January 20, 2022

Coronavirus briefs 4/16

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Cortland county cases of virus increase to 27

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cortland County increased by two to 27 on Wednesday, the county reported. In total, three people have died in Cayuga, Tompkins and Cortland counties.

The county Health Department was monitoring 45 people. Three people are hospitalized, all in serious condition, bringing to five the total who have been hospitalized. The Cortland County Health Department has received 745 negative test results from health care providers. Eighteen people have recovered.

Tompkins County reports 115 confirmed cases among 2,501 tested people, according to the state Department of Health, although the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports 118 confirmed cases. Two people have died, although neither was a Tompkins resident, state data show.

The Cayuga County Health Department reported 37 cases. One person has died.

No one is hospitalized. Another 43 are quarantined and 20 are in isolation. It awaits test results on 23 people of 617 people tested.

County DMV expands drive-through service

The Cortland County Department of Motor Vehicles at 112 River St. in Cortland is expanding its drive-through service to five days a week from two.

The DMV, which had been closed to in-person transactions, was open to drive-through service from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Long lines, however, were reported as a result of the shortened schedule.

Tuesday night, Cortland County announced that the DMV office would expand drive-through service from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The following transactions will be accepted for drop off and pick up:

Dealer transactions.

  • Person-to-person new registrations.
  • Plate surrenders.
  • Payment will be accepted by check only and transactions will be available for pick up in one week.

Transactions may also be mailed to Cortland DMV, 112 River St., Cortland, N.Y. 13045, or dropped off at one of the blue DMV drop boxes outside the Cortland County Courthouse employee entrance or town halls in Homer and Cortlandville and the Old Marathon Town Hall.

Put cardboard in recycling bin

Tompkins County Recycling and Materials Management has asked residents to put cardboard in their recycling bins rather than stacked to the side, so collectors can touch fewer surfaces and slow coronavirus spread.

COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person, but surface transmission is possible, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Collectors have personal protective equipment, but containing all recyclables in a bin reduces the risk of surface transmission.

As an added step, residents can disinfect their recycling bins after setting them out. More information about recycling is available at recycletompkins.org.

Tompkins announces business loans

A $390,000 fund has been established to help Tompkins County small businesses cope with the economic damage of coronavirus.

The Ithaca /Tompkins County COVID-19 Small Business Resilience Fund was created by Tompkins County Development Corp., Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency, Cornell University, city of Ithaca, Tompkins County Area Development, the Tompkins Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and the Tompkins County Workforce Investment Board.

Alternatives Federal Credit Union will manage the application process and disburse loans within three days of approvals.

“Our small businesses are the backbone of our local life, drawing people to Ithaca from around the region, and serving as employers and economic drivers, as well as contributors to the common good,” said Martha E. Pollack, president of Cornell University, which contributed $100,000.

Businesses can visit bit.ly.coicovid to download program guidelines and information about how to apply. For questions contact Kathleen Clark at Alternatives Federal Credit Union, 607-216-3423 or kclark@alternatives.org.

College gives masks, gloves to first responders

AURORA — When Cayuga County’s Emergency Services office asked for donations of personal protective equipment to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, Wells College’s professors and athletic trainers pooled their resources.

Biological and chemical sciences faculty and athletic training staff donated 27 boxes of gloves and 14 medical masks to Cayuga County first responders.

“In the first weeks of the lockdown, we were hearing news reports of hospitals in New York running low of critical supplies,” said chemistry Professor Christopher Bailey, chairman of the biological and chemical sciences program. “(Assistant Professor) Leah Elliott, one of our biologists, contacted me and said that she had a large number of examination gloves in her lab, and knew where others were located.”

The supplies will be distributed to first responders and medical facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes, said Harry Sherman, deputy director of emergency services for Cayuga County. He added that numerous other businesses and individuals had made similar donations. “I can’t even find a word for it,” he said. “It’s very good for us, and very helpful for our efforts.”

Tompkins urges absentee voting

The Tompkins County Board of Elections urges all voters to apply for an absentee ballot as early as possible for the June 23 primary election, Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Livesay said in a news release.

Absentee ballots will reduce the possible coronavirus exposure to our poll workers and improve social distancing for people voting in person, she said.. Go to votetompkins.com for the application form and instructions.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order that decrees the potential of contracting the COVID-19 virus qualifies as a temporary illness or disability.

If you have any questions, email Steve DeWitt at sdewitt@tompkins-co.org.

Brindisi announces thank you notes program

Rep. Anthony Brindisi said his office will coordinate efforts to thank essential works with homemade cards, notes and drawings from families in his district.

“From health care professionals and grocery store employees to sanitation workers and farmers, the essential workers on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus are helping keep us safe and healthy, and we owe them our utmost respect and gratitude,” said Brindisi (D-Utica). “This is just one small way for us to say thank you and let them know we will always remember their sacrifices.”

Constituents can submit their thank you notes at Brindisi.House.gov/thankyounotes.

Legal Aid Society adapts during pandemic

The Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York Inc. remains open for business.

“Now is the time for people to know of their civil legal rights and protections. In response, we are investing in technology resources to help our attorneys and paralegals work remotely,” said Paul Lupia, the organization’s executive director.

The possible growing legal needs arising from the coronavirus pandemic include loss of employment, evictions, foreclosures, obtaining and maintaining government benefits, domestic violence and sexual assault.

“We predict that there will be additional need for assistance from survivors and disturbances to the usual manner of accessing those services,” said Christina Reilly, managing attorney in Utica.

Also, the Social Security Administration and police warn about scams, including calls and letters being made to individuals to cut off or suspend their benefits, as well as medical scams.

The not-for-profit law office provides free civil legal information, advice and representation to people who can’t afford a lawyer in Cortland and 12 other counties. For details, visit www.lasmny. org or call 877-777-6152.