Positive COVID-19 Test for Ithaca College Community Member

By President Shirley M. Collado, March 15, 2020
Health department says no greater risk to the wider Ithaca College community.

Dear Ithaca College Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to let you know that a member of our Ithaca College campus community has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We were notified of this yesterday, March 14, by the Tompkins County Health Department. While news like this is not necessarily unexpected, I know it may hit home for a lot of us in a way that makes this situation very real. I ask that you please continue to take good care of yourself and your loved ones as we all navigate this truly challenging moment.

The member of our community who tested positive is currently in their home in mandatory isolation. The person had reported to the Tompkins County Health Department that they became symptomatic on March 5, right before the start of the college’s spring break. There are 12 members of the IC community who have been identified as possibly being exposed to this person on March 5 or later. The health department has reached out to these individuals to evaluate whether any further steps such as self-quarantine or testing may be necessary for them.

It is important for you to know that the health department does not believe that there is any generalized risk to the wider Ithaca College community as a result of this positive test result. We will continue to partner with the health department to provide any appropriate and additional follow-up, and the department will reach out directly to any IC community members if health officials believe they need to be contacted.

I also want to state very clearly that in keeping with public health practice, no further identifying information about the individual who has tested positive will be shared.

As you know, we recently decided to extend spring break and move to remote instruction through at least April 6. We are committed to remaining nimble and responsive in our decision-making around this public health crisis in a way that always centers the safety and health of our students, faculty, staff, and surrounding communities.

Please continue to stay tuned to your email for direct communications as we move through this challenging time. Our dedicated coronavirus website is an additional resource for you and your families. We are making sure that all of our emailed IC updates are collected on this site, and there is also a robust Frequently Asked Questions page as well as links to information from the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Tompkins County Health Department.

The college will continue to work with the local and state health departments, and with our own health professionals, to respond to this situation and to support our students, faculty, and staff as needed.

I want to end by expressing my sincere gratitude for your ongoing understanding and patience. This is a truly unprecedented moment, and we are deeply committed to keeping you informed and involved during this uncertain time. Please continue to offer support and care to one another. We will get through this together.

In solidarity,

Shirley M. Collado