ITHACA, N.Y.—The current wave of COVID-19 has continued Friday, with another 40 positive tests among Tompkins County residents reported on the morning of Aug. 27. The 40 positives is the highest single-day positive testing figure since February 4.

That brings the total number of active cases in Tompkins County to 207, the first time that number has been over 200 since April. Cases have been trending upwards for a few weeks but that has greatly accelerated in the last few days, with 29, 32 and 40 positive tests reported on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week, respectively.

The numbers can’t even be fully blamed on Cornell University and Ithaca College, realistically, though the influx of students is contributing. Cornell reported 11 positive tests on August 25, the last available day they have reported, and the same day the county reported 29. Ithaca College only has one active student case currently. Perhaps Cornell has accounted for a significant portion of the 72 positive tests in the last two days, but it’s impossible to know until the school releases testing numbers from those two days.

The good news is that after an initial spike in hospitalizations, those have remained low despite the rush of positive tests. There are currently three people hospitalized from COVID-19.

Some demographic data from this recent case wave is clear, though not all of it. But, the health department has released that as of Aug. 20, unvaccinated people made up 55 of the positive tests, while 48 vaccinated people tested positive. Beyond that, 30 children under 12 tested positive, easily the highest that number has been in a weekly total report, which had been at highs of 11 the previous two weeks. The high children’s numbers could be an ongoing result of the cluster discovered from a GIAC summer camp exposure, reported by the Voice earlier this week.

Matt Butler

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