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Update: Test Results are Negative for Coronavirus

(Ithaca, NY – February 10, 2020) – On Sunday, February 9, the results for the second Cornell University student tested for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) were negative. The individual is no longer a person under investigation (PUI) and was released from isolation. The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) continues to work closely with local medical providers including Cornell Health, Ithaca College Health Center and Cayuga Medical Center, to protect the health and well-being of our community. Guidance from the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is informing our process for prevention and response. The 2019 novel coronavirus may cause symptoms including:

  • Cough

  • Fever

  • Trouble breathing

  • Pneumonia

The coronavirus is spread from someone who is sick through the air by coughing or sneezing, close personal contact, or touching surfaces where the virus is present. If you returned from travel to China in the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough or trouble breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others until you are well.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

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

  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

On Sunday, February 2, CDC and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection implemented additional health screenings for travelers who are entering the U.S. from China. TCHD will be notified of the return of any travelers from China to Tompkins County. Any travelers from China will be quarantined and monitored by TCHD nurses for 14 days post departure from China. Quarantine means that even those who do not have symptoms are required to stay home away from others during the defined period to monitor their health status. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, TCHD always recommends everyday actions to help prevent the spread of viruses. Follow these steps to protect yourself:

  • Get the flu vaccination if you have not done so already.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 secondsIf soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sickStay home if you are sick

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash

  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces and objects

Watch these brief videos for more tips: A hotline is available for New Yorkers to call for information about the novel coronavirus: 1-888-364-3065. Stay informed. Get updated information on coronavirus at: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: NYS DOH: World Health Organization: Visit the CDC’s Traveler’s Health webpage for the latest travel health notices at: For more information call 607-274-6604 or go to Find them on Facebook @TompkinsPublicHealth and Twitter@TompkinsHealth.


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