Friday News Rundown, April 10

Congratulations— you've made it to Friday! Here's a rundown of news impacting the Ithaca-Tompkins County community this week.


Post updated 4/10/20 at 5:30p EST.

Updated Case Counts from TCHD and Cayuga Medical Clinicians Travel to NYC


TOMPKINS COUNTY: As of Friday evening at 5:00p, the Tompkins County Health Department reported 112 positive tests for COVID-19. TCHD also published a statement from the CEO of Cayuga Medical Center Dr. Martin Stallone indicating that a patient has died of the virus at Cayuga Medical, but the patient did not originate from the Tompkins County region.


The Cayuga Health System statement referenced Governor Andrew Cuomo's announcement over a week ago that upstate hospitals would be used to ease some of the New York City overflow. Dr. Stallone said that Cayuga Medical received two coronavirus patient transfers from New York City earlier in the week, and that one of the patients died Friday morning. Cayuga Medical (and WVBR News) send their deepest condolences to the family of this patient.


Friday afternoon's TCHD statement included an update that the Sampling Center will be open on Saturday, April 11 from 10:00a-3:00p. To preregister for testing, visit cayugahealthsystem.org or call the Cayuga Health Registration line at 607-319-5708.


In other news, Cornell's Campus to Campus (C2C) bus service transported 64 healthcare workers from Cayuga Medical Center on Wednesday to lend a helping hand in New York City's COVID-19 crisis. The Cayuga Medical employees were responding to Governor Andrew Cuomo's request for any available healthcare workers to travel to the city and help hospitals overwhelmed with patients suffering from the virus.

The health care workers travelled to support both Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Presbyterian, two hospitals overwhelmed by the COVID-19 spread. The C2C busses received a supportive send off as they left Ithaca, with homemade signs pictured in a tweet from Weill Cornell Medicine on Thursday that read, "Be safe," "Godspeed," and "Together, everyone achieves more."

Ithacans present at the send-off understood the gravity of the journey ahead for these healthcare providers, and they offered encouragement not only to the travelers, but the community as a whole.


Here's how you can continue efforts to flatten the curve in our community:

  • Stay home, even if you don’t feel sick, unless absolutely necessary.

  • Wash hands well and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Keep 6 feet distance between yourself and others when in public.

  • Avoid close contact with other people.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

  • Physical Distancing does not mean emotional isolation, check on friends, coworkers, neighbors through phone and text.

  • Wear a cloth face covering in public settings where physical distancing is difficult to maintain (eg. grocery stores and pharmacies). The CDC released a new recommendation to wear cloth face coverings on 4/3/20.

Check the Tompkins County Health Department website for more updates.

Tompkins County Legislature Gathers via Zoom for April 7 Meeting


TOMPKINS COUNTY: The Legislature met via Zoom on Tuesday, April 7 for their monthly meeting. The meeting was shown live over Government Access TV and live streamed on the Tompkins County website.


The Legislature discussed the county's COVID-19 response with updates from County Administrator Jason Molino and Public Health Director Frank Kruppa. Legislature Chair Leslyn McBean-Clairborne (D-Ithaca) remarked that Tompkins County continues to be a leader to neighboring counties and that others are adopting the county's messaging. She added that she was proud that the County was able to share resources and expertise.


The Legislature also voted 13-1 (with Legislator Mike Sigler voting no) in favor of a resolution urging the New York State Governor and Legislature to quickly enact provisions to conduct the June 23rd primary election by mail.


In the final order of business, Legislator Mike Lane (D – Dryden), Chair of the Census Complete Count Committee, reported that Tompkins County’s response rate is at 42.9%, which is below the national average but above the New York State average.


Read more detailed highlights from the meeting here.

City of Ithaca Provides a COVID-19 Business Resources Page


ITHACA: The City of Ithaca Office of Economic Development is committed to working with local businesses and economic development partners to ensure that businesses have the information and resources that they need to help weather the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Please visit the city’s "COVID-19 Business Resources" page for additional information and links to resources. This page also has suggestions for everyone to help local businesses and neighbors within the community.


For assistance navigating local resources or to suggest additional COVID-19 business resources, please email tknipe@cityofithaca.org.


Information regarding city operations are updated frequently on the city’s "Emergency Preparedness" page.

Ithaca's Alternative Interview Soleima


ITHACA: Looking for a fun distraction while you are social distancing at home? Check out WVBR-FM's interview with Danish alternative artist Soleima here!


WVBR is a local commercial radio station broadcasting from Ithaca, New York to the Counties of Tompkins, Tioga, Cortland, Cayuga, Seneca, Schuyler, and Chemung. WVBR is run by the Cornell Media Guild, Inc - a non-profit student organization that is independent and not funded nor managed by Cornell University. Our mission is to preserve local media and act as a training ground for the future generation. All views represented by our contributors solely reflect their own views, and are not necessarily endorsed by WVBR or Cornell Media Guild.

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