A rush of new cases has led the Tompkins County Health Department to again advise people to stay home amid the worsening COVID-19 outbreak. Testing also continues to climb, especially with the introduction of the drive-through sampling facility in the Ithaca Mall parking lot. 

In the last day, the health department has received notification of 16 more positive tests, meaning the overall positive test numbers in Tompkins County has reached 48 cases. The health department said that as the numbers grow, they have "evidence of community spread [...] Community spread is defined when individuals are infected by each other with the virus, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected."

“Community spread reinforces the need to be vigilant in staying home. We recognize the sacrifices being made by everyone to adapt as we work together through this time of crisis,” states Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director. “We all play a role in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”

Whether or not there are more legislative steps ready to be taken is unclear. The Tompkins County Courthouse appears be a problematic spot locally, as three employees there have tested positive so far with more cases pending. The idea of a curfew has been mentioned but so far County Administrator Jason Molino has not made that move. 

The health department also said they'd stop publishing quarantine and isolation numbers based on the difficulty to track as more people start to self-quarantine and isolate, outside of mandates from the health department. 

The health department is advising:

  • Stay home as much as possible, with the exception of essential workers.
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Wash hands well and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Limit all outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities that put you in close contact with people
  • Those at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, including older adults, those who are immune-compromised, or have a chronic medical condition, especially heart or lung disease, and diabetes, should refrain from in-person contact with others.

If you have symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, seek testing:

  • Cayuga Health Sampling Site:
  • The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd., between the hours of 10am-3pm Monday through Friday.
  • Go online to pre-register: Cayugahealth.org
  • Call Cayuga Health call center at 607-319-5708
  • No order is necessary if you have symptoms and/or contact with COVID-19 positive individuals
  • Testing is free of charge to individuals.

If you are unable to seek testing, self-isolate in your home and contact a healthcare provider.

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