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Community Letter: Increase in COVID-19 Cases

December 1, 2020

In light of the rise of cases of COVID-19 throughout our country and county, the Ithaca City School District continues to diligently adhere to health and safety protocols for students and staff. As a reminder, we all share in the responsibility to wear face coverings, maintain 6 feet of distance, fill out the daily screener, stay home when sick, quarantine following travel beyond states bordering New York, wash our hands frequently, practice good respiratory hygiene, and avoid touching our eyes and face.

We are prepared to see additional cases in our community, including among members of our school community, particularly after this Thanksgiving holiday. We continue to work with the Tompkins County Health Department to support contact tracing efforts, and support them in determining if any school-based contacts exist. We will be sure to alert school communities when and if there are school-based contacts for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.

We are grateful for our community’s shared commitment to slowing the spread of COVID-19, and appreciate your support.

Up-to-date data on positive cases in the ICSD can be viewed on the NYS COVID-19 School Report Card Dashboard.

Testing and Contact Tracing Information

Free Testing for Tompkins County Residents
Free COVID-19 testing is currently available for any Tompkins County resident through the Cayuga Health System. County residents are no longer required to meet the previous criteria for free tests. 

As of November 27, the Cayuga Health System has added a second sampling site location at 412 N. Tioga Street, in addition to the site located at The Shops at Ithaca Mall (40 Catherwood Road). Both sites operate Monday through Friday from 8/8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (with occasional weekend and/or extended hours added), and appointments are required. Follow the links below for more information.

Positive Cases in the School Community
As cases are confirmed within the ICSD, we will determine the level of closure in consultation with the local health department. “Cohorting” practices (the amount of intermingling among groups) will dictate whether a classroom, grade level, wing of a school building, or entire school will close. Those individuals who test positive will be notified by the Tompkins County Health Department and receive instructions regarding isolation, additional testing, and quarantine. 
Contact Tracing
When an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the local health department immediately begins a contact investigation. If an ICSD student or employee tests positive, we will uphold their right to privacy and confidentiality to the greatest extent possible, while also supporting any contact investigation by the local health department. Unless the health department contacts you or your child, you are not identified as close contacts, and thus, there is a low identifiable risk for contracting COVID-19 and you do not need to quarantine.

Check out our contact tracing infographic and the TCHD's video on contract tracing below to learn more!

contact tracing infographic
Click to enlarge

Visit for more information on COVID-19 screenings, testing, and contact tracing.