The Tompkins County Health Department announced possible COVID-19 exposures at the BJ’s Wholesale Club in Ithaca.
The department said in an announcement Nov. 20 that an individual who works at BJ’s tested positive and may have infected others. The possible exposures may have occurred from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Nov. 10, from 1:15 to 9:15 p.m. Nov. 11, from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Nov. 13, from 1:15 to 9:15 p.m. Nov. 14 and from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Nov. 15.
The department is recommending that anyone who was at BJ’s during those times gets tested at the sampling site at The Shops at Ithaca Mall, quarantine for 14 days and monitor symptoms.
“To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, we’re reminding everyone to continue to wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart and consider density when going out,” Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County public health director, said in the announcement.
BJ’s told the health department that it is enhancing its cleaning precautions and conducting overnight deep cleaning, hourly cleaning checklists, enforcing mask requirements and encouraging social distancing in the store.
The exposure announcement comes the same day that Tompkins County set a new record for positive cases. There were 38 positive cases Nov. 20 and a total of 158 active cases in the county, the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic. The department said 10 cases are connected to Oak Hill Manor Nursing Home, as well as others related to travel and household spread. The department is discouraging nonessential gatherings and travel, especially during the holidays.
New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new COVID-19 restrictions Nov. 11 limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings in private residences to 10 people. Since the announcement, there has been backlash from sheriffs saying they will not enforce Cuomo’s guidelines.
Ithaca College currently has 37 positive cases and 81 total cases 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 at 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.