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Statement by County Administrator Jason Molino on COVID-19

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Statement by County Administrator Jason Molino on COVID-19

Friday, March 13, 2020

The last few weeks have been unprecedented for our community and nation as a whole. As you know, cases of COVID-19 have been increasing and are expected to grow in the upcoming days and weeks. In New York State, as of today there are a total of 421 confirmed cases across 14 counties and New York City.

While we currently have zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins County, our current number of persons under investigation (PUI) has increased to 15 and unfortunately it appears inevitable that we will have a confirmed case in the near future.

Today we have had multiple conversations with local school district superintendents including Dr. Luvelle Brown (ICSD) and Dr. Jeff Matteson (BOCES) regarding public health concerns and community spread of this disease. As a result, our public health director Frank Kruppa has recommended that public schools close to students to limit the spread of this virus in our community.

To that end, I have decided to take preemptive steps to limit the impact to our community by declaring a state of emergency to address this public health crisis. This declaration will provide the County with the support and flexibility to prepare and respond to this rapidly evolving situation. While we do not take this decision lightly, we feel that this is in the long-term best interest of our community as we work together with our partners to navigate these uncharted waters.

Within the next 24-48 hours, we will be working closely with the school districts and other community partners to address their urgent needs. Together, we will provide a unified response that best serves our community.