February 24 update from Health Department on COVID-19 cases - freetxp

February 24 update from Health Department on COVID-19 cases

The Tompkins County Health Department says there have now been 17,664 total positive cases in Tompkins County, 25 more than on Wednesday, and a total of 1,822,547 tests conducted. The Health Department has shifted its data reporting, and will no longer include active cases or released from isolation statistics, and won’t have updates over the weekend.

The Health Department is also now reporting positive self-test results that have been submitted through their online portal. They say there are three new positive self-test results today for a total of 1,697 submitted. Their self-reporting form will be down from 2pm Friday to 7am Monday for a software upgrade, they say.

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

As of Thursday at 7:30am, the Health Department says 1,350 tests were conducted in the previous day. The Tompkins County Health Department publishes NYS vaccine tracking info, showing 83,815 Tompkins County residents have a first dose and 76,342 have completed vaccination (which could be one or two doses, depending on vaccine).

The Health Department says seven people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, one fewer than in Wednesday’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.

There have been 57 deaths from COVID-19 recorded among Tompkins County residents, including the death of two area residents reported last Thursday morning.

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.”

On February 23, Cornell University reported 26 new positive cases for February 22, 63 active student cases, and 17 active employee cases. 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 February 22, Ithaca College reported 36 active student cases, with 376 recovered, and 5 active employee cases and 145 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 on July 16, 2020. Cornell launched its own COVID dashboard on August 25, 2020.

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 chronic underlying 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

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