Following a week of skyrocketing COVID cases on campus, cases in Tompkins County reached record highs while cases affiliated with Cornell still make up over half of Tompkins County’s total active cases.
According to the University’s COVID-19 Tracking Dashboard, on Sept. 5, there were 11 new positive cases, the lowest daily number since Aug. 25. However, isolation capacity has continued to decline, reaching 19 percent availability of rooms.
As of Sept. 5, there were 233 new positives over the previous seven days. Over the last two weeks, there have been 434 new positives identified.
Tompkins County’s active cases hit record high on Sept 5., with 488 active cases. New positives in a day peaked on Aug. 31, with 130 cases reported on that day. On Sept 5. 71 out of 865 total tests were positive — an eight percent positivity rate.
“Of the 361 new positive cases over the past 7 days, a significant portion are related to arrival and surveillance testing as colleges resume operations for the fall semester,” Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa wrote in a statement on Aug. 31.
Some students have spoken out against the University’s quarantine and isolation policies, saying that the response time between positive tests and isolation is too slow, potentially exposing healthy students to the virus.
On Aug. 27, Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life released a statement changing the University’s COVID-19 alert level and urging students to abide by masking, testing and event regulations.
“While the number of cases is concerning, we want to emphasize that our system is working. Virtually all of our students are fully vaccinated; as such, it is the case that those who are infected will almost all be vaccinated,” Lombardi wrote.
As of Sept. 5, 95 percent of the on-campus population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.