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COVID19 2020-11-28 Oak Hill and Increase

The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) is reporting two Oak Hill Manor Nursing Home residents died from COVID-19. The deaths were confirmed by the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH), the agency that manages contact investigations and testing for long term care and skilled nursing facilities in the state.

39 Oak Hill Manor residents and 13 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. Oak Hill Manor administrators are working with the NYS DOH to complete contact investigations and to isolate all positive cases to stop the spread. TCHD continues to work with nursing homes in Tompkins County through regular calls, but NYS DOH takes over all monitoring if positive cases occur in long-term care and skilled nursing facilities.

Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “Our thoughts are with the families of those who passed, and with all of those who are battling the disease. The spread of COVID-19 at this nursing home shows how quickly the virus is transmitted, and how it can have devastating impacts on older adults and people with pre-existing health concerns.”

The cases at Oak Hill Manor are reported alongside a total of 174 over the past 7 days, and 188 active cases in Tompkins County. Data trends outlining the recent spike in cases can be found on the Tompkins County Health Department website.

Kruppa stated, “This is an unprecedented spike of cases in Tompkins County. Consistent days of 20 plus new cases puts a strain on our healthcare system and increases the potential for community spread. Our Health Department nurses and County staff are working seven days a week to help stop the spread by identifying and quarantining contacts of positive cases and checking in on those who are in isolation and quarantine.”

“The actions we all take have a direct impact on others. The disease is spreading at a rapid pace and we all need to act with renewed caution,” Kruppa continued. “We continue to strongly discourage all non-essential gatherings and travel, and encourage mask-wearing, staying six feet apart, and monitoring yourself closely for symptoms. Testing before traveling is giving people false assurances; an individual who tests negative one day can be positive the next. We know how to stop the spread in our community and urge everyone to act with caution and vigilance.”

Cayuga Health System and Tompkins County opened an additional COVID-19 sampling location in downtown Ithaca at 412 N. Tioga St. on Friday, November 27. The new sampling location is a saliva collection site and was opened to support individuals residing in downtown Ithaca and other locations who may have limited transportation. The Mass Sampling Site at The Shops at Ithaca Mall remains open. Appointments are required for both sites and can be made through on-line registration at or through the Call Center at 607-319-5708.

For local updates and information, check the TCHD website

Individuals who travel 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 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 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.

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