The Ithaca City School District will be testing more than 1200 students for COVID-19 this week, with help of the local coronavirus testing center. Cornell and Cayuga Health Systems have provided $160,000 worth of funding to the Ithaca City School District in order for students to be tested before in person classes start Oct. 5.

According to the Ithaca Journal, testing is free to Ithaca city district students.  Hours are 8 am to 5 pm on Friday and will take place at the Cayuga Health Sampling Site located at the Shops of Ithaca Mall parking lot.  Saturday testing hours are 8 am to 1 pm, at a location to be determined.  Students must register at the Cayuga Health Systems website in order to be tested.v For any individual who need a ride to the testing center should register for their test first, then phone 211.

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Over 2 dozen  students and four teachers at Groton Junior-Senior high school are in quarantine. This news comes after it was reported earlier this week that multiple teachers and an unknown number of students were in quarantine since a student enrolled at the school was symptomatic with COVID-19. Twenty-eight students and four teachers in the Groton Central School District have been in isolation since last Tuesday.

The student who tested positive did not attend in-person classes since Monday, September 21st, the Ithaca Times reports. According to Jacob Roe, Assistant Principal of the Groton Junior-Senior High School, the family of the student had notified the district that their child displayed symptoms of illness prior to the GCSD learning of the positive test result. The student was not in school while they were symptomatic.

The students and teachers currently in quarantine are expected to return to school on this Tuesday, Oct. 6.

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In even more local COVID case news, An employee at Greenstar Food Co-op has tested positive for COVID-19, the Ithaca Times reports.

Greenstar General Manager Brandon Kane states that the employee is currently in isolation.  The Tompkins County Health Department also confirmed the news, and says it has completed contact tracing for patrons that the employee had been in close contact with.

The Co-op remains open and employees continue to follow safety protocols such as wearing masks, using hand washing and hand sanitizer and practicing physical distancing.  Curbside pickup and delivery continue to be available at the store.

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Looking at the local COVID-19 caseload, the latest numbers, released Thursday from the Tompkins County health department, indicate that there are 4 additional positives, and 4 new recoveries. According to the County Health Department, that leaves 21 active cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins.

In Schuyler County, there are 2 new cases of COVID-19 reported on Thursday, according to their Health Department. There are 5 current active cases in the county.

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There’s a bright spot in the future for racecar fans: NASCAR will be returning to Watkins Glen International Raceway next August, the Odessa File reports.

WGI raceway President Michael Printup says that his organization is ready to welcome the return of NASCAR, after COVID-19 led to the cancellation of the raceway’s schedule for this year, 2020. Printup adds that his staff is working hard to make sure that competitors, teams and fans can attend the facility safely next year.

Information about the NASCAR race, the “Go Bowling at The Glen” event weekend on August 8, 2021 can be found at website TheGlen.com.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Volunteers Esther Racoosin and Mark Klohmann