First, the Tompkins County Health Department is reporting a potential public exposure to COVID-19 at Red’s Place, 107 N Aurora St. Ithaca in Ithaca

An employee of the restaurant who tested positive worked at Red’s on Saturday, January 9, from 5 p.m. to  9 p.m.

The health department recommends that anyone who may have been exposed to the virus at Red’s Place to: Enter precautionary quarantine and get tested at one of the Cayuga Health Sampling Sites. If the test is negative, the Health Department asks that continue to monitor for symptoms a full 14 days from the most recent exposure date. If you become symptomatic, get tested again.

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Today, the New York State Health Department updated the information on individuals who are included in the Phase 1B distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.  Tompkins County also announced three new clinics, which quickly filled up.

As of today, people aged 65 and older, instead of 75 and older, are part of group 1B that are eligible for vaccinations. Other people in 1B include education workers, first responders, public safety workers,  and public transit workers.  People included in phase 1A continue to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Those individuals include high risk hospital staff and many other healthcare workers, EMS personnel, congregant living staff and residents, among others.

This morning Tompkins County announced three additional clinics for this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but as of now they are completely booked. People in the 1A or 1B phase must schedule a slot to get vaccinated at the Shops at Ithaca Mall site.  No-walk-ups are allowed.  Additional clinics will be announced when more vaccine supply arrives from the New York State department of health. The Tompkins County Health department will announce the schedule on their website.

Four new COVID vaccination sites in Tompkins County will open Thursday, the Ithaca Voice reports. Kinney Drugs will be administering the Moderna vaccine people over 65 years old at both its Ithaca locations, and at its Dryden, and Trumansburg stores.  As of today, there are no available vaccination appointments at Kinney. More appointments will be available when the stores receive more doses of the vaccine.

Kinney’s website is asking people not to call their stores to ask about appointments so their staff can focus on serving other patients. Up-to-date scheduling for all their locations is available at their website, where you can also find complete information about required forms, available transportation, and expectations for appointments.

In Schuyler County, the following dates and times have been set for Vaccination Clinics for Phase 1A and 1B. One is taking place tomorrow Wednesday, January 13th, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the Odessa-Montour High School Gym. The second clinic this week is on Friday, January 15th, 10:00 AM to 01:15 PM at the Watkins Glen Elementary School Cafeteria. Residents can register for the Wednesday clinic or the Friday clinic online.

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Now we’ll take a look at the local COVID-19 caseload. The number of hospitalizations in Tompkins due to complications from the virus are at 20 as of yesterday. According to the Tompkins County health department, as of the time of this broadcast there are 269 active cases of COVID-19. Yesterday there were an additional 13 positive cases and 37 people released from quarantine.

In Schuyler County, today there were 4 new cases of COVID-19 reported. 71 active cases remain, according to their Health Department. 4 people are hospitalized due to the virus.

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On Friday, advocates filed a class action lawsuit against the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (or DOCCS) for failing to protect the health of older inmates housed in New York’s Adirondack Correctional Facility near Lake Placid. This summer, in an effort to stem infections in prisons, DOCCS began a state-wide transfer of elderly prisoners to Adirondack. But, according to the suit, the approach has backfired and instead placed the plaintiffs at higher risk for infection.

In November, the Cuomo administration said it had released more than 3,000 people from incarceration in another effort to reduce the spread of COVID in prisons. But the lawsuit alleges the state is continuing to transfer elderly prisoners to the facility it describes as a “prison nursing home.”

The average age of death for prisoners in NY state is between 53 and 57 years old.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Contributor & WRFI General Manager, Felix Teitelbaum, and News Director Michayla Savitt