The Tompkins County Health Department has reported 10 new positive COVID-19 cases and has released additional information on how people were exposed. As the number of positive COVID-19 cases increases locally, the Tompkins County Health Department is reminding residents of mask requirements, quarantine guidance, and other critical information to stop the spread of the disease.
The health department stated that five are from out-of-state travel, four are related to a known case "at a local Fourth of July gathering where social distancing and mask wearing were not observed" and one cases is connected to an already-positive case, with all close contacts identified.
According to the health department, their contact tracing team has been in touch with all close contacts of the 10 new cases and their close contacts have been identified. Importantly, according to the news release none of the reported cases presented public exposures, and the health department isn't recommending testing for the public at this time. All positive cases are in quarantine. The department hasn't published their full numbers report for today, July 14.
“The recent increase in positive cases in our community is concerning, we have to continue taking this virus seriously and doing what we can to stop it from continuing to spread in Tompkins County. We’ve all worked hard to keep our numbers low and to help protect our friends and families, we can’t let that hard work go to waste by not following the guidance,” stated Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa. Kruppa continued, “We have not previously released this level of information on positive cases to protect people’s privacy. However, it is important to share the nature of how these individuals were exposed to illustrate the potential impact of not taking this seriously. COVID-19 is still a disease that can spread rapidly. I am hopeful that everyone will continue evaluating their own risk and the risk they are putting on others each time they go out.”
Individuals required to quarantine must do so for the full 14-day period. Quarantine must be completed by anyone who:
· Is identified as a close contact of a known positive case and told to get tested by the Health Department.
· Chooses to get tested even if they do not have symptoms.
Has traveled to New York from a designated state with significant community spread. For more information about the Travel Advisory and the NYS website, where the list of affected states is updated at least weekly.
“This recent uptick in cases shows the importance of not becoming complacent. Wearing masks, keeping distance, and refraining from unnecessary travel are critical to keeping ourselves, our families, and our neighbors healthy and safe," said Leslyn McBean-Claiborne, Tompkins County Legislature Chair said. "We can’t begin to relax because the virus is still spreading in our community. We all have a part in stopping the spread, and even while many facets of our community open up, we need to stay vigilant and act with caution and concern for the safety of ourselves and others.”