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COVID19 2021-09-15 Health Dept Reports Two COVID-19 Deaths of Fully Vaccinated Tompkins Residents

The Tompkins County Health Department is reporting two COVID-19 related deaths of Tompkins County residents that occurred on September 13. TCHD has confirmed that both patients who passed away at Cayuga Medical Center were fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and that both were elders.


Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “Our thoughts are with the families and caregivers of these individuals who have passed. COVID-19 has touched the lives of so many people in our community. We continue to grieve for all who we have lost during this pandemic.” Kruppa continued, “We’re sharing this information on the recent passing of fully vaccinated individuals to continue our commitment to transparency as we monitor the severity of disease in our community, and to share who is most vulnerable and negatively impacted by COVID-19.”

Kruppa added, “What we’re seeing locally is an increase in spread as the community reopens and people are going out and gathering with others. We know that the Delta variant continues to spread even among those who are fully vaccinated. Despite this, the vaccine is protecting a vast majority of people against severe illness. With our majority-vaccinated population and the prevalence of the Delta variant, we are likely to continue to see positive cases in those who are vaccinated. The Health Department will continue to monitor severe symptoms and illness from COVID-19 in our population, and work to protect those who are most vulnerable to the disease. We can all keep the most vulnerable among us healthy by continuing to wear a mask while indoors around others, getting tested if we are symptomatic, and encouraging everyone around us to get vaccinated.”

According to the CDC, various medical conditions in adults are more likely to cause severe illness from COVID-19. Additionally, older adults are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Long-standing systemic health and social inequities also put individuals at increased risk of becoming severely ill. TCHD continues to report that all available vaccines are providing protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19, and continues to urge all members of the community to get vaccinated as soon as possible. A majority of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 in Tompkins County have been of unvaccinated older adults.

TCHD is reminding the Tompkins County community of the precautions that can be taken to stop the spread of COVID-19:

  • Tompkins County continues to be under a mask advisory. Wear a mask while indoors and around others.
  • Vaccines are readily available. Get vaccinated when you are able and share accurate information with others who are not yet vaccinated. For information on vaccines and local availability, visit
    • Individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and are fully vaccinated with one of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) are advised to get a third dose of vaccine. Immunocompromised individuals should talk to their provider about a third dose, for more information visit:
  • Get tested if you are symptomatic or a close contact of a positive case. For more information on testing, visit:
    • If you are a fully vaccinated close contact of a positive case, TCHD guidance states that you should avoid contact with unvaccinated or immunocompromised individuals for the full 14-day period, even if you test negative.

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.