October 23, 2021

Coronavirus briefs 4/11

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Cortland County virus cases rise to 20; Tompkins: 107, Cayuga: 28

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cortland County increased by one to 20 on Thursday, the county reported, even as Cayuga County confirmed 11 new cases.

To date, none of the positive Cortland County cases that have been reported are connected to each other. The county Health Department was monitoring 35 people. Three people are hospitalized, bringing to four the total who have been hospitalized.

The Cortland County Health Department has received 630 negative test results from health care providers. Twelve people have recovered.

Tompkins County reports 107 confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

The Cayuga County Health Department reported 11 new cases bringing it to 28 confirmed cases, and one death. Among the new patients was a 3 *-month-old girl. The other 10 included a teenager and people in their 20s and 30s.

One person is hospitalized. Another 35 are quarantined and 23 are in isolation. It awaits test results on 36 people of 492 people tested.

State Department of Labor improves unemployment system

The state Department of Labor and state Office of Information Technology Services announced Thursday a partnership with Google Cloud, Deloitte and Verizon to improve the reliability of the state’s online and telephone-based unemployment insurance application systems.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance filing system has faced an unprecedented increase in volume — with peak weeks seeing a 16,000% increase in phone calls and a 1,600% increase in web traffic.

The “tech surge” will include a new, streamlined, and more reliable online application system at labor.ny.gov, reducing the number of New Yorkers who must speak by phone to a claims specialist.

The Department of Labor will roll out a new “call back” system, allowing their staff to call New Yorkers who need to submit additional information, so New Yorkers who have already filed partial claims under the old system and had been told to call the hotline to finish their application should not. Call centers will call them, instead.

“I recognize that this is an extremely challenging time for all New Yorkers,” said Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “I have been unemployed. I understand the urgency. We want you to be aware of the steps that we are taking to respond to each of you, as quickly as we can.”

Cornell Orchards donates apples to Dryden, Ithaca schools

ITHACA – Cornell Orchards will donate about 26,000 apples to the Dryden and Ithaca school districts to help feed kids who might not otherwise have regular access to meals, the orchard announced.

Cathy Crispell, an orchards technician, contacted Dryden Central Schools, where her daughter works, and Eric Anderson, its wholesale coordinator, contacted the Ithaca City School District, which has been making 2,500 meals a day to deliver to kids. Dryden Central Schools has been producing about 175 boxes of meals every 10 days, each of which can feed a family of four until the next box arrives.

Anderson said the orchards are “committed to delivering 11,200 pounds of apples over the next month, with weekly deliveries.”

“Typically, we would be selling the apples in the greater Cornell community, Cornell Dining, offices, sororities, fraternities and campus events,” Anderson said. “We had the inventory to help fill the need in the community, so I don’t see how we couldn’t help.”

Cortland College Foundation establishes emergency fund

SUNY Cortland students who have suffered an education threatening financial setback because of the COVID-19 outbreak can apply for help from a new student emergency fund established by the Cortland College Foundation.

The donor-supported fund offers emergency grants of up to $500 to eligible students with a documented need. Although the current coronavirus pandemic sparked the creation of the fund, it is intended to assist in any unexpected financial situation.

“We live in challenging times,” said Greg Sharer, SUNY Cortland’s vice president for student affairs. “We understand that unforeseen circumstances can create temporary hurdles for any individual or family. A single financial setback can often impact a student’s ability to continue their education.”

The grants were created as temporary assistance and are not intended to replace financial aid. Students may apply for an emergency grant after other methods of funding have been exhausted.

Students can apply for a grant through SUNY Cortland’s Student Emergency Fund webpage at tinyurl.com/wvp326r. Review of applications will begin Wednesday.