Local Coronavirus (COVID-19) Watch

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The COVID-19 pandemic is here in our community. Residents can go to  cayugahealth.org to register for a drive-through COVID test. Costs for tests from Cayuga Health are covered for all Tompkins County residents, and for anyone who is experiencing symptoms or may have been exposed. The testing center is located at the Shops at Ithaca Mall at 40 Catherwood Rd., and testing is also offered at Schuyler Hospital.

As always, when you’re out and about, make sure to wear a mask and stay at least six feet away from others. The US Center for Disease Control recommends limiting close contact with others as much as possible. Remember, wearing a mask helps protect everyone around you and the life you save may just  be your own.

As your community radio station, WRFI is committed to keeping you up-to-date about the developing pandemic known as the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. Bookmark this page and come for the latest developments, resources, and closures as well as audio features and interviews relating to the coronavirus (below):

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Missed the town hall? Listen to the broadcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or anywhere else you get your podcasts. See more information about the event below:

Are you concerned about rising COVID-19 infections in other parts of the Southern Tier and New York State? Do you have questions about the accuracy of different viral testing methods? Or, are you worried about flu season setting in?

On Monday, October 19 from 6-7pm we'll delve into these topics, and the current state of local public health amid the pandemic, with guest Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director at Tompkins County Health Department, and Gen Meredith, Associate Director of the Cornell University Masters of Public Health program. Listeners are invited to call or text in questions during the broadcast to 607-441-WRFI.

And TUNE IN at 88.1FM in Ithaca, 91.9FM in Watkins Glen, here on our website, and via Facebook Live (RSVP to this event to make sure you don't miss it).

Advice on Cloth Face Coverings from the CDC

Many people carrying the novel coronavirus lack symptoms  but can still transmit the virus to others—before showing symptoms.  

This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.  The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. On April 15, 2020, NYS Governor Cuomo issued an executive order requiring the use of masks.

Surgical face masks and N95 respirators are in short supply. Existing supplies are needed for medical facilities and caregivers. Learn to make cloth masks for yourself and others in need. Tutorials have been posted by The Washington Post, the New York Times, and, if you're in a pinch, try the Surgeon General's no-sew method.  Listen to our interview with local mask makers.

Protect yourself and those around you:

  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • If you think you have contracted COVID-19, perform the self check found here, and seek medical attention as needed.
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include: fever, cough and shortness of breath. Special caution should be taken if you or someone you've had close contact with is ill or is known to have been exposed to the virus.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If a tissue is not available, cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If hand washing is not immediately available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead.

In public:

  • Practice social distancing:
    • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people.
    • Do not gather in groups.
    • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
  • Wear a cloth face covering - especially where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Avoid handshakes and hugs, use an elbow bump instead.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 

At home and work:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly upon returning home.
  • Use caution when bringing items into your home. Disinfect as needed.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects (doorknobs, light switches) and surfaces with a household cleaner.

Latest Updates

Coronavirus Update, October 23, 2020

October 23, 2020

In other news, The Tompkins County Health Department is alerting the community of possible public exposure of COVID-19 on a TCAT bus on Thursday, October…

Coronavirus Update, October 21, 2020

October 21, 2020

Nearly 100 Tompkins residents have been ordered to enter quarantine following possible contact with an individual who traveled to an out-of-state hockey tournament and later…

Coronavirus Update, October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

The Tompkins County Health Department is alerting local community members about several potential public exposures to COVID-19 at 3 Businesses in Ithaca. Shoppers who went…

Coronavirus Update, October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

The Tompkins County Health Department is reporting potential public exposures at 3 Businesses in Ithaca: Ithaca Ale House: 10/9: 7-8:30pm, 10/10: 2:30-4pm Liquid State Brewing…

Coronavirus Update, October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Three workers at the US Postal Service facility on Warren Road in Ithaca have tested positive for COVID-19, the Ithaca Voice reports. Desai Abdul-Razzaaq, the…

Coronavirus Update, October 14, 2020

October 14, 2020

Kendal at Ithaca, a retirement community near Triphammer marketplace, has reported 4 new positive cases of COVID-19, according to the Ithaca Voice.  The new positive…

Coronavirus Update, October 13, 2020

October 13, 2020

There is concern that funding for two community outreach workers in downtown Ithaca might be threatened due to economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The…

Resources

Connect

Mutual Aid Tompkins is neighbors supporting neighbors in the spirit of solidarity to meet survival needs

The Tompkins Mask Makers Facebook group is intended to bring together the various mask making projects in our county and allow individual mask makers to share tips, supplies, and connect with needs in our community. The group also has a website where you can order locally made cloth masks.

