Current information from the Ministry of Health on cases of COVID-19 as of August 23

The Tompkins County Health Department says there are now a total of 23,504 positive cases in Tompkins County, 27 more than Monday, and a total of 1,932,796 tests have been done. The Ministry of Health also reports positive self-test results that have been submitted through their online portal. They say there are 6 new positive self-test results out of a total of 3,566 submitted.

Related: TCHD: If you test positive on a home test

At 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, the Department of Health said 160 tests had been done the previous day. The Tompkins County Health Department released New York vaccine tracking information showing that 87,850 Tompkins County residents received the first dose and 79,614 completed vaccination (which could be one or two doses, depending on the vaccine).

Related: Many eligible for second booster or extra doses, says Department of Health

The Department of Health says eight people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, one more than in Monday’s update. Since a data change last winter, “TCHD only reports active cases who are hospitalized,” rather than including patients recovered from COVID who remain hospitalized for other reasons.

“Of the recent spike in hospitalizations, the vast majority have been vaccinated individuals,” Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa tells us, but “of individuals who are vaccinated and hospitalized for reasons related to COVID-19, the trend is continuing that they are mostly elderly people aged 65+. These data point to the importance of boosters and second boosters for those aged 65+.”

Related: CDC, FDA clear vaccines for 6 months and up, Health Department says

There have been 65 deaths from COVID-19 among Tompkins County residents, including the death of an area resident reported in early August.

On August 21, Cornell University reported 52 active student cases and 43 active faculty and staff cases. Cornell has moved to weekly updates and the timing of their updates does not allow direct comparison to county statistics.

As of Aug. 22, Ithaca College reported 23 active student cases, with two recovered, and three active employee cases and three recovered staff. (Ithaca College resets its reinstated count to zero on August 1 to reflect the new academic year.)

The Department of Health says the public needs to prevent the spread of COVID-19 not only to protect themselves, but also others in our community who are most vulnerable to getting very sick – older people, people with weakened immune systems and people with underlying chronic health conditions.

TCHD’s Frank Krupa says, “There is a very high vaccination rate for our community, especially with the successes reported by our local colleges. In addition to arrival testing and surveillance, many of our new cases arise from prolonged close contact with a positive individual, meaning more than 10 minutes within six feet of a positive case. These close contacts occur more often in large indoor gatherings that mix different groups of people.

Related: Moderna revaccination clinic at Lifelong on Wednesday, TCHD says

“For the past few weeks, our efforts have been focused on vaccinating our young people and providing booster doses to those who are eligible,” says Krupa. “We are distributing self-tests and masks throughout the county as we receive shipments, and we thank our community partners for assisting in this effort.”

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