ITHACA, NY -- A resident at a Racker residential house has died due to complications from COVID-19, according to Executive Director Dan Brown, Associate Executive Director Cris Donovan and the Tompkins County Health Department.
There were no identifying details shared for privacy reasons, aside from the fact that the deceased was a woman. Brown and Donovan also shared that Racker had been dealing with a cluster of cases that they reported to the Health Department on Dec. 7, and that two other residents are hospitalized and critically ill.
"COVID poses a larger, and more serious, risk in our residential homes," Brown said. "We have known about the increased mortality risk to people with disabilities who often have underlying health conditions and comorbidities and have learned a great deal from colleagues across the state and country who tackled outbreaks in group homes this year."
The cases come at a time when both case numbers have been consistently high for the area and vaccine roll-out is in its beginning phases.
"As we all deal with this loss, we ask that everyone please wear a mask, wash your hands, limit your gatherings, and help reduce the spread of this virus. Racker is doing everything possible to reduce exposure to our homes, students, and families," Brown and Donovan said. "If you are eligible for the vaccine, please make an appointment to receive it. It takes a community to break this trend and we count on our neighbors to do their part."
The letter stated that these are the first cases since the pandemic started in March.
The total number of Tompkins County residents that have died from COVID-19 is now at 14. Two additional non-residents died at Cayuga Medical Center after being transported from hospitals in New York City this spring.