Two Ithaca College graduate students who live off campus have tested positive for COVID-19.
These are the first known positive cases among members of the college community since the college announced it was continuing remote learning for Fall 2020. The college learned of the positive results Sept. 4. The students are in isolation in their local homes and receiving care, an email to the college community stated. The Tompkins County Health Department confirmed that there was no exposure on the college’s campus from these individuals. The health department is not considering these cases as part of a cluster, which is defined as five or more connected cases.
Other members of the college community who were identified as close contacts tested negative and are in quarantine. They are not allowed on the college campus until their quarantine is complete and are released by the health department. The health department is conducting contact tracing to determine if there are other individuals who have come into contact with the students and will notify them if they have come into close contact.
The college and health department are unable to disclose the names or identifying information of these individuals because of privacy laws.
“This situation illustrates the importance of the contact tracing process in our community to control the spread of COVID-19,” said Christina Moylan, the college’s director of public health emergency preparedness, in the email. “We commend our students for their conscientious participation and the work of the public health nurses at the Tompkins County Health Department.
Students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact the Hammond Health Center at 607-274-3177. Faculty or staff members who are experiencing symptoms should go to their health care provider. Testing will be available from 9 to 10 a.m. for employees and off-campus students and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for on-campus students Sept. 5 in the Athletics and Events Center. Weekly surveillance testing is also occurring on campus.
Members of the college community who are symptomatic are not allowed on campus and should go to the testing center at the Shops at Ithaca Mall.
The college’s COVID-19 dashboard, which was released Sept. 3, has been updated to reflect these two cases. There are 70 active positive COVID-19 cases in Tompkins County as of Sept. 4, the highest it has been in the county.
The Community Agreement Reporting Form is available for anyone who witnesses Ithaca College students, faculty or staff break health and safety guidelines.