As the fall months and the flu season approaches, the Tompkins County Health Department strongly urges local residents to get a flu shot, the Ithaca Voice reports.

Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County health director, points out that flu shots are widely available right now.  He adds that if local residents take the time to get a flu shot, they will help keep the community healthy at a time when there is still a strong concern about the spread of COVID-19.

Illness caused by the flu and by coronavirus share many symptoms.  Kruppa emphasizes that if a person becomes ill this fall but has had their flu shot, they will be able to infer that they probably do not have the flu but may have COVID-19.  They can then call their primary physician, tell them this information and find out what to do next.

Kruppa cautions that the flu virus can make healthy people very ill and can cause serious complications in seniors, children younger than 5, and pregnant women.  The Tompkins County health department recommends that all persons over the age of 6 months get a flu shot.

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Six U.S. states have been removed from New York’s COVID-19 travel advisory, which requires travelers to quarantine for 2 weeks upon arriving in New York State.

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that California, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada and Ohio have been added to the advisory. The Northern Mariana Islands have also been removed, and Puerto Rico has been added to the travel advisory.

Looking at the local COVID-19 caseload, the latest numbers, released today from the Tompkins County health department, indicate that there are 3 additional positives, and 14 new recoveries. According to the County Health Department, that leaves 39 active cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins.

In Schuyler County, there are no new cases of COVID-19 reported as of today, according to their Health Department. 4 active cases remain.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Volunteer Esther Racoosin