Local Coronavirus (COVID-19) Watch


Cornell, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College have announced their plans for reopening operations this fall. Tune in and join the conversation with Joel Malina, Cornell's Vice President for University Relations, Deborah Mohlenhoff, TC3's Assistant Vice President for College Relations, and Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County Public Health Director. More panelists may be added soon.

What will the reopening mean for staff and faculty, for the community at-large, and for the students themselves? How can potential impacts be minimized for those most vulnerable?

Submit written questions or concerns anytime using this form or call in LIVE during the broadcast at 607-441-WRFI (9734). You can even leave voice message with your question anytime before the broadcast on our comment line at 607-319-5445 extension 6.

TUNE IN Monday, July 13, 2020 from 6-7pm at 88.1FM in Ithaca, 91.9FM in Watkins Glen, at www.wrfi.org or on Facebook Live.

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.

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.

Latest Updates

Coronavirus Update, March 23, 2020

March 23, 2020

In a press conference Monday morning, Governor Cuomo announced that he will sign an emergency order that hospitals must double their bed capacity to account…

Local Activists Establish Mutual Aid Tompkins [AUDIO]

March 23, 2020

Juliana Garcia and Josh Dolan, two of the organizers of the Tompkins COVID-19 Mutual Aid Response Facebook Group, discuss what they and other activists are…

Coronavirus Update, March 20, 2020

March 20, 2020

A new executive order dubbed “New York State on PAUSE” by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will make sweeping changes effective Sunday at 8pm.  The…

Coronavirus Update, March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020

There are no new confirmed cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19 in Tompkins county, so the total number of cases stands at 6. However, 224 test…

Coronavirus Update, March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

As of the time of broadcast (6PM) there are 6 confirmed cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19 in  Tompkins county. There are zero confirmed cases in…

Coronavirus Update, March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

It was announced today that Ithaca College will be switching to remote instruction through the end of the semester, according to a message from President…

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

March 16, 2020

WRFI’s Michayla Savitt checks in with WRFI DJ Joe Romano of The Joe Show. He resides in the coronavirus containment zone in New Rochelle.  



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

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