Coronavirus Update, October 9, 2020

Ithaca College announced this week that they plan to cut over 100 faculty positions in response to a $30 million budget shortfall from decreased enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Ithacan reports that Provost and Senior Vice President for faculty affairs, LeVerne Cornish made the statement at the Faculty Council meeting on October 6. Cornish says that the university is in a financial bind from the lowered enrollment and the unprecedentedly high number of first year deferments.

In order to cut down the budget, about 130 faculty members will lose their jobs, including possibly some tenured professors. Cornish says that some departments might be eliminated as well. According to Cornish, faculty members who won’t be quote “renewed”, will be informed in March 2021.


Looking at the local COVID-19 caseload, the latest numbers, released Friday from the Tompkins County health department, indicate that there is 3 additional positive, and 6 new recoveries. According to the County Health Department, that leaves 38 active cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins.

In Schuyler County, two more people with COVID-19 have been hospitalized at an out-of-county hospital. There are 2 new cases of COVID-19 reported as of Friday, and are reported members of the same household, according to the Schuyler Health Department. 12 active cases remain.


New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced new strategies and restrictions for the containment of COVID 19 in the state.

According to the Ithaca Voice, the new approach uses actual case numbers in a specific area to designate areas where outbreaks need to be contained. The state will designate these areas on a sliding yellow-orange-red scale of severity. Each color has a different set of restrictions and strategies for preventing the spread, with yellow being the least severe, orange being medium, and red being the highest severity.

At yellow, for instance, means that religious institutions will have a 50% cap on attendance, a 25 person limit on gathering in public, and schools remain open with weekly testing. Red on the other hand means the closing of in person restaurant dining, the religious attendance in person capped at 10%, only essential businesses will remain open, dining limited to take out only, and schools moved fully online.

Binghamton is currently experiencing an outbreak and has been labelled a yellow zone, due to the low density and fewer numbers of cases. Parts of Brooklyn, on the other hand, have been labelled a red zone due to the high number and density of cases.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Volunteer Ed von Aderkas