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Local COVID-19 Rates Spike After Holiday

  • 02:20 PM ET - 12/5/2021
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    While local and national COVID-19 rates have increased since the end of summer as school began and outdoor activities were moved inside, there has been an accelerated increase in cases since the Thanksgiving holiday. This rise in cases comes at the same time that a new variant, Omnicron, has entered the conversation on COVID-19 nationally and globally.

  • 02:21 PM ET - 12/5/2021
  • 02:31 PM ET - 12/5/2021
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    Dryden Central School District went remote this past week from Nov. 29–Dec. 3 due to several COVID-19 cases in the district. This put over 200 people in quarantine, and the school did not have enough staff to hold in-person classes.

  • 02:31 PM ET - 12/5/2021
  • 02:40 PM ET - 12/5/2021
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    As of Dec. 5, Tompkins County has 341 active cases which has increased in the past seven days with 192 active cases Nov. 28.

  • 02:40 PM ET - 12/5/2021
  • 02:46 PM ET - 12/5/2021
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    Some colleges and universities in the county are also seeing a rise in cases. Ithaca College currently has 26 active cases among students and employees. Students at the college are not required to be consistently tested for COVID-19 if they are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic.

  • 02:49 PM ET - 12/5/2021
  • 02:52 PM ET - 12/5/2021
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    Cornell University has also seen a dramatic uptick in cases with 1 active case Nov. 28 increasing to 25 active cases as of Dec. 2. All students and some employees are required to participate in surveillance testing once per week at the university.

  • 02:52 PM ET - 12/5/2021
  • 03:28 PM ET - 12/5/2021
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    At Tompkins County Community College, has had 92 positive cases in the past three days as of Dec. 5 with a 1.81% positivity rate among 5,082 tests. This rate has increased since the past two weeks. The college had a .73% positivity rate for the 14-day rolling average as of Dec. 5.

  • 03:28 PM ET - 12/5/2021
  • 03:38 PM ET - 12/5/2021
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    Samm Swarts, assistance director of emergency preparedness at Ithaca College, said he attributes the rise in cases to travel and gatherings during Thanksgiving break.

  • 03:42 PM ET - 12/5/2021
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    "This is a trend that we see every year, around this time of year," Swarts said. "... When you get into the colder months and start getting people indoors and gathering that's when we started to see a spike, so I think coupled with all of that we can't change the weather, we can't change the holidays, we can't change some human behavior, so we're just trying our best now to you know mitigate that extra positive cases as we find them to make sure that there's not any further communal spread."

  • 03:45 PM ET - 12/5/2021
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    He said the college is going to continue to monitor cases through the end of the semester and address issues as they arise. He said it is important to watch for cases linked to other cases on campus which would indicate communal spread on campus and in the community.

  • 03:47 PM ET - 12/5/2021
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    Swarts said if communal spread begins to occur, it will be handled on an individual basis by determining where the communal spread is happening. He encouraged people to participate in voluntary testing on campus, follow safety guidelines, stick to a small group of friends, and to hold each other accountable.