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> 2019 Novel Coronavirus Update 2020-03-12

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Thursday, March 12, 2020

For media inquiries: Samantha Hillson, 607-274-6600,
For health inquiries: Community Health Services at 607-274-6604
New York State Hotline for COVID-19: 1-888-364-3065

For general inquiries: Call 2-1-1 or 877-211-8667, Text your zip code to TXT211 (or 898211), or email

Tompkins County 2-1-1 Resource for COVID-19

(Ithaca, N.Y., March 12, 2020) - The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) continues to work closely with community partners to prepare and respond to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. While there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York State, there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins County.

The best ways to protect yourself and slow the spread of illness are to take everyday actions: stay home if you are sick, cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or elbow, and wash your hands well and often.

Should you have questions and concerns about COVID-19, please call 2-1-1. Operators will have the most up-to-date information and guidance provided by the Tompkins County Health Department. 2-1-1 should be used for general inquiries only. Calls regarding health and medical inquiries should be directed to the Health Department at 607-274-6604. If you are experiencing symptoms, including cough, fever and shortness of breath, call your health care provider.

"2-1-1 is a trusted resource in our community, and by diverting some of the non-essential calls away from our Health Department staff, we can ensure these inquiries are responded to in the most efficient manner," said Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director.

A reminder that TCHD will update numbers daily on the Health Department website regarding those in quarantine, test results pending, and confirmed cases. We currently have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins County.

How to Protect Yourself:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If a tissue is not available, cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Avoid handshakes and hugs, use an elbow bump instead
  • 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 soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • For information about handwashing, see CDC's Handwashing website and posters are available for download on the TCHD website.

If you develop symptoms of illness including fever, cough, or trouble breathing, call your healthcare provider before you go to the office.

As this situation evolves, TCHD will continue to send out updates and check the website for updates.

Stay informed. Get updated information on COVID-19 at:

For more information call the Health Department at 607-274-6604, or go to

The Tompkins County Health Department is your partner for a healthy community. Find us online at, and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TompkinsHealth.