January 20, 2022

Coronavirus briefs 12/15

coronavirus particles

Cornell announces ‘red alert’ warning

Cornell University advanced its COVID warnings to “red alert” status Tuesday, allowing its most severe restrictions as the university reported 469 active cases of coronavirus among its students, including a large number of the Omicron variant.

“While I want to provide reassurance that, to date, we have not seen severe illness in any of our infected students, we do have a role to play in reducing the spread of the disease in the broader community,” President Martha E. Pollack said in declaring the alert.

Here’s what it means:

  • Visitors and guests are not allowed on campus, except to pick up students for break.
  • Students should avoid non-essential contact with others.
  • All final exams will move to an online format.
  • All university activities involving undergraduates (including events and social gatherings) and all university-sponsored events (including winter celebrations) are canceled.
  • A recognition ceremony Saturday for December graduates is canceled.
  • Students are asked to use dining facilities’ “grab-and-go” features.
  • Libraries are closed to students.
  • Athletics competitions on Sunday are canceled. Fitness centers and gyms are closed to students.
  • Offices and labs remain open, but undergraduate students should not participate in work-study or lab work.
  • Students who have tested negative in the past 48 hours who wish to leave campus are welcome to.
  • Staff and faculty mandatory surveillance testing will continue as normal.

Cortland County adds 26 new cases

Cortland County confirmed 26 new cases of COVD-19 on Tuesday, and one new death, bringing its total to 7,447 cases.

Tompkins and Cayuga counties reported 230 new cases Tuesday. The number of people who have contracted the virus increased to 26,503 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 271.

  • The Cortland County Health Department was monitoring 567 patients, 205 of them confirmed positive. Nine people were hospitalized. Since the pandemic began, 365 people have been hospitalized. The state Health Department reports 236,377 tests have been administered. The county has reported 89 deaths.
  • Tompkins County reported 182 new cases Tuesday, reports the state Health Department. The number of confirmed cases rose to 8,605. The state reports 2,783,162 had been tested. Sixty-six Tompkins residents have died.
  • In Cayuga County, the state Health Department reported 48 new cases Tuesday. Confirmed cases rose to 10,451. The state reports 290,043 people had been tested. The state reports 116 people have died.

155,567 receive COVID vaccine in 3 counties

The state Health Department reports 27,798 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 54.2% of the county has been fully vaccinated.

In Tompkins County, 81,170 people have received at least one dose, or 79% of the population and 84% of people over 18; 73% are fully vaccinated.

In Cayuga County, 46,599 residents have received at least one dose, or 60.4% of the total population and 68.6% of people over 18; 55.5% are fully vaccinated.

Statewide, 15.21 million people have received at least one dose, or 81.1% of the state’s population; 70.5% of the total population is fully vaccinated.

Cortland County rate at 542 per 100K

Cortland County reported 258 new cases of coronavirus from Dec. 7 to Monday.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Cortland has 542.23 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: 542.23 — high
Tompkins: 703.66 — high
Cayuga: 457.06 — high
Onondaga: 427.34 — high
Broome: 579.56 — high
Chenango: 599.49 — high
Tioga: 641.04 — high
Madison: 534.25 — high

Youth vax clinics set at Lansing, Newfield schools

The Tompkins County Health Department will offer two vaccination clinics this week for children 5 to 11.

  • Thursday: 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Newfield Elementary School gym, with a second-dose clinic Jan. 6.
  • Friday: 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Lansing Central Elementary School cafeteria, with a second-dose clinic Jan. 7.

The school districts sent out the registration links via email Monday to families with children in this age group.

More details, from the Tompkins County Health Department:

  • Children can receive the COVID-19 vaccine at alternate locations including pharmacies and medical offices.
  • Families of children who have special needs, other medical conditions, or may be uncomfortable at the mass vaccination site, can contact the child’s healthcare provider.

Tompkins County fields complaints about masks

The Tompkins County Health Department has published a form on its website for residents to share complaints of people violating the state’s mandate to wear masks in indoor public spaces, the county announced Tuesday.

The form is available at tinyurl.com/4eyjzs76. People without internet access can call 866-211-8667. The county’s environmental health staff will follow up with the business to offer guidance and resources.

“Our businesses continue to do their best to follow the guidance to keep people safe, which has included asking that masks be worn while indoors and encouraging vaccination of employees and customers,” said Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa in a release. “This NYS mandate emphasizes the importance of mask-wearing and vaccination to decrease spread of the virus. It is our goal to provide businesses with the resources they need to be successful letting customers and employees know what to expect in their space.”