Tompkins County has broken a new record for the number of active COVID-19 cases with 305 as of Dec. 10.
The previous highest number of active cases was Dec. 7 with 293 active cases. The county also saw the highest single-day increase in cases on the same day with 61 positives. The Tompkins County Health Department has attributed the recent rise in cases to Thanksgiving travel and small indoor gatherings. There have been a total of 1,435 positive cases in the county since March.
Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino said in an interview with The Ithaca Voice that the increase in cases may lead to new restrictions and guidelines. He said the county currently has no executive orders waiting for approval from the New York State Department of Health, so any orders would be coming from New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Molino said that there is the potential for a surge in cases in mid-January after the holidays but that he hopes to lessen the surge to allow students to return for the spring semester.
Ithaca College students will begin move-in in mid-January. Online instruction starts Jan. 25, and in-person instruction will begin Feb. 8. Cornell University also begins in-person instruction Feb. 8. Tompkins Cortland Community College will begin in-person classes Jan. 27.
Testing for Tompkins County residents is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the sampling site at The Shops at Ithaca Mall. Testing is also available at the 412 N. Tioga St. sampling site from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Ithaca College currently has 14 active cases and 116 total since Aug. 14. Students experiencing symptoms should call the Hammond Health Center at 607-274-3177. On-campus testing is available for students, faculty and staff from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a break from noon to 1 p.m., every Tuesday in December, except Dec. 29, in the Athletics and Events Center. Members of the campus community who are symptomatic are not allowed on campus and should get tested at the sampling site at The Shops at Ithaca Mall or the downtown sampling site.