Follow Tompkins County Health Department on Facebook and Twitter

Follow WRFI Community Radio on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Listen

The Hangar Theatre Participates in the Red Alert Solidarity Movement to “Save Our Stages” [AUDIO]

By Esther Racoosin | September 1, 2020

New Civic Ensemble Leadership [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | August 31, 2020

“The Likely World” Socially Distanced Book Launch at the Finger Lakes Drive-In [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | August 12, 2020

A Summer “Online”: WRFI News interns reflect on program experiences amid pandemic [AUDIO]

By Michayla Savitt | August 7, 2020

Conversation with Samantha Little – ICSD Director of Athletics and Wellness [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | August 6, 2020

Amid Mounting Public Pressure, Ithaca Tenants and Lawmakers Join Forces to Try and Cancel Rent [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | August 4, 2020

“Plants Have Families, Too”, a Remote Youth Learning Program That Introduces Kids To Plant Science [AUDIO]

By Esther Racoosin | July 31, 2020

Quarantine Days [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | July 21, 2020

Implementing Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic [AUDIO]

By Fred Balfour | July 17, 2020

Spring Writes Literary Festival Preview [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | July 14, 2020

A Very Socially Distanced Wedding [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | July 9, 2020

Megan Barber of the Community Arts Partnership on Supporting Artists During the Pandemic [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | June 5, 2020

Stories from Quarantine From the Lives of WRFI Volunteers: A Family Copes [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | June 1, 2020

Stories from Quarantine From the Lives of WRFI Volunteers: A Third Grade Tom Sawyer [AUDIO]

By Fred Balfour | June 1, 2020

Executive Director Doug Levine on the State Theater’s Livestreams During the Pandemic [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | May 21, 2020

The Cherry Artists’ Collective on “Felt Sad, Posted a Frog” and other streams of global quarantine [AUDIO]

By Michayla Savitt | May 6, 2020

The Singing Notes & Slinging Jokes Duo Discuss Performing Amid the Pandemic [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | May 5, 2020

NIAID Advances Drug and Vaccine Testing to Combat COVID-19 [AUDIO]

By Esther Racoosin | May 1, 2020

Congressman Tom Reed Media Call – Funding Local Communities [AUDIO]

By Fred Balfour | April 29, 2020

The Kitchen Theater and the One-Minute Play Festival Coronavirus Plays [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | April 24, 2020

Carlos Gutierrez speaks with Dr. Jose Canario About Coronavirus Community Health Impacts on Farm Workers [AUDIO – Español]

By Felix Teitelbaum | April 23, 2020

Educator Laurie Rubin Talks About Observing the Natural World [AUDIO]

By Esther Racoosin | April 22, 2020

Monday, April 20 6-7pm Coronavirus Virtual Town Hall: Public Health [AUDIO]

By Felix Teitelbaum | April 18, 2020

Ithaca resident Angela Zhang returns to WRFI to further reflect on the impacts of the pandemic [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | April 13, 2020

Foodnet Meals on Wheels Serves Clients Amid COVID-19 Pandemic [AUDIO]

By Esther Racoosin | April 10, 2020

$2 trillion stimulus package issues for COVID-19 – 2 weeks later. [AUDIO]

By Fred Balfour | April 10, 2020

Ithaca Community Members Sew Face Masks To Meet Local Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic [AUDIO]

By Esther Racoosin | March 30, 2020

Local Activists Establish Mutual Aid Tompkins [AUDIO]

By Esther Racoosin | March 23, 2020

Coronavirus Virtual Town Hall – March 16, 2020 [AUDIO]

By Felix Teitelbaum | March 16, 2020

WRFI DJ Checks in from New Rochelle COVID-19 Containment Zone [AUDIO]

By Michayla Savitt | March 16, 2020

Dr. David Evelyn on Coronavirus Preparedness at Cayuga Medical [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | March 11, 2020

Community member Angela Zhang on the Coronavirus – Your Morning, February 14th, 2020 [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | February 14, 2020