Hundreds of accepted Ithaca College students and returning students have decided not to come back to the school for the fall 2020 semester, which is all-online. According to the Ithacan, students cited various reasons for not returning, including not wanting to pay full tuition for all online classes, and health and safety concerns because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to data from the Office of Analytics and Institutional Research, enrollment at Ithaca College has dropped from around 6,200 students in the fall 2019 semester, to around 5,300 students for the fall 2020 semester. 578 less freshman are also enrolling in Ithaca College compared to Fall of 2019.

One IC senior told the Ithacan that if the college has announced its plan to push this entire semester online earlier in the summer, more students would have opted to take a gap semester, or defer their enrollment.

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Looking at the local COVID-19 caseload, the latest numbers, released Friday from the Tompkins County health department, indicate that there are 8 additional positives, and 1 new recovery. According to the County Health Department, that leaves 28 active cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins.

In Schuyler County, there are no new cases of COVID-19 reported as of Friday, according to their Health Department. 5 active cases remain.

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The annual Watkins Glen Village Christmas parade has been cancelled for this year amid concerns of COVID-19.

The celebration has been around for nearly three decades, and usually falls at the beginning of December. In a letter to the Odessa File this week, Carole B. Pierce, Director of Events at the non-profit Watkins Glen Promotions, notes that as of now, there will be a festival next December, on Franklin Street. 

More information about the parade can be found at Watkinsglen.com.

In New York State News,

A rise in COVID-19 cases in Broome County has prompted County Executive Jason Garner to ask residents to stay home for the next week in order to reduce the spread of the virus in the county. According to WSKG, Garner says this stay at home advisory is intended to be short term, noting that quote, “...the way that it gets better is staying at home.” endquote

As a result of the spike in cases the Binghamton School City District says that they will be delaying the start of their in-person instruction program. In-person instruction was initially supposed to begin for students this Monday, but it has now been postponed to October 8th. Rebecca Kaufman, director of Broome County’s Health Department has stated that schooling in Binghamton will continue, but she raised concern that the spread of COVID-19 could result in some school staff quarantining.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Intern Christian Maitre