December 6, 2021

Coronavirus briefs 8/6

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Cortland County cases rise to 91

Cortland County reported one new confirmed COVID-19 case Wednesday, raising the number of confirmed cases to 91.

In all, 472 cases have been confirmed in Cayuga, Tompkins and Cortland counties and five people have died.

The Cortland County Health Department was monitoring 148 patients, three of them confirmed positive. None is hospitalized, although six have been. The Cortland County Health Department has received 14,788 negative test results. Eighty-eight people have recovered. The county has reported no deaths.

Tompkins County reported one new case Tuesday, the number rising to 231, according to the state Health Department. A total of 32,815 people were tested. Two people have died.

The state Department of Health reported no new cases Tuesday in Cayuga County, the number of confirmed cases remaining at 150. The state reports 21,021 people have been tested. Three people have died.

Cayuga Health sampling center by appointment only

Cayuga Health officials announced it will now require scheduled appointments and advance registration for COVID-19 tests at its mass sampling center outside the Shops at Ithaca Mall.

“Scheduling an appointment ahead of time will minimize traffic congestion and the wait times for people being tested,” said Dr. Martin Stallone, CEO of Cayuga Health.

People seeking a test can go to to review the criteria and schedule an appointment. People who don’t meet the criteria can still pay $99 for a test.

Patients who may not have access to the internet, need assistance registering, or have questions can call 607-319-5708.

The center, at 40 Catherwood Road, is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Beware methanol in sanitizer

A Syracuse-based poison center has received nearly 50 calls about toxic hand sanitizer, it reports, as the Food and Drug Administration updated a list of sanitizers contaminated with methanol.

The Upstate New York Poison Center has received 49 calls from its 54-county service area, more than double the number from last year.

Most hand sanitizers contain ethyl alcohol, or ethanol. It can be dangerous when ingested, but is safe when used as directed on one’s hands. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for any hand sanitizer, the center reports. Also known as wood alcohol, methanol is often used in pesticides, paint thinner and antifreeze. It can be toxic if absorbed through the skin and deadly if ingested.

“Unfortunately, with these products, there is no way for consumers to tell if the product contains methanol,” says Gail Banach, director of public education and communications at the Upstate New York Poison Center, “Methanol is not approved for use in hand sanitizers, so it will not be listed on the ingredient panel, even if it is inside, so we recommend everyone check the list from the FDA.”

The FDA has composed a list of the companies and products involved. You can find it at

Call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 800-222-1222.