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The Health Department will be closed, Thursday, Oct. 18, 12:00–4:30 p.m. for staff development.

Flu Vaccinations Available at the Tompkins County Health Department

Now is the time to get a flu vaccination. You can get a flu vaccination at many places, including health care provider offices, pharmacies, and the Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD). Everyone 6 months of age and over should be vaccinated every year against the flu.

Flu vaccination is the best protection against the flu – it protects you and limits the spread of flu to others, including infants and individuals who are immune compromised.

TCHD is providing flu vaccinations by appointment the following dates and locations:

  • At its location at 55 Brown Road beginning Tuesday, September 25.
  • At Lifelong, 119 West Court Street on Tuesday, October 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • At TCHD’s annual Family Flu Clinic, Friday, October 19 from 9 am to 4 pm at TCHD. This special clinic is for children as young as 6 months to 18 years of age and adults. There is no school on October 19, so this maybe a convenient time to vaccinate the family.

Appointments are necessary for all clinics and can be made by calling the Health Department at 607-274-6616. Click here for the full press release.

HABs Alert: Harmful Blue-Green Algae in Dryden Lake

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has reported multiple blue-green algae blooms, also known as HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms), in Cayuga Lake and recently in Dryden Lake this summer. Monitoring is continuing. These blooms may be small in size and confined to specific areas of the shoreline and bays. Areas where blooms are not observed can continue to be used for recreational use.

The Tompkins County Health Department urges residents and visitors to beware of blue-green algae. These blooms can occur in any calm body of water and may produce toxins that are harmful to people and animals. Do not drink the water and avoid contact with the water if it appears discolored or has an unpleasant odor.

Read precautions and the full press release here.

Rabies Alert – Catch the Bat!

In 2018, three bats were confirmed rabid in Tompkins County. Rabies is largely transmitted through bites from rabid animals. Bats present an additional concern, because in certain situations a bite may not be readily apparent. August is the time when juvenile bats begin to leave the nest and become independent, often losing their way to or from the nest when hunting for food. Avoid the risk of rabies and rabies treatment by capturing and submitting for laboratory testing any bat found in their home that may have come in contact with humans or pets. Read full press release here.

HIV: PrEP to Help End the Epidemic

Did you know that there is a pill/medication that can be taken daily to lower one’s risk of HIV infection? The medication is called PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis. Daily PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. Among people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk by more than 70%. Learn more right now. Click here for the full press release.

Follow These Safety Tips During Extreme Heat

Graphic about heat safetyOur area has been experiencing excessive heat and humidity this summer, with temperatures above 90 degrees. These extreme temperatures can be dangerous to health.

  • Drink plenty of water – 2 to 4 glasses per hour
  • Limit strenuous outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
  • Prevent sunburn by applying sunscreen if you must be outside (SPF 15 or higher)
  • Know the warning signs of heat-related illness.

Go to our June 29 press release for more tips and links to valuable resources.

Health Department Reminds Public to Avoid Interaction with Wildlife

Graphic -- Help Fight RabiesA bat, a woodchuck, and two foxes captured in Tompkins County were determined to be rabid by the New York State Rabies Laboratory during the month of May. Rabies is normally transmitted by the bite of a wild or domestic rabid mammal. Exposures can also occur if saliva from a rabid animal enters the body through a wound that bled within 24 hours prior to the exposure, through an older wound showing signs of an infection, or through contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. Read the full press release for additional information, links, and precautions.

Tick-Borne Infections — Take Steps to Prevent Them

While Lyme disease is the most commonly reported, new tick-borne infections have been discovered in recent years and are steadily increasing. Preventing tick bites is your best defense against tick-borne infection. Ticks may be different sizes depending on their stage of life. Nymphs, which are very active in spring, are about the size of a poppy seed, making them hard to spot. Ticks live in shaded, moist areas at ground level. They cling to tall grass, brush, and shrubs, at the edge of woods, along trails, in leaf piles and around old stone walls, waiting for a passerby to come along so they can climb aboard. Click here for the May 14 press release, including important prevention tips.

Well Water Assistance Available to Tompkins Residents

Tompkins County residents in need of a new well or rehabilitation of an existing well are encouraged to apply for low-interest loans through the Water Well Trust, a non-profit organization based in North Carolina that is dedicated to ensuring that people have access to safe drinking water.

Applications from Tompkins County are being accepted until September 30, 2018. Priority is given to owner-occupied households where health risks are imminent, to those with minorities, elderly, children, or to disabled persons, including disabled veterans. More information and the application can be found at (Full press release.)

Opioid Resource

Opioid Resource graphic logoA NEW Opioid Resource page has been posted to the TCHD website. The intent is for this page to be a portal for information and services related to the opioid crisis within Tompkins County. The page is evolving, and comments related to its content are welcomed.

To visit the page, click here.

Tompkins County Health Department Reports an Increase in Pertussis

Chart of pertussis cases 2002 to 2017Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease spread person to person through coughs or sneezes. Pertussis can affect anyone at any age, but it is particularly harmful to infants who are too young to be vaccinated.

If you or your child has a persistent cough, call your doctor to determine if an evaluation is necessary. Click here for more about symptoms, complications, and precautions in the full press release.

Kidde Fire Extinguisher Recall

Approximately 40 million Kidde fire extinguishers have been recalled nationwide, affecting products manufactured from 1973 until 2017. Participants of the Healthy Neighborhoods Program in Tompkins County may have received one of these recalled fire extinguishers during a home visit. It is important to check your fire extinguisher and to call Kidde if you believe you have a recalled model. The Healthy Neighborhoods Program distributes about 300 fire extinguishers per year.

To determine if your fire extinguisher has been recalled, call Kidde directly at their toll-free number 855-271-0773 or online at and click “Product Safety Recall.” Full TCHD press release.

Free Lead Testing Pilot Program:
$1.5 Million State Program to Test Residential Drinking Water

The NYSDOH is launching a pilot program to test for lead in drinking water. The free program is available to residents that are served by either a private well or public water system, allowing everyone to have access to lead testing. The program will continue as long as funds are available.

Residents who are interested having their tap water tested are encouraged to sign up on the NYSDOH website, or by calling the Bureau of Water Supply Protection at 518-402-7650. For more information about this program, read the full press release here. For more information about lead poisoning prevention, click here.


Three words that everyone who is sexually active should know, to protect your health and prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs)!

    1. Talk to your partner before you have sex.
    2. Get Tested!
    3. If you test positive for an STI, Get Treated

Want to learn more about STIs and the Talk-Test-Treat campaign? Click right here, right now!

Daily Pill Can Prevent HIV

Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medicine taken daily that can be used to prevent getting HIV. PrEP is for people without HIV who are at very high risk for getting it from sex or injection drug use. Click here for more information.

Vaccines Save Lives

Flu vaccinations: Everyone, Every Year!

The Health Department recommends a flu shot for everyone, every year. Visit our Seasonal Flu page for more info.

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NOTICEThe Tompkins County Health Department makes every effort to post accurate and reliable information. However, it does not guarantee or warrant that the information on this website is complete, accurate, or up-to-date. Tompkins County shall not be liable under any circumstances for any claims or damages arising directly or indirectly from information presented therein. Please contact the program area by phone or the receptionist at 274-6600 for more information.


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