September 30, 2022


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January 14 update from Health Department on COVID-19 cases

The Tompkins County Health Department says there have now been 14,975 total positive cases in Tompkins County, 225 more than on Thursday, with a total of 1,745,302 tests conducted. They also say 13,699 patients are listed as released from isolation after having tested positive, 193 new recoveries, leaving 1,226 active cases. The Health Department also reported the death of a resident in a long-term care facility.

The Health Department is also now reporting positive self-test results that have been submitted through their online portal. They say there are 52 new positive self-test results today for a total of 1,106 submitted.

Related: TCHD: If you test positive on an at-home test

“This unprecedented rise in cases will require all of us to do our part to stop further spread of COVID-19,” said Tompkins County public health director Frank Kruppa on Sunday. “These cases are resulting from regular every-day activity, and while we want things to get back to normal, we have to do what we know works to stop the spread. Please wear a mask, avoid gatherings with others, and get vaccinated and boosted as soon as you are able.”

Related: Moderna booster clinic at Ithaca Mall vaccine site this weekend, says TCHD

The Health Department says recent cases show significant community spread — over 50{f9a9d0c078b99c5035c80896b16d2b484abb346d07724230e395ff1864e1808b} of cases are not able to trace where they may have been infected. There’s significant spread in households among families and at gatherings, and at large gatherings and parties where precautions are not observed. “A majority of these new cases are among higher education students,” they add.

Related: New NYS testing site opening this week in Watkins Glen

As of Friday at 7:30am, the Health Department says 3,284 tests were conducted since the last update. The Tompkins County Health Department publishes NYS vaccine tracking info, showing 82,121 Tompkins County residents have a first dose and 75,355 have completed vaccination (which could be one or two doses, depending on vaccine).

Related: High transmission rate for Tompkins, says Health Department

The Health Department says 17 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, six fewer than in Thursday’s update. As of a shift in data last winter, “TCHD is reporting only active cases who are hospitalized,” rather than including patients recovered from COVID who remain hospitalized for other reasons.

Related: Booster doses available for those 18 and up, says Health Department

Samantha Hillson from the Health Department tells us “released from isolation” means the patient has been released after the “mandatory ten-day period,” but can be longer if people still have symptoms or other complications. Patients don’t necessarily test negative, as “people can test positive for up to 90 days.”

There have been 50 deaths from COVID-19 recorded among Tompkins County residents, including the death of one area resident reported Friday morning. (Two deaths recorded in Tompkins County last spring were of non-residents, and the Health Department is providing separate statistics.)

Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa says, “of the recent uptick in hospitalizations, a vast majority have been of unvaccinated individuals. Of the few vaccinated individuals who have been hospitalized, the trend holds that they have been admitted for a non-COVID related issue and tested positive upon admittance.”

Related: As cases surge and hospitals fill, New York State mask mandate begins Monday

On January 13, Cornell University reported 44 new positive cases for January 11, 94 student cases this week, with a 8.08{f9a9d0c078b99c5035c80896b16d2b484abb346d07724230e395ff1864e1808b} positivity rate. Cornell only updates its dashboard on weekdays, and the timing of their updates doesn’t allow a direct comparison to the county’s statistics.

As of January 13, Ithaca College reported 1 active student cases, with 338 recovered, and 14 active employee cases and 81 recovered employees.

“All positive cases are unique individuals,” the Health Department says. Some of the negative test results are people required to be tested multiple times, and so this count is likely to reflect the same person multiple times in many cases.

The Health Department says its statistics include testing that Cornell University began conducting last summer on July 16. Cornell launched its own COVID-19 data dashboard last summer on August 25.

Related: New Cornell COVID-19 dashboard shows test results and alert level

The Health Department says the public needs to prevent the spread of COVID-19 not just to protect themselves, but others in our community who are most vulnerable to getting very sick – older adults, those who are immune-compromised, and those with underlying chronic health conditions. Everyone can take these steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve” in our community.

TCHD’s Frank Kruppa says, “There is a very high vaccination rate for our community, especially with the successes that have been reported by our local colleges. In addition to the arrival and surveillance testing, many of our new cases are arising from sustained close contact with a positive individual, meaning more than 10 minutes within six feet of a positive case. These close contacts are occurring more frequently in large indoor gatherings that mix different groups of people.”

“Tompkins County is now in the ‘High’ transmission rate as defined by the CDC,” the Health Department says. “High transmission rate occurs when there are over 100 positive cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period. The advisory for County residents to wear a mask indoors while around others continues to be in place.”

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Related: Coronavirus coverage in 14850 Today


January 14 update from Health Department on COVID-19 cases