This page is no longer maintained and the information
may not be up-to-date for current conditions.
Please call 2-1-1 (1.877.211.8667) for the most recent information.
Be sure to scroll all the way down the page for food and other valuable resource links
Looking for Help?
For general inquiries on COVID-19 in Tompkins County, please dial 2-1-1 (or 1.877.211.8667) for up-to-date information and guidance. For other health and human service needs unrelated to COVID-19, please continue to contact 2-1-1 by phone or by text message (text a local zip code to 898211).
Call the Tompkins County Health Department directly at 607.274.6604 for health and medical inquiries.
If you are experiencing symptoms, including cough, fever, or shortness of breath, please contact your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, please contact Urgent Care at 607.274.4150.
Register for testing here. Appointments can be made online at cayugahealth.org or through the call center at 607.319.5708.
You can also search our database of services or see agencies and programs that have made service changes in response to COVID-19. Please note that the volume of program updates has been very high recently and we are entering them into the searchable database as quickly as possible. For immediate assistance, please contact 2-1-1 (or 1.877.211.8667) by phone.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) no longer advises mask-wearing in public indoor spaces for most Americans. The masking advice does not apply to airplanes, trains, and transit centers, where masking is still required by a national mandate through at least March 18.
CDC Guidelines for Travel can be found on their COVID-19 Travel Advisory Page
Get Vaccinated! Check out this video where virologists answer the 5 most commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.
State and Local Information
New York State
In New York State, masks are still required in the following settings:
- All health care settings regulated by the Department of Health and other related state agencies will continue to require masks. This includes Cayuga Medical Center and Cayuga Medical Associates practices.
- Nursing homes
- Adult care facilities
- Correctional facilities
- Detention centers
- Homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters
- Public transit and transportation hubs, as well as trains, planes and airports in accordance with federal regulations.
New York State is ending its mask mandate in schools and childcare facilities on March 2 citing a decrease in positive cases and hospitalizations, an increase in vaccination rates, and a low rate of pediatric hospitalizations across the State.
Information for businesses can be found on the NY Forward webpage.
The Tompkins County Health Department is suspending the local mask advisory as the spread of COVID-19 and active COVID-19 hospital admissions have slowed. The advisory previously recommended that in Tompkins County all individuals wear a mask when in public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status.
At any level of COVID-19 spread, people can choose to wear a mask based on personal preference informed by personal level of risk. Masks continue to be a highly effective tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Masks are recommended to be worn if you are around people who are ill, who may not be vaccinated against COVID-19, or with those who are at higher risk of severe illness. TCHD also recommends masks be worn by immunocompromised individuals and seniors who are at higher risk of severe illness from the virus.
The best way to keep everyone healthy is to get vaccinated if you are able to. The vaccine is safe and effective and readily available in Tompkins County. More information is available on the NYS Department of Health website. Vaccination pop-up clinic information can also be found on the TCHD website.
For more information, visit the Health Department’s Environmental Health Services page.
TCHD urges the community to continue to do the following:
1. Get vaccinated when you are able
· Information on local vaccination is available on the Health Department website: https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/covid19popup
2. Get tested if you have symptoms.
· Cayuga Health Mall Site location and hours: 40 Catherwood Dr., Monday–Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm; Closed Sat. & Sun. The Sampling Site will be open on Monday, September 6 from 8:30 am – 4:00pm. For more information visit: https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/factsheets/coronavirussamplingsite
· Testing is free and accessible to Tompkins County residents. If you do not have transportation to the Mall Site, please call 211
While TCHD recommends the more sensitive and accurate PCR tests, over the counter at-home antigen COVID-19 tests have become available at pharmacies. For information on obtaining test kits through your health insurance or free at home test kits through the County, Call 2-1-1 (1-877-211-8667). All positive at-home test results should be immediately communicated with your primary care provider and TCHD (alert TCHD by calling 607-274-6604).
