December 6, 2021

Coronavirus briefs 11/23

Metro Creative Graphics

Cortland County reports 39 new cases

Cortland County reported 39 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the weekend, raising the number of confirmed cases to 1,244. Seven people remain hospitalized.

In all, 2,734 cases have been confirmed in Cayuga, Tompkins and Cortland counties and 11 people have died.

• The Cortland County Health Department was monitoring 1,130 patients, 152 of them confirmed positive. Seven people are hospitalized, bringing to 27 the number hospitalized since the pandemic began. The Cortland County Health Department has received 44,996 negative test results. The county has reported one death.

• Tompkins County reported 56 new cases Friday and Saturday, the number of confirmed cases rising to 904, reports the state Health Department. A total of 657,472 have been tested. Three people have died.

• In Cayuga County, the state Health Department reported 23 new cases Friday and Saturday. Confirmed cases rose to 704. The state reports 64,777 people have been tested. Seven people have died.

SUNY Cortland adds 6 new cases

SUNY Cortland reported nine new cases of coronavirus Saturday, bringing the total to 753 since students returned for the fall, 45 of them active, the college reported.

The college is at nine cases of its 100-case limit between Nov. 21 and Dec. 4, and the State University of New York has continued restrictions to remote only learning in place since Oct. 7.

The college has 23 students quarantined on campus pending test results; 19 others are in isolation.

Cases regarding SUNY Cortland students are reported to the county health department of the student’s residence, so some cases may not be included with Cortland County Health Department data.

Coronavirus cases at other colleges

• Cornell University reported two cases Thursday, bringing it to 216 confirmed cases since Aug. 15. It was at 43 cases of its 100- case limit between Nov. 7 and Nov. 20 before it must move to remote learning.

• Tompkins Cortland Community College reported two cases Thursday bringing it to 17 cases since Aug. 1. The college has tested 1,100 people. On Friday, 41 people were quarantined and four were in isolation.

Public schools

Since the school year began, here are how many cases of COVID-19 have been reported at schools, according to the state Health Department.

Tompkins County warns against travel, holiday gatherings

As the Tompkins County Health Department reported 38 new coronavirus cases Friday, including 10 connected to a nursing home, its director warned against travel for the holidays, and holiday gatherings.

The county was treating 158 active cases, the most at any one time since the COVID- 19 pandemic began in March, county Public Health Director Frank Kruppa said. Among them:

• 10 cases connected to Oak Hill Manor Nursing Home in Ithaca.

• Several cases connected to travel.

• Several more cases spread from people within a household.

“A higher prevalence of the disease in our community puts our most vulnerable community members at increased risk, including those at long-term care facilities,” Kruppa said. “Oak Hill has taken steps to help prevent future transmission at their facility, and has communicated with families of residents on the recent positive cases and precautions they have put in place.”

Much of the recent increase in cases is related to small gatherings between households and from individuals returning to the community from travel.

The Tompkins County Health Department recently issued guidance discouraging all non-essential gatherings and upcoming holiday travel.

“We’re concerned by this recent spike in cases, especially as the holidays approach,” Kruppa said “When people gather, even in small groups, and do not follow distancing and mask-wearing guidance, the disease spreads rapidly and puts people at serious risk of getting sick and increasing the spread in our community.”

“Gathering for the holidays is most concerning because multiple generations are involved,” he added. “Even those not presenting symptoms are still at risk of spreading the disease.”

Cayuga County ceases notice of exposures

The Cayuga County Health Department announced Saturday it will no longer announce possible COVID-19 exposure locations, following the lead of Cortland, Onondaga and Madison counties, even as it announced a super-spreader event over Halloween weekend.

Individuals who are identified as close contacts of positive cases will continue to be notified of their exposure, the department states.

People should take precautions to protect themselves every time they leave their homes, the department advised.

Three weeks after Halloween, the department reported a single event, with one person who was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, exposed people at a Halloween gathering.

Twenty-one people needed to be quarantined, the department reports. Of those, eight later tested positive.

And five people caught coronavirus from the gathering, the county reported.