TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. –– Even as Tompkins County continues to see a decrease in the number of active COVID-19 cases, county officials are taking the opportunity to remind residents of safety protocols still in place and give them a chance to ask questions in a virtual town-hall this afternoon.

The town hall, reminiscent of early town halls held weekly by the county Emergency Operations Center (EOC), will be held at 4:30 p.m. on YouTube where officials will be, “answering questions raised by the public and providing additional updates to the community. “

Officials also ask that “as we continue to navigate the pandemic, witness the positive impact of vaccination, and adhere to the CDC and New York State issue new guidance, Tompkins County government is informing the community of the following guidance and service delivery impacts.”

The guidance is as follows:

County Facilities and vaccinations

Beginning June 7, signage will be posted in all County facilities that asks members of the public to please continue to wear a mask if they are unvaccinated. Members of the public who are vaccinated may choose to no longer wear a mask in most County spaces. Departmental decisions will be part of each Department’s 2021 Operations plans and may continue to evolve over time. 

  • County departments may choose to ask for proof of vaccination status from members of the public to ensure the safety of both employees and members of the public who utilize a space. These will be individual department decisions based on the services provided, length of exposure, and spacing considerations. 
  • Several County departments are still requiring mask-wearing by all members of the public regardless of vaccination status. You are expected to wear a mask while at the Tompkins County Health Department, Mental Health Department, Department of Social Services, Department of Motor Vehicles, County Clerk’s Office, and the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport.  
  • The Human Services Annex building, which houses the Tompkins County Office for the Aging and Tompkins County Veterans Services Department will remain closed to the public unless you have a pre-scheduled appointment. The departments will still require that all members of the public wear masks.
  • At this time, Tompkins County does not require the organization’s employees to be vaccinated; however, it is strongly encouraged. All Tompkins County staff who receive a COVID-19 vaccine are requested to share proof of their vaccination status. Employees who have not received an FDA-authorized vaccine or who choose to not report their vaccination information are considered unvaccinated. These employees will continue to be required to wear masks –– County employees that have attested that they are fully vaccinated  and who have attested through the Tompkins County system, will no longer be required to wear masks indoors, though their department may require them to do so in certain circumstances.  

Several County buildings will remain locked with outdoor secure drop box service or the ability to be buzzed in via a kiosk.  

Emergency Operations Center & Pandemic Response 

New York State and Tompkins County continue to be in a declared State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tompkins County plans to continue the declaration in alignment with New York State’s declaration. 

The County has transitioned its EOC function to virtual meetings as reassigned County employees return to their normal work areas. EOC and Health Department staff continue to plan and administer contact tracing and disease reporting, vaccination operations, public information and community engagement related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

For those that have questions about the above, or anything else pandemic related again there is a virtual town hall on YouTube answering TODAY at 4:30 p.m.   

Anna Lamb

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