December 2, 2021

Coronavirus briefs 7/31

Metro Creative Graphics

Number of confirmed virus cases still at 87 in Cortland County

Cortland County reported no new confirmed COVID-19 cases Thursday, the number of confirmed cases remaining at 87 — 37 new cases since July 3.

In all, 455 cases have been confirmed in Cayuga, Tompkins and Cortland counties and five people have died.

The Cortland County Health Department was monitoring 159 patients, 11 of them confirmed positive. None is hospitalized, although six have been. The Cortland County Health Department has received 13,752 negative test results. Seventy-six people have recovered. The county has reported no deaths.

Tompkins County reported two new cases Wednesday, the number rising to 227, according to the state Health Department. A total of 30,287 people were tested. Two people have died.

The state Department of Health reported no new cases Wednesday in Cayuga County, the number of confirmed cases remaining at 141. The state reports 19,635 people have been tested. Three people have died.

Career Center in Cortland reopens to public Monday

The Cortland Works Career Center at 99 Main St., Cortland, will reopen to the public Monday by appointment only to serve businesses and job seekers, the Cayuga Cortland Workforce Development Office announced Thursday.

Call 607-756-7585, ext. 3235 for an appointment between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. No walk-in clients will be permitted, but services will continue to be provided virtually weekdays, as well.

No services related to Unemployment Claims will be provided. For assistance, call 607-2098124 or go to

At the career center, clients will need to show identification and wear masks, and will be screened, with temperatures taken. Social distancing will be required.

Ithaca firm gets $750,000 for COVID-19 equipment

An Ithaca molecular diagnostic company has received $750,000 to produce nearly 6,800 testing kits that allow same-day COVID-19 diagnosis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.

Rheonix will get the money the state and has federal Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization for its newly developed Rheonix COVID-19TM MDx assay, which enables same day test results, and its work station, both of which are made in Ithaca.

The system requires minimal training to use and can be quickly installed in critical locations of immediate need. It is ideally suited for use in low to medium-throughput labs, enabling same-day results for local and regional health networks, institutional facilities and hospitals.

The 6,790 kits will yield nearly 163,000 test units by the third quarter of the year and create 53 jobs. The state now has 14 Rheonix workstations and has ordered six more.

The grant was among 12 grants totaling $6.9 million from the state to produce coronavirus pandemic supplies.

While the state has some of the lowest transmission rates in the nation, preparing for a possible second wave is vital, Cuomo said.

“During the pandemic, the nation has learned a hard lesson about not having a supply chain for vital supplies based here at home in the U.S. and as a result we had to scour the globe for live-saving products that are mainly manufactured overseas,” Cuomo said. “That won’t happen again in New York — we are building the infrastructure needed for the future and by supporting local companies’ pivot to new areas of production, we will be in a better position to avoid supply and demand issues and secure the items we need both quickly and at reasonable prices.”

Price Chopper stores in New York to resume ban on plastic bags

All Price Chopper stores in New York will return to a ban on thin-film plastic bags starting Saturday, a ban delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced Thursday.

The Schenectady-based chain, which operates a store in Cortlandville, removed plastic bags from its stores when New York’s law went into effect on March 1, but brought them back by the end of that month because paper bags were growing scarce and some customers said they felt safer using disposable bags. Shoppers who brought reusable bags had to pack their own groceries.

The ban resumes Saturday, and employees will pack reusable bags.

“We are taking this step now — before it is required — because we support the noble intent of this law to reduce plastic in the waste stream and have seen the paper bag supply chain, which tightened during the initial weeks of the pandemic due to panic buying, ease somewhat,” said Mona Golub, Price Chopper’s vice president of public relations and consumer services.

“Our confidence in resuming compliance in this new age was further bolstered when the CDC and a broad cross section of the international medical community confirmed that the surface of clean reusable bags does not facilitate the transmission of COVID-19,” she added.

Jamesville Beach reopens for swimming

Jamesville Beach in Onondaga County reopened for swimming Thursday, but beach capacity is limited to 150 people and has these COVID-19 restrictions:

  • Visitors must practice social distancing and wear a mask (masks will be provided if needed.)
  • One individual in a group must provide a name and phone number for tracing purposes.
  • All individuals using the beach will be provided a bracelet to track usage and capacity.
  • Playground area and grills remain closed.

The beach, on Apulia Road in Jamesville, will be open noon to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Admission is $7 per vehicle.