Even though Cornell's Statler Hotel is temporarily closed for its regular hospitality business, it’s keeping busy as a space for students who are under isolation due to COVID-19 exposure, or who have tested positive for the virus. 

As of Wednesday, the hotel was operating at almost 95% capacity, reports the Cornell Daily Sun. An anonymous student told the Sun that, “One of the justifications for bringing all of us back was in this age range, we only have mild symptoms....What mild symptoms have meant for me is extreme fatigue, which is getting consistently worse, and difficulty breathing.” 

At least two students have been sent to Cayuga Medical Center for further evaluation due to breathing issues, although both were released after tests were completed. A Cornell Health clinician is at the hotel during business hours and on call at other times, and Tompkins County Health Department staff also check in on students. The Health Department, not Cornell, decides when a student can be released from quarantine or isolation.

Now looking at the local COVID-19 caseload, the latest numbers, released Thursday from the Tompkins County health department, indicate that there are 5 additional positives, along with 16 more cases reported Wednesday night. There were 7 new recoveries on Thursday, and 8 on Wednesday. According to the County Health Department, that leaves 86 active cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins.

In Schuyler County, there are no new cases of COVID-19 reported as of Thursday, according to their Health Department. 2 active cases remain.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Volunteers Esther Racoosin and Joanne Izbicki