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COVID19 2020-09-02 Health Alert: Health Department Announces 25 Positive Cases

Health Department Announces 25 Positive COVID-19 Cases, Second Cluster Identified, Previously Identified Cluster Increases to 35

(Ithaca, N.Y., September 2, 2020) – The Tompkins County Health Department is reporting 25 new positive COVID-19 cases today, 14 of which are associated with the previously reported cluster, for a total of 35. A second cluster of eight positive cases identified over the past two days are connected to Cornell University and Tompkins Cortland Community College. Contact investigations are ongoing; anyone who tests positive will go into mandatory isolation, and as close contacts are identified, they are encouraged to seek a test and ordered into mandatory quarantine.

As announced by Tompkins Cortland Community College, four of today’s identified positive cases are Tompkins Cortland Community College students. Any residential students who test positive are placed into a mandatory isolation space on campus. Contact investigations are ongoing; all positive individuals are in isolation, and as close contacts are identified, they are encouraged to seek testing and placed in mandatory quarantine. The college will be moving to remote instruction for Thursday and Friday to allow for case investigations and contact tracing to be completed, and for thorough cleaning of on-campus spaces.

Multiple small gatherings where social distancing and mask-wearing were not adhered to are the primary cause of the clusters. The Tompkins County Health Department is reinforcing its message that everyone in Tompkins County, even while gathering in small groups, must wear a mask and keep at least six feet of distance between themselves and others.

Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director, stated, “As these clusters have evolved, it is evident that the size of the gathering doesn’t matter. This is the result of the mixing of different individuals at multiple small gatherings where some individuals did not have symptoms. Everyone must remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread. Wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others continue to be crucial to stopping the spread when individuals congregate.”

Kruppa continued, “We know the majority of students are adhering to campus guidance and are doing exactly what they have been asked to do by their respective institution. A small number of people have had a large negative impact on our community and their peers. This is not the way any of us hoped to start the semester, but it is the reality we are living.” Kruppa urged everyone to continue to take the necessary precautions to stop the spread, and be respectful to each other and our community.

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 a 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

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.