COVID-19 Cluster Identified Among Ithaca College Students and Employees

By David Maley, November 19, 2021

Ithaca College has identified a cluster of five new positive COVID-19 cases among Ithaca College students and employees who have accessed the Ithaca College campus. A COVID-19 cluster is defined as five or more connected cases. The students and employees are in isolation and receiving proper care.  

Due to privacy laws, neither the Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) nor Ithaca College can disclose the names or other identifying information about these individuals. The health department is conducting contact tracing to determine whether close contacts of these students and employees may have been exposed to the virus. If you are considered a close contact the TCHD will contact you.

For COVID-19, the New York State Department of Health defines a close contact as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

All members of the Ithaca College community are reminded to be vigilant about adhering to the college’s mandate to wear face coverings indoors, continue physical distancing, and practice good hand hygiene. The college also continues to strongly encourage that all community members be vaccinated if possible. Vaccination is the best way to mitigate severe illness associated with the COVID-19 virus.

Faculty or staff who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should seek care from their health care provider.

Ithaca College students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should go to Emerson Hall for testing. Students will be able to have a rapid antigen test for COVID-19 and will also submit a saliva sample for PCR COVID-19 testing. The PCR test will be taken to the lab at Cayuga Medical Center once daily.

For the Thanksgiving holiday week, be aware that testing is available in Emerson Hall on November 19-23 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. There will be no testing on campus available November 24-28. Please submit your saliva sample test to the Emerson Hall bin only. Off-campus students are encouraged to test off campus but may submit a sample at Emerson Hall if needed. Once you have registered with Cayuga Health System, your test results will come to your Cayuga Health System patient portal. You will be instructed to self-isolate until your PCR test results are available.

Email if you have any questions.

Ithaca College’s COVID-19 health and safety website has information related to health and safety practices. The website also includes the college’s COVID-19 tracking dashboard, which is updated daily Monday-Friday as new test data becomes available. The Tompkins County Health Department website has additional information on COVID-19 public health practices.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, otherwise known as the “Clery Act,” requires Ithaca College to immediately notify the campus community upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students, faculty and staff occurring on or near campus through the initiation of the emergency notification system.