January 27, 2022

Coronavirus briefs 12/13

Metro Creative Graphics

Tompkins County sees worst day yet

The Tompkins County Health Department reported 344 new positive COVID-19 cases Sunday, the highest one-day tally since the start of the pandemic.

Nine people were hospitalized. The health department reports:

  • Most cases cannot be traced to the point of infection, suggesting significant community spread and in a setting where people are not masked and distancing.
  • Most of the cases are among Cornell University and Ithaca College students.
  • Other sources include family gatherings, holiday gatherings and travel.

Tompkins County confirms Omicron variant

The Tompkins County Health Department confirming on Saturday the presence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in Tompkins County.

Two cases were confirmed as of Saturday, found via an ongoing sequencing program at Cornell University’s Virology Lab, in collaboration with Cayuga Medical Center and the health department.

At this time, the county has made no recommendation that testing, vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 be adjusted due to the Omicron variant.

“This variant is likely to become the predominant strain in the U.S. and around the world, just as Delta did this summer,” Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa said. “While not a lot is known about
this specific variant yet, we do know that wearing a mask while around others, avoiding gatherings especially if you are symptomatic, and getting vaccinated and boosted are all ways to stop the spread and prevent the most harmful effects of COVID-19 regardless of the variant.”

YWCA Cortland to require mask wearing indoors

Everyone must now wear a mask at all times in YWCA Cortland buildings regardless of vaccination status, according to an email from the agency.

That is now in effect.

This includes the Here We Grow daycare center and the 14 Clayton Ave. facility. Pool users will be required to wear a mask until they enter the water.

YWCA officials are updating the mask policy to comply with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s mandate issued Dec. 10, regarding masking in indoor public places. The state will reassess conditions on Jan. 15.

Southworth pajama time goes YouTube

DRYDEN — The Southworth Library in Dryden canceled the Pajama Storytime with Santa scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 21 due to the rising COVID concerns and Tompkins County Health Department recommendations.

People can watch Santa read the story- “The Night Before Christmas” on the library’s You- Tube channel at https://youtu.be/VsFanUWBvB8.

Cornell tightens restrictions, cancel events

Cornell University is increasing restrictions and canceling events in the wake of the latest COVID-19 spike, Provost Michael Kotlikoff and Vice President Ryan Lombardi announced Saturday, as 300 cases have been confirmed at the college, as well as the Omicron variant.

“The vast majority of cases are linked to off-campus student social gatherings where masking and other public health measures were not followed,” they said in a statement. “Being vaccinated, even with a booster shot, is not a license to let down our guards. Students testing positive for COVID-19 now, and in coming days, risk being required to isolate, away from family and friends, during the upcoming winter break.”

To that end:

  • All in-person student gatherings, formal or informal, are canceled.
  • In-person exams will continue; exam spaces will include extra spacing and student in isolation should contact their instructors.
  • The December Recognition ceremony in Ithaca will continue as planned.

Tompkins, Cayuga counties add 518 cases

Cortland County has not updated its COVD-19 data since Friday, when it confirmed 56 new cases of COVID-19, and one new death, bringing its total to 7,285 cases.

Tompkins and Cayuga counties reported 518 new cases Saturday and Sunday, and three new deaths.

The number of people who have contracted the virus increased to 26,042 across Cortland, Tompkins and Cayuga counties since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The number of people who have died from the virus has risen to 269.

  • The Cortland County Health Department was monitoring 580 patients, 231 of them confirmed positive. Five people were hospitalized. Since the pandemic began, 357 people have been hospitalized. The state Health Department reports 234,041 tests have been administered. The county has reported 88 deaths.
  • Tompkins County reported 428 new cases Saturday and Sunday, and two new deaths, reports the state Health Department. The number of confirmed cases rose to 8,377. The state reports 2,780,420 had been tested. Sixty-five Tompkins residents have died.
  • In Cayuga County, the state Health Department reported 90 new cases Satuday and Sunday, and one new death. Confirmed cases rose to 10,370. The state reports 289,291 people had been tested. The state reports 116 people have died.

155,414 receive COVID vaccine in 3 counties

The state Health Department reports 27,772 Cortland County residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, or 58.1% of the county’s total population and 65.8% of its people over 18. A total of 54.1% of the county has been fully vaccinated.

In Tompkins County, 81,086 people have received at least one dose, or 78.9% of the population and 83.9% of people over 18; 72.9% are fully vaccinated.

In Cayuga County, 46,556 residents have received at least one dose, or 60.3% of the total population and 68.6% of people over 18; 55.5% are fully vaccinated.

Statewide, 15.18 million people have received at least one dose, or 80.8% of the state’s population and 93.3% of its people over 18; 70.3% of the total population is fully vaccinated, as is 81.9% of its people over 18.

Cortland County rate tops 567 per 100,000

Cortland County reported 270 new cases of coronavirus from Dec. 5 to Saturday.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Cortland has 502.30 new cases per 100,000 people over the past week.

Cortland County was listed as having a “high risk” of transmission. The CDC recommends indoor masking in counties that exceed 50 cases per 100,000 over seven days.

The rates and risk, from the CDC:
Cortland: 567.45 — high
Tompkins: 423.76 — high
Cayuga: 488.40 — high
Onondaga: 448.62 — high
Broome: 569.06 — high
Chenango: 612.20 — high
Tioga: 682.53 — high
Madison: 499.01 — high