38 Positive COVID-19 Cases Announced, TCHD Guidance Strongly Discourages Non-Essential Gatherings and Travel
(Ithaca, N.Y., November 20, 2020) – The Tompkins County Health Department announced 38 new positive COVID-19 cases on Friday. The number of active cases in Tompkins County is now at 158, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. Following the recent spike in positive COVID-19 cases, the Tompkins County Health Department is sharing information on recent cases and reiterating guidance to help stop the spread, including strongly discouraging non-essential gatherings and travel.
The Health Department is reporting:
- 10 positive cases connected to Oak Hill Manor Nursing Home
- Several cases related to travel
- Multiple cases from spread within households
Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “A higher prevalence of the disease in our community puts our most vulnerable community members at increased risk, including those at long-term care facilities. It’s on all of us to stop COVID-19 from spreading – and to keep one another healthy by reducing contacts and potential community spread.” Kruppa continued, “Oak Hill has taken steps to help prevent future transmission at their facility, and has communicated with families of residents on the recent positive cases and precautions they have put in place.”
Much of the recent increase in cases is related to small gatherings between households and from individuals returning to the community from travel. The Tompkins County Health Department recently issued guidance discouraging all non-essential gatherings and upcoming holiday travel.
Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “We're concerned by this recent spike in cases, especially as the holidays approach. Recent cases are primarily the result of small gatherings, transmission within households, and travel. When people gather, even in small groups, 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.”
Kruppa added, “Gathering for the holidays is most concerning because multiple generations are involved. Even those not presenting symptoms are still at risk of spreading the disease. I’m asking everyone to remain vigilant and continue taking precautions - wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart, and pay attention to density when you are out. I urge you to carefully consider the choices you make about travel and gathering. These choices could have a profound effect on our entire community.”
For local updates and information, check the TCHD website.
Individuals who traveled to or from a non-contiguous state must quarantine for a period of 14 days when entering New York or follow the travel-related testing guidelines. More information about the travel-related testing guidelines can be found on the Travel Advisory web page. 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 non-essential travel.
- 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. Non-essential gatherings in private residences, indoor or outdoor, are limited to 10 people or less.
- 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 TompkinsCountyNY.gov/health, and follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/TompkinsPublicHealth and on Twitter at @TompkinsHealth.