TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Health Department has issued a public exposure warning regarding a person who rode on a TCAT bus twice last week before testing positive for COVID-19.

The health department said the exposures may have occurred on Thursday, Oct. 15 on Routes 31 and 43. The impacted times are here:

  • Route 31 inbound: 10:27 a.m.-10:58 a.m. to Seneca St.
  • Route 43 outbound: 12:00 p.m.-12:36 p.m. to Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3)/Dryden

“Following our contact investigation, the potential public exposures identified were while the individual was riding the bus,” said Frank Kruppa, the county’s public health director. “Out of an abundance of caution, it is important that anyone who was a passenger during these time on routes 31 and 43 get tested and monitor themselves for symptoms. Everyone must continue to be cautious and consider density, keep distance, wear face coverings, and wash hands well and often to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

“We will remain vigilant with all of our efforts to protect our riders and employees for however long this pandemic persists,” said TCAT General Manager Scot Vanderpool.  “We will get through this so long as we all continue to cover our noses and mouths, practice social distancing and good hygiene, and follow all the other guidelines from health and safety experts.”

Passengers on bus Routes 31 and 43 on October 15 during the times listed above are advised to seek testing, and do the following:

Testing is available here:

  • Cayuga Health Sampling Site located at The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd. Register for an appointment online at cayugahealthsystem.org or call the Cayuga Health Call Center at 607-319-5708. Regular hours for the Sampling Site and Call Center are Monday-Friday 8:30AM-4:00PM.
  • If potentially exposed, Cornell University students should contact Cornell Health at 607-255-5155do not go to an arrival or surveillance testing site.
  • All other students and community members should seek testing at the Cayuga Health Sampling Site.
  • If you need transportation assistance to the Cayuga Health Sampling Site, call 2-1-1 after you have registered and made a testing appointment. 2-1-1 is available 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. to help with transportation options to the Sampling Site.
  • Those who think they’ve been exposed should also monitor your health for any symptoms of cough, fever, and shortness of breath for 14 days from your ride on October 15. For a full list of symptoms, go to the TCHD websiteIf you seek testing and the result is negative, continue to monitor your health for 14 days from your ride on October 15. If you become symptomatic, seek testing again.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com