ITHACA, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Health Department has issued another potential public exposure warning concerning COVID-19, this time regarding Ithaca locations of Arby’s and Staples, and is recommending people who may have been exposed to get tested.

The two people who tested positive are in isolation and contact investigations are underway.

“The Health Department received notification of an employee of Arby’s Ithaca who tested positive for COVID-19 and worked multiple shifts,” the health department stated. “Another individual who tested positive for COVID-19 worked two shifts at the Ithaca Staples. Both individuals are residents of other counties, and their respective counties are managing contact investigations. Close contacts of the individuals will be contacted by the respective county’s Health Department.”

The health department lists the following dates and times as points of potential exposure:

Arby’s Ithaca, 328 Elmira Road:

  • Oct. 18, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Oct. 21, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Oct. 22, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Oct. 23, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Oct. 24, 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Staples, 742 S. Meadow Street:

  • Oct. 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Oct. 18, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“All businesses in Tompkins County are encouraged to continue following COVID-19 safety protocols,” said Frank Kruppa, the county’s public health director. “I remind employers to continue daily screening of employees and urge employees to stay home if they are sick or presenting any symptoms associated with COVID-19.”

For people who were at those businesses during those times, the health department is recommending that they get tested at the Cayuga Health Sampling Site behind the Shops at Ithaca Mall at 40 Catherwood Road. Further instructions from the health department are as follows:

  • Register for an appointment online at or call the Cayuga Health Call Center at 607-319-5708. The Cayuga Health Sampling Site will have special hours on Sunday, October 18 and extended hours on Monday, October 19 to accommodate individuals who may have been exposed. Regular hours for the Sampling Site and Call Center are Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • 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.
  • Monitor your health for any symptoms of cough, fever, congestion, and shortness of breath for 14 days from the last time you were at any of these businesses. For a full list of symptoms, go to the TCHD website.
  • If you seek testing and the result is negative, continue to monitor your health for the full 14 days from the last time you were at any of these businesses. If you become symptomatic, seek testing again.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at