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COVID19 2020-08-28 Health Alert Positive COVID-19 Cases Connected to Social Gatherings

The Tompkins County Health Department is reporting nine new positive COVID-19 cases along with details regarding their exposures. Following this increase in cases, the Tompkins County Health Department is reminding everyone in Tompkins County that even while gathering in small groups, mask requirements and keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and others are critical to stopping the spread of the disease.

The contact investigations are ongoing and as close contacts are identified they are encouraged to seek a test and ordered into mandatory quarantine. Anyone who tests positive and has symptoms will go into mandatory isolation.

Small gatherings where social distancing and mask-wearing was not adhered to has resulted in this increase in cases. As we enter this weekend, the Health Department is reinforcing the importance of wearing a mask and maintaining distance regardless of the size of any gathering.

Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director stated, “It is evident from these cases that the size of the gathering, whether 10 people or 30, doesn’t matter. This virus spreads quickly and easily. Everyone must remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread. Wearing a mask and staying six feet apart from others continue to be crucial to stopping the spread when individuals gather.”

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

  • Cayuga Health Sampling Site located at The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd. Register for an appointment online at or call the Cayuga Health Call Center at 607-319-5708. Regular hours for the Sampling Site and Call Center are Monday-Friday 8:30AM-4:00PM.
  • If potentially exposed, Cornell University students should contact Cornell Health at 607-255-5155; do not go to an arrival or surveillance testing site.
  • All other students and community members should seek testing at the Cayuga Health Sampling Site.
  • If you need transportation assistance to the Cayuga Health Sampling Site, call 2-1-1 after you have registered and made a testing appointment. 2-1-1 is available 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. to help with transportation options to the Sampling Site. For local updates and information, check the TCHD website

Individuals who have traveled to a state with significant community spread listed on the NYS Travel Advisory must quarantine for 14 days. See an up-to-date list of states on the NYS Travel Advisory webpage. For more information about how to quarantine, refer to the TCHD website

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 go to the TCHD website.

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.