TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—While active cases continue to drop from their highs last month, two more deaths were reported from COVID-19 by the Tompkins County Health Department on Wednesday morning.

The two latest deaths bring the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Tompkins County to 52 that have been reported since the pandemic began. No other details about the two newly reported deaths were immediately available.

There are 374 active cases in the county as of Jan. 18, a starkly lower figure than the 1,000+ that has been the norm, with some ups and downs, for a few weeks now. With public health officials increasingly shifting their focus away from active cases and toward hospitalizations, a quick glance at those figures: there are 18 people hospitalized in Tompkins County with COVID-19, slightly higher than previous days this week.

State data on ICU capacity at Cayuga Medical Center shows that there are 10 people in the ICU, though it is not specified how many of those people are in the ICU as a result of COVID. That leaves four ICU beds left (though that number can obviously fluctuate throughout the day, considering admissions and releases), and 29 available beds outside of the ICU (of 89 total).

It also seems likely that there will be an uptick in cases as college students return, a similar scenario as has played out before, though whether or not that anticipated surge will rise to the levels of the December outbreak, which was centered on Cornell’s campus, remains to be seen.

Matt Butler

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