COVID-19 Cases Tick Up in Tompkins County; Mask Guidance Reinstated

(Dominick Recckio / Tompkins County)

Tompkins County Health Department front entrance (Provided)

TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY -- In response to a recent uptick in cases, the Tompkins County Health Department is reinstating masking guidance and resuming daily updates of it’s COVID-19 data tables.

As of posting this story, there are 59 active cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins County. 

The daily COVID updates were reduced to once a week in early July, when new cases had bobbed between 1 or 0 a day.

The Health Department is attributing the jump in cases to large indoor gatherings and domestic travel, and are investigating the role the Delta variant has likely played in the increased case numbers. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) estimates, the Delta variant accounts for more than 80 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.. It was first detected in Tompkins County in late June. 

The Health Department is currently analyzing recent tests and promised a breakdown of positive cases by vaccination status in the coming weeks. Some breakthrough cases have already been reported in Tompkins County. The Range announced Wednesday afternoon that three fully vaccinated people who attended an event at the venue have tested positive for COVID-19.

To curb the spread of the virus, the Health Department is asking that fully vaccinated individuals go back to wearing masks while indoors. CDC guidance recommends that communities with cases above 50 per 100,000 residents should reinstate indoor mask policies. Tompkins county is at 59 per 100,000. 

Tompkins County is asking all County employees to wear masks indoors, and is encouraging local organizations and businesses to ask their employees and patrons to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

The Health Department’s data and records indicate that the number and severity of COVID cases has continued to reduce as vaccination rates have increased. To learn when and where vaccines are available, go to the Tompkins County website, or call 2-1-1 for assistance.