The Tompkins County Health Department is reporting yet another potential public exposure to COVID-19. This time, the positive case was detected at Aurora Shoe Repair at, 111 N Plain St, Ithaca (employee)

An employee of the business who tested positive worked at the Aurora Shoe Repair on Thursday, January 7, from 8:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday, January 12, from 8:00am to 5:00pm Wednesday, and January 13, 8:00am to 5:00pm.

The health department recommends that anyone who may have been exposed to the virus at the Aurora Shoe Repair 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.


Now we’ll take a look at the local COVID-19 caseload in Tompkins County. There are 3 more hospitalizations due to complications from the virus as of yesterday, bringing the total to 12. According to the Tompkins County health department, as of the time of our 6 p.m. broadcast there are 278 active cases of COVID-19. Yesterday there were an additional 43 positive cases and 34 people released from quarantine.

In Schuyler County, today there were 7 new cases of COVID-19 reported. 53 active cases remain, according to their Health Department. 6 people are hospitalized due to the virus.


New York state is facing a shortage of the COVID-19 vaccine since the eligibility criteria was expanded this week to people over 65, and people in Phase 1B.

According to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the shortage is due to the federal government failing to uphold plans to boost vaccine supplies. New York will only get 250,000 doses of the vaccine instead of 300,000, the Ithaca Journal reports. Cuomo asserts that there is enough supplies to give New Yorkers their second shot for the vaccine to fully fight COVID-19.

Registration has yet not opened up for Schuyler County COVID vaccination clinics planned next week. According to their Health Department, the number of slots they can offer for people in Phase 1A and 1B is contingent on how many doses of the vaccine the state sends.

Next week two clinics will be held on Thursday from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and Friday, January 22nd, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Both will be at the Watkins Glen Community Center.

According to the Tompkins County Health Department, as of today no additional clinic times have been scheduled for the vaccination site at the Shops at Ithaca. We’ll share more updates about vaccinations in Tompkins and Schuyler County as they’re made available.

New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline can be reached from 7AM - 10PM, 7 days a week, for scheduling vaccination appointments for New Yorkers in Phase 1A or 1B. The number to call is 1-833-NYS-4-VAX. That’s 1-833-697-4829.


Details of planned downsizing at Ithaca College have started to emerge, the Ithacan reports.

On Wednesday the college announced draft recommendations to eliminate 116 full-time equivalent faculty positions. It also proposes  shutting down  a number of departments and majors.

The School of Humanities and Sciences will be the hardest hit, where forty one positions are recommended to be cut from 20 departments. The Park School of Communication is also facing major cutbacks and would lose 17 full time equivalent faculty.

IC shared the report with students, faculty, and staff and will be collecting feedback throughout January. Ithaca's Student Governance Committee will host a meeting for all students with the committee that wrote the report on January 19. Ithaca college's administration will also announce final decisions on the downsizing by March first.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Director Michayla Savitt and RFI General Manager Felix Teitelbaum