The Tompkins County Health Department recently received a $40,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation, according to the Ithaca Times.
The money was given as part of a rapid response effort to support local health departments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Health Department said that they are using the money to fund a mobile COVID-19 testing site to provide access to people suffering from housing insecurity or homelessness.
The mobile testing vehicle will be staffed by employees of REACH Medical, a harm reduction group. REACH Medical staffers will also provide surveillance testing in areas around Ithaca. The site will collect around 600-900 samples from an estimated 200 people during the course of six months.
Frank Kruppa, Health Department commissioner, says that surveillance testing will help identify positive cases earlier than usual. He also released a statement thanking the Kresge Foundation, affirming that the grant would allow his department to strengthen existing partnerships in the community.
New York state is introducing new guidelines surrounding travel to other parts of the country, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the U.S.
As of today, Wednesday, November 4th, out-of-state travelers to New York state may "test out" of the previously mandated 14-day quarantine. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the new rules in a press conference on Saturday.
The new guidelines are as follows: U.S. Travelers from states that share a border with New York will be exempt from the travel advisory; however, all travelers MUST fill out the Traveler Health Form, found at the website coronavirus.health.ny.gov. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well.
Any traveler who was in another non-bordering state for more than 24 hours must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state. Then upon arrival to New York, that person must isolate for three days. On day 4 of their quarantine, that person must seek another COVID-19 test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may end their isolation period.
Travelers who visited another state for less than 24 hours do not need a test prior to their departure from the other state. They also do not need to quarantine upon arrival to New York.
According to the Governor’s press release, all travelers must fill out the traveler information form after arriving in the state to contribute to New York’s contact tracing program. Again, more information on the new guidelines and links to the traveler form can be found at coronavirus.health.ny.gov.
Looking at the local COVID-19 caseload, the latest numbers, released today from the Tompkins County health department, indicate that there are 7 additional positives, and 7 new recoveries. According to the County Health Department, that leaves 47 active cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins.
In Schuyler County, there is 1 new case of COVID-19 and 27 active cases reported as of today, according to their Health Department.
Contributing writers were Christian Maitre and Esther Racoosin