ITHACA, N.Y. –– Cayuga Medical Center announced new COVID-19 precautions that limit visitors to the hospital and increase the screening process in order to enter the building.

Tompkins County Health Department announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Saturday, March 14.

The new visitor restrictions, which took effect Sunday at 3 p.m., state that “all patients, visitors, and employees entering the building will be screened” and that those showing any sign of any illness (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) will not be allowed into any CMC building. Furthermore, only one visitor will be allowed per inpatient, and that lone visitor is the only visitor a patient is allowed for the duration of their stay.

“We understand this will be difficult for some patients and apologize for the inconvenience. We encourage everyone to make use of technology such as phones and tablets to communicate with people outside of the hospital,” CMC said in a statement.

The hospital will work with families who have special circumstances, such as a critically ill or injured family member, on a case-by-case basis in regards to the new restrictions.

Additionally, the Garden Café, Express Cafe, and East Campus Café will no longer be open to the general public until further notice.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at