CORRECTION: The two deaths that were reported by the Tompkins County Health Department on Wednesday, Jan. 20, did not take place at the Oak Hill Manor Nursing Home, unlike the department announced, and were not related to the COVID-19 cases previously reported at the facility. A representative of Oak Hill Manor Nursing Home, Nursing Director Lexi Gutierrez, claimed this morning that there is no more COVID-19 cases at the facility.

The Tompkins County Health Department has issued a correction, stating that those two deaths actually occurred among Beechtree Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing patients who were among dozens that had tested positive for COVID-19 at that facility. Since the deaths were reported, it means the medical examiner concluded that COVID-19 was the cause of death in both cases.

The Health Department further apologized to Oak Hill Manor’s community for any confusion that the mistake may have caused.

“We send our deepest condolences to the staff who cared for these individuals and the families of those who were lost,” said Public Health Director Frank Kruppa. “We apologize for any confusion our announcement may have caused. The January 20 report was announced prematurely due to miscommunication internally and it has been remedied.”

Original Story: TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Health Department has announced two additional deaths from COVID-19 in the county, as well as the highest number of single-day positive tests reported so far.

There have now been 21 total deaths in Tompkins County from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. While the deaths were initially reported to be at Oak Hill Manor Nursing Home, it has now been confirmed that was incorrect information from the Tompkins County Health Department.

Tompkins County also reported 62 new cases, the highest single day of positive coronavirus tests since the pandemic began in March. There are 17 people hospitalized with active COVID-19 cases and 295 total active cases.

Matt Butler

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