Ready for the weekend? First, catch up on stories impacting the Ithaca-Tompkins County community and beyond with the Friday News Rundown for April 3, 2020.
ITHACA: The City of Ithaca issued several updates to their Emergency Preparedness page on Friday afternoon.
Updates on city operations are as follows:
The City’s yard waste collection program will go on as scheduled, with pick-up occurring bi-weekly alongside your trash collection on weeks opposite your recycling pick-up. Please continue to use yard waste tags for this service.
The City’s Skate Park will be closed to the public until further notice.
The Public Art program has suspended the deadline for Public Mural applications, a deadline will be announced when available.
ITHACA: The Ithaca Farmers’ Market remains open as an essential business, and moves outdoors to the Steamboat Landing pavilion on Saturday, April 4th.
While this spring has been anything but ordinary, the Ithaca Farmers Market says the community can still count on the market for their Saturday groceries. Farmers markets are listed as essential businesses under Governor Cuomo’s New York State on Pause executive order, and the Tompkins County Health Department has granted permission for the market to remain open.
The Farmers’ Market outdoor season will begin on Saturday with several precautions in place. All food will be packaged to-go, and patrons will not be allowed to eat on the premises. Only 40 of the 88 available vendor booths will be used, and artisan crafters that are not classified as essential businesses will not be present.
ATMs and EBT tokens will not be available, and although some vendors will still only accept cash, many vendors are installing card readers or touch-less payment options.
The market will be open from 9am until 1pm on Saturday at Steamboat Landing pavilion in Ithaca.
NYS: The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York and the Red Cross are encouraging fire safety awareness while people are staying home to obey state orders to shelter in place.
While people throughout the country are staying home to practice social distancing to slow the growth of COVID-19 cases, more people are preparing meals at home. As a result of this shift, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York reported on Tuesday that some local fire departments and dispatch agencies in New York State are seeing an increase in calls for minor kitchen fires and burnt food incidents. Similarly, the American Red Cross reported on Thursday that between March 16th and March 31st, their Disaster Action Team volunteers responded to 32 home fires and other incidents across Western and Central New York, and provided immediate emergency assistance to 162 people from 57 households. The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York reports that the leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
To prevent house fires, the Red Cross and the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York advise households to test smoke detectors and discuss and practice fire escape plans routinely. Read more tips from the American Red Cross here, and tips from FASNY here.
TOMPKINS COUNTY: The Tompkins County Library is offering more online opportunities to engage with the community.
Inspired by the popularity of Break for Books, Tompkins County Public Library’s weekly Facebook interactive group chat, the Library will begin offering Break for Books Jr., Teen Break for Books, and Break for Movies, all found on the TCPL’s Facebook page, located here: https://www.facebook.com/tcplny/. Teen Break for Books will additionally be available on TCPL’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tcplny/.
TOMPKINS COUNTY: As of Thursday evening, the Tompkins County Health Department reported 87 positive tests for COVID-19 in Tompkins County.
Fortunately, there are still no reported deaths due to the virus within our community.
To prevent further spread of COVID-19, the Tompkins County Health Department and the CDC recommend the following:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.