, the latest numbers, released Thursday, August 27th from the Tompkins County health department, indicate that there are two additional positive cases, and one new recovery. According to the County Health Department, that leaves 11 active cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins. In Schuyler County, there is one new case of COVID-19 reported as of today, according to their Health Department.
During a news conference today, Governor Andrew Cuomo specified how many COVID-19 cases would cause colleges or universities in New York State to close to in-person classes.
Cuomo affirmed that colleges and universities would have to switch to remote learning if caseloads increase above 100 or a number equal to 5% of their on-campus population of students and faculty, whichever is less.
Students who are living on campus would be allowed to remain but would attend classes remotely from their rooms.
During a halt to in-person classes, on-campus activity would be limited, athletics would be canceled and dining halls would be limited to take out options only.
The directive announced today by Cuomo’s office contradicts a Cornell policy announced earlier this week. Provost Michael Kotlikoff stated in an interview with the Cornell Daily Sun that the University would consider a shutdown if there were 250 cases detected within a seven day period. Since August 18, Cornell has reported only 3 cases of COVID detected through its gateway testing of students.