Local Coronavirus (COVID-19) Watch

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Testing

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.

The drive-thru testing center is located at the Shops at Ithaca Mall at 40 Catherwood Rd., and the walk-in site is 412 North Tioga St. in Ithaca. Testing is also offered at Schuyler Hospital.

Vaccination Information

Tompkins County Residents can check their eligibility and register for vaccination appointments with a range of providers at the TCHD Vaccination web page. Be sure to review the documentation required at the time of your appointment.

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 in Corning, Binghamton, and Syracuse. Use the state's tool to determine your eligibility and schedule appointments at these sites. If no appointments are shown for your chosen location, be patient and repeatedly refresh the page, a cancellation may appear after several minutes.

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

After You've Been Fully Vaccinated

According to the CDC, you can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.

You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Although the risk of COVID-19 infection may be minimal to the fully vaccinated person themselves, vaccinated persons should be mindful of the very low potential risk of transmitting the virus to others if they become infected, especially if they are visiting with unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or visiting with unvaccinated people who have people at increased risk for severe disease in their own households.

In indoor public spaces, the vaccination status of other people or whether they are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 is likely unknown. Therefore, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a well-fitted mask, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance.

If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Advice on Cloth Face Coverings from the CDC

Even after you're vaccinated, 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.

Scientists are still not sure how contagious vaccinated people may be and how long the vaccination is effective. 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.

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.

Food Aid in Tompkins and Schuyler Counties

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

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, March 30, 2021

March 30, 2021

Tompkins County is reporting 13 new cases of COVID-19, and a total of 179 active cases. One new patient has been hospitalized in Tompkins County.…

Coronavirus Update, March 29, 2021

March 29, 2021

New York State Government is announcing that people 30 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine on Tuesday. Those 30 and above can…

Coronavirus Update, March 25, 2021

March 25, 2021

Ithaca City School District officials are aiming to increase the number of students allowed in schools for in-person learning. School Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown and…

Coronavirus Update, March 24, 2021

March 24, 2021

Tompkins county has 1,770 doses of the COVID vaccine for the week of March 22. All these doses are for essential workers in phases 1a…

Coronavirus Update, March 23, 2021

March 23, 2021

The Tompkins County Health Department is reporting that three concerning variants of COVID-19 have appeared in Tompkins County. They are the variants commonly referred to…

Coronavirus Update, March 22, 2021

March 22, 2021

The Seneca Indians Varsity Football Team is quarantining after playing against Ithaca’s. The Odessa File reports that one of Ithaca Highschool’s players tested positive for…

Coronavirus Update, March 19, 2021

March 19, 2021

  Cornell University is reporting a blatant disregard for COVID safety requirements among some of its student body. University President, Martha E. Pollock and Provost…

Coronavirus Update, March 18, 2021

March 18, 2021

New York State schools will be receiving $335 million dollars in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. The money will…

Coronavirus Update, March 17, 2021

March 17, 2021

The Tompkins County Health Department is announcing the receipt of nearly 2,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.  The Covid-19 Vaccine Registry has communicated appointment information to…

Coronavirus Update, March 11, 2021

March 11, 2021

Starting April 1, domestic travelers entering New York State from non-contiguous states will no longer be required to quarantine for two weeks.  Travelers will still…

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

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 Jimmy Jordan | 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 Jimmy Jordan | 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 Jimmy Jordan | 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