October 31 update from Health Department on COVID-19 cases – 14850

The Tompkins County Health Department says there have now been 6,944 total positive cases in Tompkins County, six more than on Saturday, with a total of 1,535,679 tests conducted. They also say 6,798 patients are listed as released from isolation after having tested positive, 12 new recoveries, leaving 109 active cases.

Related: Additional vaccine booster clinics at Ithaca Mall location

“What we’re seeing locally is part of the larger trend across the state and country,” says Tompkins County medical director Dr. William Klepack. “While this is an increase in cases, the protection offered by all of our vaccines is excellent and vaccinated individuals are highly protected against symptomatic disease and hospitalization, including from variants.”

Related: Health Department confirms Delta Variant is prevalent in recent cases

As of Sunday at 7:15am, the Health Department says 191 tests were conducted since the last update. The Tompkins County Health Department publishes NYS vaccine tracking info, showing 75,909 Tompkins County residents have a first dose and 70,875 have completed vaccination (which could be one or two doses, depending on vaccine).

Related: High transmission rate for Tompkins, says Health Department

The Health Department says four people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, one fewer than in Saturday’s update. As of a shift in data this winter, “TCHD is reporting only active cases who are hospitalized,” rather than including patients recovered from COVID who remain hospitalized for other reasons.

Related: Health Department reports COVID-related deaths of two “elder” patients

Samantha Hillson from the Health Department tells us “released from isolation” means the patient has been released after the “mandatory ten-day period,” but can be longer if people still have symptoms or other complications. Patients don’t necessarily test negative, as “people can test positive for up to 90 days.”

There have been 37 deaths from COVID-19 recorded among Tompkins County residents, including the deaths of three area residents reported in early September. (Two deaths recorded in Tompkins County last spring were of non-residents, and the Health Department is providing separate statistics.)

Related: County reports death of vaccinated 93-year-old COVID patient

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 October 29, Cornell University reported 3 new positive cases for October 28, 10 active student cases, with a 0.16% positivity rate. 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 October 28, Ithaca College reports two active student cases, none among residents, with 70 recovered, and one active employee case and 26 recovered employees.

Related: Cornell returns its COVID-19 alert level to Green

“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 conducting last summer on July 16. Cornell launched its own COVID-19 data dashboard last summer on August 25.

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 underlying chronic health conditions. Everyone can take these steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve” in our community.

“Yesterday the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance for individuals who are fully vaccinated to mask while in areas with substantial and high transmission due to the prevalence and spread of the Delta variant,” the Health Department said.

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Related: Coronavirus coverage in 14850 Today

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