· COVID-19 symptoms are often similar to the common cold or can be mistaken for allergies. Symptoms include:
· Fever or chills
· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
· Muscle or body aches
· New loss of taste or smell
· Sore throat
· Congestion or runny nose
· Nausea or vomiting
4. Monitor for symptoms, especially when traveling or if you attend a large gathering where precautions are not in place or followed. Remember the virus can also be carried by someone who is asymptomatic.
COVID Testing in Tompkins County
Testing remains one of the most effective tools in identifying positive cases and stopping the spread. Testing remains free for Tompkins County residents through Cayuga Health System. You can also obtain four free rapid testing kits per household via the USPS.
TCHD recommends that individuals seeking a COVID-19 test do so with a PCR test, which is the most sensitive and reliable. These tests are available through Cayuga Health System, testing information can be found here. All PCR test results are automatically reported to TCHD and allow for isolation and quarantine and contact tracing.
At this time, you should seek a COVID-19 PCR test if you are:
- Symptomatic for COVID-19 (See list of symptoms here) regardless of your vaccination status.
- An unvaccinated close contact of a positive individual, 5-7 days after exposure
- Unvaccinated close contacts are still required to complete quarantine.
- A fully vaccinated close contact of a positive individual, 3-5 days after exposure.
- If your employer or affiliated institution or school requires testing.
Close contacts are individuals who are within six feet from a positive individual for 10 minutes or more.
While TCHD recommends the more sensitive and accurate PCR tests, over the counter at-home antigen COVID-19 tests have become available at pharmacies for purchase or free through various local sources. TCHD is alerting the community that all positive at-home test results should be immediately communicated with your primary care provider and TCHD (alert TCHD by calling 607-274-6604).
If you would like assistance in finding a primary care provider in the area, call the Cayuga Health Physician Referral Service at (607) 274-4615.
Local businesses and organizations can email Tracy Gates, Chief Operating Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org to contract for testing services for their employees. Non-Tompkins County residents must continue to meet the COVID-19 testing requirements listed on cayugahealth.org.
If you need a ride to the Tompkins County COVID-19 drive-thru Testing Center, first register for testing online at www.cayugahealth.org or by calling 607.319.5708. Then call 2-1-1 (or 1.877.211.8667) between 8:30 am and 5 pm to schedule a safe and free ride with ASAP Cab Company.
Tompkins County has a website with information regarding reopening – “Moving Forward Toward Reopening”. This county site provides a reiteration of State guidance and some details from the Reconstitution of Operations Plan for County Operations (ROOP). This site will be updated consistently. This site includes health guidelines as the community reopens, resources for childcare and more.
City of Ithaca
For more information on the City of Ithaca’s Emergency Response Plan, please visit their Emergency Preparedness Page.
Food Distribution Programs
For those in need of general food assistance you can find local food pantry information on our food resources page.
Friendship Donations Network lists food distribution events (by day of week), mostly Ithaca area
Food Sharing Cabinets continue to pop up across Tompkins County. Visit Mutual Aid Tompkins’ website to view a map with all of the current locations.
All of these food resources and more can be found on the Tompkins Food Task Force Page.
Options for Food Delivery
If you are unable to leave your home and require food delivery there are some local options that may be able to assist you:
FoodNet Meals on Wheels – Expanded Home Meal Delivery
Hot, frozen, and sandwich meals available for delivery. Most Tompkins residents 60+ qualify as do many others – call to ask.
Expanded delivery is subject to change with pandemic conditions.
United Way of Tompkins County – Emergency Grocery Request
Call 2-1-1 or 1.877.211.8667, ask to complete an emergency food delivery request or complete the online registration form.
Tompkins Community Action – Grocery Delivery or Pick Up
Call 273.8816 ext. 113 or complete the online registration form.
Pickup at 701 Spencer Rd. by appt. on Tues., 1-4 pm or Wed. & Thurs., 10 am – 1pm.
Contact a service agency for a delivery referral.
