The Tompkins County Health Department announced 30 new positive COVID-19 cases Thursday, following 19 positive cases announced the previous day and a total of 87 over the past seven days. The number of active cases in Tompkins County is now at 101, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. Following this spike in cases, the Tompkins County Health Department is sharing information on recent clusters and reiterating guidance to help stop the spread.
The Health Department is clarifying three recent clusters in Tompkins County. Each cluster is related to small gatherings, which are currently discouraged by the Health Department.
- A series of gatherings related to one household has resulted in 10 positive cases.
- College students who attended multiple gatherings with different groups of people at each gathering, gatherings resulted in over 10 positive cases
- A church group gathering resulted in four positive cases.
Contact investigations related to these clusters are ongoing, and the Health Department is still contacting individuals who may have been present at these gatherings.
The Tompkins County Emergency Operations Center and Health Department officials will be hosting a live streamed COVID-19 Update on Monday, November 16, at 5:00pm — the public is encouraged to tune in and share questions in the YouTube chat. The update will include guidance on travel and gatherings related to holidays and the recent spike in active cases.
Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “This significant increase in cases is a direct result of small gatherings. When people gather and do not follow distancing and mask-wearing guidance, the disease spreads rapidly and puts people at serious risk of getting sick and increasing the spread in our community. We are reminding everyone that no gatherings are allowed of more than 10 people, indoors or outdoors.”
On November 11, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo released new guidance requiring bars, restaurants, and gyms to close daily at or before 10:00pm and reducing the number of people allowed to gather, indoors or outdoors, at private residences to 10. Leading into the holiday season, the Tompkins County Health Department is discouraging all gatherings between households and all non-essential travel.
Kruppa added, “This is a concerning uptick, and heading into the holiday season we need people to pay close attention to the guidance and refrain from gathering or traveling, which could create more clusters like the ones we’re sharing today. Each time we’ve seen a spike, our community has been able to act carefully and slow the spread, I’m asking everyone to act with a renewed sense of caution and vigilance, I know this is tough and COVID fatigue is setting in for some people, but it’s too important that we do the right thing and keep one another safe — wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart, and plan and act with caution every time you go out and interact with others.”