October 22, 2021

Coronavirus briefs 4/8

Metro Creative Graphics

Cortland County virus cases at 18

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cortland County remained at 18 on Tuesday, the county reported.

To date, none of the positive cases that have been reported are connected to each other. The Cortland County Health Department was monitoring 27 people. One patient is hospitalized, bringing to two the total who have been hospitalized. The Cortland County Health Department has received 558 negative test results from health care providers. Ten individuals have recovered.

Tompkins County reports 103 confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

The Cayuga County Health Department confirmed two new cases Tuesday, the center reports, for a total of 15. Two are hospitalized — one in critical condition. Another 48 are quarantined and 12 are in isolation. It awaits test results on 28 people of 423 people tested. Cortland County’s health department doesn’t have the ability to test for COVID-19, which is provided through health care providers. If a medical professional instructs you to get tested, collect the sample, then go directly home. Do not leave your home until you have test results, which could take up to a week.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, call your doctor, who will coordinate testing. People who don’t have a primary- care physician can call Upstate Medical University at 315-464-3979 or Cayuga’s Call Center at 607-319-5708.

Cayuga Health sends help to NYC

ITHACA — Cayuga Health filled two Cornell Campus-to-Campus buses with doctors, nurses and other professional staff to head to New York to help with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cornell University provided two buses to transport the teams from Cayuga Medical Center to New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

“We are proud to be sending such outstanding medical professionals and true ‘healthcare heroes’ to assist hard hit New York City in fighting this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Martin Stallone, president and CEO of Cayuga Health.

“These volunteers, and all of the health care workers at the forefront of this pandemic, are acting with courage and compassion in a situation that is both unprecedented and incredibly challenging,” said Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack.”

“We will continue to do what it takes to fight this epidemic and meet the healthcare needs of our community and beyond,” Stallone said. “We may be a small community, but our employees have huge hearts and we know that we can step up and help out in a big way.”

Corn-Ducky ducks are self-isolating

The annual Corn-Ducky Derby that typically takes place the first Saturday of May has been postponed until Sept. 26 because of COVID-19, Cortland Community Service Club President Dean Smith and Ducky Derby Chairman Doug Gilbert announced Tuesday.

In an effort to follow government health guidelines, the ducks will remain in self-isolation until such time that they are able to swim together, organizers said.

This is the 24th year of the derby, which has raised $100,000 for more than 20 greater Cortland youth and service organizations and provided nearly $350,000 in total grants.

“Not holding the event would let down many, including the families who attend the event, the organizations needing financial support and the Cortland businesses that support the annual derby,” Smith said, hence the rescheduling.

Organizers will keep safe the derby tickets people have already bought.

Parade to start at Smith school

A car parade will start at 2 p.m. Monday at Smith Intermediate School in Cortland to give kids and neighbors a scene to break up their day, said Gwen Girtain Barbato, a speech language pathologist with the Cortland Enlarged City School District.

The parade will start at the school and travel around town for students and families to greet at a distance.

Schools have been closed and students learning remotely since March 18.

Cayuga County closes playgrounds

Aileen McNabb-Coleman, chairwoman of the Cayuga County Legislature, issued an executive order Tuesday closing all playgrounds, athletic courts and sporting fields in Cayuga County.

In addition, interactions at public parks in Cayuga County are limited and visitors shall maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from unrelated persons.

“Due to the number of confirmed gatherings at local athletic courts and parks, I am compelled to make this decision to ensure the safety and health of all citizens of Cayuga County,” McNabb-Coleman said. “When people do not comply with social distancing, they present a serious health risk to others as this virus can impact any age group, regardless of health conditions.”

“The more we comply now, the sooner we can assume normal life activities,” she said.

TCAT extends no-fare policy

A no-fare policy that went into effect last month to reduce any potential for coronavirus contagion between drivers and riders will be extended to May 23 instead of ending Thursday, its board of directors announced Monday.

The policy eliminates the need for riders to put their hands on the farebox, as well as limits the amount of time they spend near drivers. The measure also aims to provide financial relief to riders who are struggling to make ends meet during the crisis.

TCAT is asking people to ride the bus only if necessary; if they are essential workers or if they need to travel to pick up life-sustaining basics, such as food and medicine. To promote social distancing, each bus has a 20-rider limit and, while in transit, riders are asked to sit as far apart as possible.

Since last month, TCAT’s ridership has fallen by more than 90 percent.

TCAT adjusted its spring service twice last month to provide what is now about 65 percent of normal service.

County DMV moves to drive-through

The Cortland County DMV is closed to in-person transactions, the county reported Monday.

Certain transactions will be accepted for drop off and pick up through the drive-through window 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Payment is accepted by check only. The services include: dealer transactions, person-to-person new registrations, registration renewals and license plate surrenders.

Transactions that are dropped off will be available for pick up in one week. Theses transactions may also be mailed to: Cortland DMV, 112 River St., Cortland, NY 13045.

Transactions may also be dropped off at a blue DMV drop box out the Cortland County Courthouse employee entrance, and at town halls in Cortlandville, Homer and Marathon’s old town hall.

Madison: Stay in every other day

WAMPSVILLE — Madison County’s Board of Supervisors and its health department asked residents to follow Onondaga County’s lead and alternate days they leave home until April 28.

“To keep things uniform, we are asking people to abide by the same rules as our neighboring Onondaga County,” the county announced in a release.

If you were born in an even year, go out to get necessary items or go to a park on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and the second Sunday. If you were born on an odd year, go out on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and the first Sunday.

“We are asking residents to voluntarily double down on their social distancing efforts here in Madison County,” said Madison County Chairman John M. Becker. “We thank our residents for doing their part, but we have noticed that people are becoming comfortable. They are no longer staying home. … We cannot become complacent.”