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> COVID19 2020-03-15 Additional info about positive case

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

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


Sunday, March 15, 2020

For media inquiries: Samantha Hillson, 607-274-6600,
For health inquiries: Community Health Services at 607-274-6604
For general inquiries: Call 2-1-1 or 877-211-8667; Text your zip code to TXT211 or 898211
New York State Hotline for COVID-19: 1-888-364-3065

Additional Information: Positive Case of COVID-19 in Tompkins County

(Ithaca, NY - March 15, 2020) - As announced yesterday, Tompkins County has a confirmed case of COVID-19. As this situation continues to evolve and impact our community, multiple agencies and organizations are working together to provide a unified, coordinated response.

As indicated in a letter to the Ithaca College Community, the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 is a member of their community. The individual is currently in mandatory isolation in their home and became symptomatic on March 5, right before the start of Ithaca College's spring break.

The Health Department Public Health Nurses conducted the contact investigation and are now in daily contact with any individuals who were identified as possibly being exposed to this individual on March 5 or later. The nurses will continue to evaluate whether any further steps such as self-quarantine or testing are necessary.

"I know this recent case brings up many concerns and questions for the public. It is important to know that the Health Department is working diligently and does not believe that there is any general risk to the wider community," states Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director. "We will continue to work closely and support Ithaca College to ensure that necessary steps are taken."

The general public should continue taking precautions to protect themselves:

  • Stay home if you are sick. Social distancing is essential right now, not just to protect yourself, but to slow the spread of disease and ensure that those who are at higher risk of COVID-19 are not exposed.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze. Use a tissue and throw it away, if not available use your sleeve.
  • Wash hands well and frequently. Use soap and water, if not available use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Where can the public get information about COVID-19 in Tompkins County?
  • Call 211 for information, including questions about food, transportation, events and gatherings, cancellations, and other human service needs
  • TCHD will continue to send out public updates
  • Check Facebook @TompkinsPublicHealth and Twitter@TompkinsHealth
  • Go to the TCHD website for up-to-date information
  • Get answers to Frequently Asked Questions 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. In the event of an emergency, call 911.

Stay informed. Get updated information on COVID-19 at:
For more information go to the Health Department

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.