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> COVID19 2020-12-05 TCAT

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Saturday, December 5, 2020

For media inquiries: Samantha Hillson, 607-274-6714,
For health inquiries: Community Health Services at 607-274-6604
For general inquiries (non-medical): Call 2-1-1 or 877-211-8667

Cayuga Health COVID-19 Sampling Site: 607-319-5708,
New York State Hot-line for COVID-19: 1-888-364-3065

HEALTH ALERT:  Potential Public Exposure on TCAT Bus Route 14S

(Ithaca, N.Y., December 5, 2020) — The Tompkins County Health Department is alerting the public of a potential COVID-19 exposure. The Health Department received notification of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 and rode on TCAT Route 14S when they could have infected others. The individual who tested positive is in isolation and any close contacts are in quarantine.

Potential public exposures may have occurred on TCAT Route 14S during the following dates and times:

  • Saturday, November 28, inbound from Overlook Apartments to Walmart, 1:35pm – 1:55pm
  • Monday, November 30, inbound from Overlook Apartments to Walmart, 1:35pm – 1:55pm

If you were on TCAT Route 14S during the dates and times above, please do the following:

  • It is recommended that you get tested at a Cayuga Health Sampling Site:
    • Mass Sampling Site: The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd. Regular hours, Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:00pm.
    • Downtown Sampling Site: 412 N. Tioga St. Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:00pm
    • Appointment Required. Register for an appointment online at or call the Cayuga Health Call Center at 607-319-5708. Regular hours for the Call Center are Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:00pm.
  • Both Sampling Sites have additional hours this weekend:
    • Sunday, December 6, 8:00am – 1:00pm
  • Monitor your health for any symptoms of cough, fever, congestion, and shortness of breath for 14 days from the last time specified above that you were at this business. For a full list of symptoms, go to the TCHD website.
  • If you seek testing and the result is negative, continue to monitor your health for the full 14 days from the last time specified above that you were at this business. If you become symptomatic, seek testing again.
  • 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 Sites.

“Following our contact investigation, the potential public exposures identified were while the individual was riding the bus. Out of an abundance of caution, anyone who was a passenger during these times on route 14S should get tested and monitor themselves for symptoms. Everyone must continue to be cautious and consider density, keep distance, wear face coverings, and wash hands well and often to stop the spread of COVID-19,” stated Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director.

TCAT continues to use COVID-19 safety protocols, based on New York State mandates and best practices as advised by public health and industry experts.

  • Requiring riders and front-line employees to wear face coverings per New York State executive orders.
  • Promoting social distancing by limiting the number of passengers per bus to 25.
  • Encouraging good hygiene with the installation of hand sanitizers on all buses.
  • Adhering to a strict and daily regimen of bus disinfection of the entire fleet.
  • Requiring all employees to self-monitor and report any symptoms, as well as to undergo a temperature check, before they are allowed to start work either in the office or out in public.
  • Installing driver shields to create a physical barrier between the bus operator and riders. 
  • Communicating to riders and employees the importance of hand washing, social distancing and staying home if they have symptoms of illness.

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 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.

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.