Julia Nagel/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

The Ithaca Commons on March 2021.

December 15, 2021

COVID-19 Update: Tompkins County Active Cases Top 1,100 As Cornell Omicron Outbreak Worsens

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On Tuesday, Tompkins County marked a grim milestone in the pandemic — reaching over 1,000 active COVID cases in the county. 

Before December, the county had not topped 488, but on Tuesday it reported that there were 1,102 active cases in the county of about 100,000. Despite maintaining hospitalizations in the single digits since the end of September, those too have inched up with the county hovering around nine or 10 hospitalizations over the past week. 

On Dec. 14, the county reported the death of four residents — the highest number in a single day. Those deaths were likely from the Delta variant, according to Frank Kruppa, the Tompkins County public health director. 

But the University suspects that the latest surge on campus is at least in part due to the new Omicron variant, according to a Tuesday email from President Martha Pollack, even though the evidence is still “preliminary.”

The majority of the cases in the last several days in the county, though, have been from the Cornell community. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Cornell has made up 2,234 — or less than a quarter — of Tompkins County’s 9,134 total cases, but since the start of December, the University had 1,021 cases out of a total 1,115 in the county — over 90 percent.