TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Another death from COVID-19 has been reported by the Tompkins County Health Department, bringing the local death toll to 34 since the pandemic began. After three consecutive months without a local death, COVID-19 has now claimed three lives in August.

Saturday brought more bad news from the health department, as the single-day reported positive test total, 62, was tied with the highest ever in the county—the figure reported on Jan. 21, 2021.

The number of active cases has also ascended to its highest point since around that time, when the pandemic was in its worst state locally. There are now 244 active cases in the county; there hadn’t been above 240 active cases locally since Jan. 26, 2021. At that time, eight people were hospitalized with cases, whereas on Saturday there are three.

In total, there have been 215 positive tests over the last week of reported results. More information on the latest COVID wave is available here, and a county update is coming on Tuesday.

Cornell University has also upped its COVID-19 risk level to yellow, which means new restrictions are in place for indoor gatherings and density, plus a mask mandate for campus—indoors or outdoors. At least some of the new wave of positives are coming from the school, as they reported 25 positive tests on Aug. 26, the last day they have released testing information for.

Matt Butler

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