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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 25, 2020   |   Ithaca, NY

News

First Tompkins County resident dies of COVID-19

The first Tompkins County resident has died Oct. 12 because of COVID-19 complications.

The elderly individual was admitted to Cayuga Medical Center (CMC) on Oct. 6. The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) is not releasing additional information because of medical privacy, according to a release from TCHD. There have been 464 positive cases in Tompkins County since March 14. As of Oct. 11, there were 36 active cases in the county, according to TCHD. 

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family affected by this loss,” said Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County public health director, in the announcement. “This passing is a difficult reminder that COVID-19 is still having serious impacts on our community.”

Kruppa said people should be aware that the virus disproportionately affects the elderly, those with underlying health conditions and those who are immunocompromised.

Older adults are more at risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC states that severe illness can require hospitalization, intensive care or ventilator use. As of Sept. 11, the CDC said eight out of 10 coronavirus deaths in the United States have been people ages 65 and older.

“We’ve come together as a community over the past eight months to do everything we can to fight this disease, and it is my hope that we will all join together in continuing to do all that we can to protect one another,” said Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, chairwoman of the Tompkins County Legislature. 

There have been two other coronavirus deaths in Tompkins County. Both were patients transferred to CMC from New York and occurred in April.

Ithaca College has had 19 positive cases, eight of which are active, since Aug. 14. On-campus testing is available for students and employees from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday in October at the Athletics and Events Center. Students who are experiencing symptoms should call the Hammond Health Center at 607-274-3177. Faculty and staff who are symptomatic are not allowed on campus and should go to the sampling site at The Shops at Ithaca Mall.