At all times, 211 has trained staff to help you locate food. Contact 211 by:
• Dialing 2-1-1 (or 1.877.211.8667) for live assistance, or Texting 898211 (enter your zip)
• Emailing or Live chatting by visiting the website: http://www.211tompkins.org/
Click on a School District to Learn More:
Cortland County School Districts (all)
For questions or concerns, please contact:
Francis Zaryski, School Lunch Manager
607-758-4110 ext. 1338
Wava Bush, Cook Manager
You can find more information by visiting their website.
Dryden Central School District
For information visit their website.
Groton Central School District
For information visit their website.
Ithaca City School District
For information, please visit their website.
Lansing School District
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Katie Swearingen at 607-533-3020 x 3119 or by email email@example.com.
Please use the following link to access the virtual meal delivery/pickup form: Virtual Meal Form.
Newfield School District
Trumansburg School District
Visit their website for food resources.
We appreciate your patience and welcome your questions and suggestions during these challenging times at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (607)387-7551 ext. 4453
Other Information and Resources
Click on a Topic to Learn More:
Business and Nonprofit Resources
Child Development Council staff are still here to help you with child care needs!
The Moratorium on Evictions has ended in NYS. If you are facing eviction, call 2-1-1 (1-877-211-8667) for resources to assist you.
What You Should Know if Your Landlord Tries to Evict You:
New York’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 created new protections for tenants, including a new provision that makes it a crime (a Class A misdemeanor) for a person to either evict an occupant from their home without a court order, or to fail to restore an occupant who was evicted without court order. This new law empowers law enforcement to intervene when encountering unlawful evictions.
Highlights of the Law of Note:
- It is an unlawful eviction if a person evicts or attempts to evict a person by:
- Using or threatening the use of force;
- Interrupting or discontinuing essential services (i.e. heat, water, electricity);
- Removing the occupant’s possessions from the dwelling unit;
- Removing the door at the entrance to the dwelling unit;
- Removing, plugging, or otherwise rendering the lock on the entrance door inoperable;
- Changing the lock on an entrance door without supplying the occupant with a key; and
- Any other action which prevents or is intended to prevent the occupant from the lawful occupancy of the dwelling unit, which interferes or intends to interfere with the occupant’s use and occupancy of the dwelling unit, or induces the occupant to vacate.
- The law protects any person who occupies a dwelling unit (which can be an apartment, a room, or a bed) through a written or oral lease, or who has occupied the unit for at least 30 days from the unlawful eviction, including tenants whose leases have expired, family members who have been in the dwelling unit for at least 30 days, and roommates or other licensees of tenants and occupants who have been in the dwelling unit for at least 30 days.
- Furthermore, the law also requires an owner of the dwelling unit to take all reasonable and necessary actions to restore an occupant who has been unlawfully evicted to their unit. Alternatively, the owner can provide the occupant another habitable unit within the dwelling.
If you have questions or believe you have been a victim of harassment or discrimination of this kind, contact the OAG Civil Rights Bureau by emailing email@example.com or calling 1.800.771.7755.
More information on Tenants Rights
The Ithaca Tenants Union launched a legal housing hotline, which the group started in collaboration with Cornell Law School. If you are having a tenancy-related legal concern, you can reach out to the hotline for free legal advice. Hotline Phone Hours: M-F 10am-2pm and 7pm-9pm, email the Hotline at ITUHousingHotline@gmail.com, or call/text 607.301.1560. Visit the group’s Facebook page for more information. They also have a fact sheet that was compiled by Cornell Law with resources for those facing eviction.
Health Insurance Assistance
New York’s health insurance Open Enrollment is ongoing. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York’s health insurance Marketplace, or directly through insurers.
Call 2-1-1 (or 1.877.211.8667) or visit https://hsctc.org/health-appointment-booking/ to book a navigator call and get connected to other local resources.
Health Insurance Navigator assistance is free of charge.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched an Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, and virtual classrooms.
