HelpContact UsFOILSite Map

Custom Navigation

Living in Tompkins County linkLearning in Tompkins County linkVisiting Tompkins County linkBusiness in Tompkins County linkTompkins County Government link

You are here:

You are here

> COVID19 2020-08-07 Coordination with Cornell

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

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


Friday, August 7, 2020

For media inquiries: Samantha Hillson, 607-274-6714,
For health inquiries: Community Health Services at 607-274-6604
For general inquiries (non-medical): Call 2-1-1 or 877-211-8667

Cayuga Health COVID-19 Sampling Site: 607-319-5708,
New York State Hotline for COVID-19: 1-888-364-3065

Tompkins County Health Department Continues Coordination with Cornell University

(Ithaca, N.Y. - August 7, 2020) – The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) is in ongoing communication with Cornell University officials following recent announcements on their plans to reopen campus, and continues to maintain capacity for contact tracing investigations and ensuring successful quarantine and isolation.

In response to an increase in public inquiries related to the announcements, Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “The nature of the COVID-19 crisis is evolving, and it’s important that we’re patient and responsive as plans made by our community partners evolve. We continue to communicate closely with our partners at Cornell and Cornell Health to provide feedback on their plans and share guidance on how to best stop the spread of the disease in Tompkins County.” Kruppa continued, “The New York State Travel Advisory was an unexpected policy shift, requiring all of us to adapt quickly and focus on how we can effectively quarantine individuals coming from impacted states.”

TCHD currently has 36 trained contact tracers available and continues to have adequate capacity to meet tracing needs from new positive cases and plans are also in place to increase capacity as needed. Following contact tracing, TCHD continues to monitor all positive cases and close contacts through completion of quarantine and isolation. TCHD reminds all individuals arriving from states on the New York State Travel Advisory that they must complete a full 14-day quarantine. Travelers will receive confirmation from the New York State Department of Health to be released from quarantine.

Kruppa stated, “The Health Department takes our responsibilities to manage contact tracing investigations and ensure quarantine and isolation seriously; these responsibilities have not changed, and we remain committed to doing this work. If we need to increase capacity, we will do so in partnership with Cornell and other community partners. We are actively encouraging all travelers to take careful action to keep themselves and others healthy and will enforce regulations accordingly.”

In addition to contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation, testing is a key component in responding to COVID-19. Kruppa added, “Cornell’s commitment to their testing program and holding accountability to their behavioral compact are vital for keeping our community healthy. This next month is going to be critical and all Tompkins County residents, including students, need to be vigilant and follow public health guidance.”

For local updates and information, check the TCHD website

For more information about how to quarantine, refer here.

Individuals presenting symptoms or with concerns about being exposed should seek testing:

Cayuga Health Sampling Site
Hours: Mon–Fri, 8:30AM–4:00PM
Appointment required. To register call Cayuga Health Call Center at 607-319-5708, or

Everyone can continue to take these steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community:

  • Refrain from traveling to states listed in the New York Travel Advisory.
  • Keep 6 feet distance between yourself and others when in public.
  • Wear a mask at all times in public spaces, especially when 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained. Masks and face coverings must be worn by everyone over age two at all times in public places when 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained. Fines are enforceable for individuals who are in violation of these regulations. Businesses must deny entry to anyone who is not wearing a face covering.
  • Non-essential gatherings are limited to 50 people for our region, but must comply with distancing and face covering guidance.
  • Wash hands well and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close and continued contact with other people not in your household.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

To file a complaint about a business or social gathering click here.

Find us on Facebook @TompkinsPublicHealth and Twitter @TompkinsHealth.