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COVID19 2021-08-31 Health Alert: Statement on Increase in Positive COVID-19 Cases

TCHD is announcing 130 new positive COVID-19 cases. Of the 361 new positive cases over the past 7 days, a significant portion are related to arrival and surveillance testing as colleges resume operations for the fall semester. All confirmed positive cases are in isolation and contact tracing is ongoing.


Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “With this increase, we are continuing to urge the community to get vaccinated, wear a mask while around others, and get tested when you are symptomatic or a close contact. Our nurses and healthcare partners at Cornell, Ithaca College, TC3, and Cayuga Health System are doing a remarkable job keeping up with contact tracing and responding to this significant increase in positive cases.”

Kruppa added, “There is a very high vaccination rate for our community, especially with the successes that have been reported by our local colleges. In addition to the arrival and surveillance testing, many of our new cases are arising from sustained close contact with a positive individual, meaning more than 10 minutes within six feet of a positive case. These close contacts are occurring more frequently in large indoor gatherings that mix different groups of people. At this time, we are not adding new guidance for the general public beyond our mask advisory and the encouragement to get vaccinated.”

Kruppa continued, “As people resume their normal activities and with the Delta variant being more transmissible, we’re seeing more fully vaccinated individuals test positive. A vast majority of the new cases are asymptomatic and we have not seen a relative increase in severe disease or hospitalization. Vaccines are working to keep people from getting severely ill.”

TCHD is reporting 5 current hospitalizations at Cayuga Medical Center and continues to monitor hospitalizations and the severity of illness from COVID-19. For more details on recent hospitalizations, refer to the previous COVID-19 Update from TCHD.

Tompkins County will host a virtual COVID-19 update on Thursday, September 2, 2021 at 4:30pm. The update can be viewed live on You Tube, and will be archived at the same link. The update will answer frequently asked questions from the public and share information and perspective on recent cases, hospitalizations, and guidance.

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.