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COVID19 2020-12-21 Oak Hill

The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) is reporting six deaths of Oak Hill Manor Nursing Home residents from COVID-19. These newly announced deaths were reported to the Health Department by Oak Hill on December 21. Once a positive COVID-19 case is identified in a skilled nursing or long-term care facility, the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) manages contact investigations and testing. The deaths occurred between the dates of December 12 and December 21.

Oak Hill Manor administrators continue to partner with the NYS DOH to complete contact investigations and to isolate all positive cases to stop the spread. TCHD remains in close communication with area nursing homes through regular calls, with NYS DOH taking over all monitoring if positive cases occur in these long-term care and skilled nursing facilities.

Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “Every death from COVID-19 in our community is heartbreaking, and our thoughts are with the families of those we lost and with those battling the disease. We continue to see those at highest risk having the most adverse health outcomes from COVID-19. We’re looking forward to having our seniors vaccinated in the coming months, but while we await the vaccines, we can’t stop doing what we know works — wearing masks, keeping distance from one another, and being patient before we visit with loved ones.”

“It’s important to remember that our health department handles each new positive case and manages contact investigations in every case except those in nursing homes. Our contact tracing continues to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Tompkins County.”

“As another round of holidays approach, we all need to be vigilant to stop the spread,” stated Kruppa. “We continue to strongly discourage all non-essential gatherings and travel, and encourage mask-wearing, staying 6 feet apart, and monitoring yourself closely for symptoms. We know that not gathering with family and friends over the holidays is difficult, but we all need to be patient and look forward to celebrating when there’s widespread distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. This year, we can all give the gift of keeping our loved ones healthy and safe.”

For local updates and information, check the TCHD website

Information about COVID-19 Vaccines can be found on the TCHD website and the NYS DOH 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 2 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.