Local Coronavirus (COVID-19) Watch

Advice on Limiting the Spread of COVID-19 from the CDC

People carrying the coronavirus may lack symptoms but can still transmit the virus to others—before showing symptoms.  

This means that the virus can spread to vaccinated or unvaccinated people interacting in close proximity with others.

Although serious illness is rare among vaccinated people, children and immune compromised people are particularly at risk. Getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, and practicing social distancing is the best way to protect yourself, and those at most risk for serious illness.

People speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms—can spread the virus to vaccinated or unvaccinated people.  The CDC provides guidelines for unvaccinated people as well as information on the safety and efficacy of COVID vaccines.


Anyone can register for a COVID test at Tomkins County/Cayuga Health testing sites. 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. Testing is also offered at Schuyler Hospital.

Vaccination Information

Tompkins County Residents can learn more about vaccination here and register for vaccination appointments with a range of providers at the TCHD Vaccination web page.

Schuyler County Residents can can check their eligibility and register for an appointment through the Schuyler County Public Health Vaccine page.

Vaccines are also available from state-run sites including nearby locations including Corning, Binghamton, and Syracuse.

For more information you can call New York State's COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX.

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.

Food Aid in Tompkins and Schuyler Counties

There are multiple organizations offering food aid to residents. See below for specific options available.

Latest Updates

Kendal at Ithaca Reaches 100% Vaccination

October 5, 2021

An Ithaca nursing home has become one of the first in the state to reach 100 percent vaccination of both residents and workers. According to…

Not all healthcare workers in New York State are required to have a Covid-19 vaccination.

October 1, 2021

Not all healthcare workers in New York State  are required to have a Covid-19 vaccination.  Governor Cuomo’s August  mandate requiring vaccinations by September 27th only…

Tompkins Health Department Releases Guidance for COVID Booster Shots

September 29, 2021

Tompkins County Health Department has released new guidance for third and booster doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine. A booster dose is recommended for certain…

TC3 and all of SUNY to require students to get Vaccinated

August 26, 2021

TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY — TC3 is following SUNY’s student vaccination mandate made after the FDA approved the Pfizer COVID vaccine earlier this week. Now all…

Tompkins County Seeing ‘High Transmission Rate’ of COVID-19; Children Under 12 Make up 20 percent of Recent Cases

August 23, 2021

ITHACA, NY — Tompkins County is seeing a high transmission rate of COVID-19, prompting  the Health Department to recommend masking in all local schools. As…

Coronavirus Update, July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

Tompkins County’s weekly COVID update reports 6 new positive cases, and 7 active cases. Schuyler County has no new cases of the Coronavirus and zero…

Coronavirus Update, June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

Cornell University is planning a full reopening in the fall. Nearly all classes will be in-person with seating that will not require social distancing. Students…

Tompkins County Considers How to Spend $19.8M in American Rescue Plan Funds

June 25, 2021

Tompkins County Interim-County Administrator gives a virtual presentation on how Tompkins County could spend American Rescue Plan Funds on the County’s Capital Program (Provided) Tompkins…

Coronavirus Update, June 25, 2021

June 25, 2021

Tompkins County is reporting 1 new case COVID-19, and a total of 10 active cases. Schuyler County is reporting no new cases of the coronavirus,…

Coronavirus Update, June 23, 2021

June 23, 2021

Tompkins County is reporting 2 new cases of COVID-19 and a total of 8 active cases. Schuyler County is reporting 0 new cases of the…



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


Living with Chronic Illnesses in a Pandemic [AUDIO]

By WRFI News Staff | October 23, 2020

2020 Greater Ithaca Art Trail Offers In-Person and Virtual Visits

By Esther Racoosin | October 7, 2020

Inquiring Socialist – Tenants: Know Your Rights [Audio]

By WRFI News Staff | September 30, 2020

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 WRFI News Staff | 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 WRFI News Staff | 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 WRFI News Staff | 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