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Tompkins County Department Access Restrictions and Temporary Closings

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Tompkins County Department Access Restrictions and Temporary Closings

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Tompkins County is temporarily restricting access to its departments and onsite workforce. These measures will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to keep Tompkins County employees safe as they work to maintain critical services to the community and its residents.

All departments not noted below are still open to the public by appointment only. The doors to the office will be locked but a person can call for a same day/hour appointment as they are available. These measures are being enacted to ensure proper social distancing in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Tompkins County remains committed to providing essential services, and we are actively considering the best ways to continue operating while ensuring the health and safety of our community and staff,” stated Jason Molino, Tompkins County Administrator.

Changes to County related programs and services are as follows and will be updated as needed. Departments that are closed to the public:

  • Tompkins County Clerk – If you need to drop off a document, it can be dropped off at the main entrance.
  • Tompkins County Department of Planning and Sustainability – staff may be reached by email or phone.
  • Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council (ITCTC) – staff may be reached by email.
  • Tompkins County Department of Motor Vehicles
    • The Tompkins County Department of Motor Vehicles will now be accepting new vehicle registrations through private sales to be processed in our Ithaca office – by mail only. This will allow for the transfer of vehicle registrations, but due to our limited staffing, this process cannot be used to register snowmobiles, boats, trailers, or motorcycles.

      Individuals can send in:

      • MV82
      • DTF802
      • Proof of insurance
      • Title
      • Copy of license
      • Blank signed check

      The DMV will send you back a copy of your check along with your registration and plates.

      The DMV also be processing plate surrenders by mail. Send the plates in with a self-addressed stamped envelope.

  • Tompkins County Sheriff Administrative Offices, including the Civil and Records Division, are closed
    • The following functions have been suspended:
    • Pistol permit transactions
    • Sheriff Identifications
    • Background Checks
    • Civil payments (can mail certified check or money order to the Sheriff’s Office)
    • Request for copies of reports – Please mail request with a copy of your government issued ID to the Sheriff’s Office. In cover letter please include what records you are requesting, your mailing address, and a contact phone number
    • All inmate visitation is suspended  All group meetings are suspended for non-essential professional visitors
  • Tompkins Workforce NY
    • Unemployment Insurance Claims: The State is working to alleviate the significant pressure the influx of unemployment claims has created on the workforce system. Therefore, the New York State Department of Labor has just released a new schedule for individuals filing new Unemployment Insurance Claim by phone or web. As a reminder the 7-day waiting period has been waived or call 1-888-209-8124
    • ​The day you file is based on the first letter of your last name and filing later in the week will not delay payments or affect the date of your claim. Claims are effective on the Monday of the week of filing:
      • A-F: Monday
      • G-N: Tuesday
      • O-Z: Wednesday
    • If you missed a filing day, claim on Thursday or Friday

Departments that are open with restrictions noted where available:

  • Tompkins County Legislature:
    • Legislature meetings as well as Committee meetings will be closed to in-person attendance by members of the public. Legislators and staff can elect to participate remotely. The public can listen in on the Legislature meetings by calling 646-558-8656 ID# 587 980 1385 and submit comments via email at
    • All meetings of advisory boards, committees, and commissions will be suspended through the end of April
  • Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport
  • Recycling and Solid Waste Management
    • Providing essential services including the following. Please take precautions to protect yourself and others while using these services.
      • Recycling and Solid Waste Center
      • Recycling and Materials Management Office
      • Curbside recycling
      • Food scraps drop spots
  • Board of Elections
    • All village elections to be held on March 18th will be rescheduled until after June 1
    • The Presidential Primary to be held on April 28th will be rescheduled to June 23.
    • All school district elections will be held after June 1.
  • Tompkins County Mental Health Services
    • Clinic and PROS Services:
      • Essential services will be provided over the phone. Crisis, medications, injections, payee, and intake services will be available by phone Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30. Please call 607-274-6200 for information
      • Anyone that comes to the building will be asked a few questions pertaining to travel outside the country, if they have been exposed to someone known to be in quarantine or exposed to COVID-19, or if they have symptoms. If they answer yes, they will be directed to seek the services of a medical provider and they will not be seen in the building.
    • Care Management:
      • Care Coordination will be available by telephone and offer the following:
        • Increased telephone communication to assess for immediate needs
        • Work with member’s providers in order to link/connect members to resources
        • Provide necessary supports during this time
      • Call the Care Management Unit at 607-274-6333
  • Tompkins County Health Department
    • The following programs have been suspended:
      • MOMS
      • SafeCare
      • Immunizations
      • Healthy Neighborhoods Program
      • Early Intervention - will restart with teletherapy services only.
      • Preschool Special Education Services - NYSED is providing guidance on telehealth services.
      • WIC will take appointments via phone call at 607-274-6630 through April 15th. WIC will continue to provide benefits remotely.
      • Environmental Health will have limited public contact; electronic and phone communication is encouraged.
    • The public is encouraged to call ahead with inquiries about services.
  • Tompkins County Department of Social Services
    • DSS is continuing to support the community and will be screening all visitors to the building. People will be asked a few questions (as directed by OTDA and OCFS) pertaining to travel outside the country, if they have been exposed to someone known to be in quarantine or exposed to COVID-19, or if they have symptoms. If people respond yes, they will be directed to seek advice from a medical provider, and they will not be seen in the building. If persons need assistance, and do not have the ability to call their worker they will be admitted into the building for assistance and will be expected to use appropriate social distancing. Please call ahead to make an appointment 607-274-5345 for economic assistance. For help with emergency housing, please call, 607-274-5644, 607-274-6544 or 607-274-5293.
    • At present, our Children’s Services Division, Adult Protective Services and Long-Term Care Divisions will be screening prior to appointments and use of phone and skype will be used on a limited basis.
    • DSS Child Support division continues with all required services with the exception of processing petitions due to closure of Child Support Court in all but the most needed cases as deemed by the court. o Accounting services are working to keep checks generated, payments going out, handling the mail, processing claims and data entry of which all services to clients depend on to continue distribution of benefits and services.