This program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they can contribute toward the purchase price. Funding is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
The Broadband Benefit program has been authorized and FCC is working to make the benefit available as quickly as possible. Please continue to check the program webpage for updates.
Mental Health Supports in Tompkins County
Tompkins County has compiled a list of available support resources.
Residents of New York State can also call the state’s hotline at 1.844.863.9314 to schedule a free appointment with a Mental Health professional.
Paid Sick Leave Due to COVID-19
Rental Assistance Programs
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) assists households behind on their rent that have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 and are at risk of homelessness or housing instability. For more information, visit otda.ny.gov/ERAP or call 844-NY1RENT (844-691-7368). You can also call 2-1-1 (1-877-211-8667) for screening and application assistance.
The Housing Stability and Support Program (HSSP) supports renters at the highest risk of displacement from the City of Ithaca with direct payments of $300 per month for 18 months, and personalized assistance from a 2-1-1 Housing Specialist for navigating local resources. Interested City of Ithaca residents can call 2-1-1 (toll-free 877-211-8667) for referral to a 2-1-1 Housing Specialist who will guide them through an initial assessment. Priority will be given to BIPOC applicants because of the disproportionate housing instability faced by this community due to systemic racism.
Test KIts – Rapid Testing at Home
You can obtain four free rapid test kits per household via the US Postal Service.
The Community Health Advocates program at the Human Services Coalition can assist with obtaining rapid test kits via your health insurance or for individuals without insurance. Call 2-1-1 (1-877-211-8667) to speak with a Community Health Advocate for assistance.
TCAT is requiring all passengers to wear a face mask.
For more information visit the TCAT website at www.tcatbus.com
Passengers are advised to look for service information and updates at TCAT’s Bus Tracker.
Call the Gadabout office at 607.273.1878 for information.
For information on service changes, please see this page maintained by Way2Go Cortland.
For consolidated information on local transportation visit the Way2Go web page.
Transportation to the the COVID-19 Testing Center
If you need a ride to the Tompkins County COVID-19 drive-thru Testing Center located at The Shops at Ithaca Mall – First register for testing online at www.cayugahealth.org or by calling 607.319.5708. Then call 2-1-1 (or 1.877.211.8667) between 8:30 am and 5 pm to schedule a safe and free ride with ASAP Cab Company.
Detailed information is available on the New York State Department of Labor website.
The New York State Bar Association says it will help you for free if you are denied an unemployment insurance claim. The president of the association says more than 700 attorneys throughout the state have signed up to help and have all been trained on these cases. They say it’s best to use this service as quickly as possible since claimants only have 30 days to challenge a denied claim for unemployment insurance.
Vaccinations for COVID-19
Health Department Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution – The vaccine is safe, effective, and readily available in New York State. More information is available on the NYS Department of Health website. Information on pop-up vaccination clinics can also be found on the TCHD website.
Check out this video where virologists answer the 5 most commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.
For more information on vaccinations in Tompkins County visit their website at https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health. If you do not have internet access, please call 2-1-1 (1-877-211-8667) for information and assistance.
Donating or Volunteering
The United Way of Tompkins County is collecting donations. Donors can continue to contribute any of UWTC’s existing community initiatives or a nonprofit agency of their choice. In addition they can designate their gift to support UWTC’s COVID-19 relief efforts via the United Way’s website.
The Community Foundation of Tompkins County is supporting the many and varied ongoing local efforts to address challenges brought forth by COVID-19.
Donations are accepted via their website.
If you are seeking to volunteer your help, please sign up at the United Way of Tompkins County. You may also dial 2-1-1 (or 1.877.211.8667) and we can collect your information.
Other Ways to Donate
Mutual Aid Tompkins fund for essential needs. According to the www.mutualaidtompkins.com website, “We will match donations with people who request assistance through our Mutual Aid Form (we prioritize the poor, sick, elderly, disabled, undocumented, queer, Black, Brown, Indigenous and/or people of color).” The funding is being used for immediate needs like housing, food, transportation, . Here is the link to donate.
Ultimate Reentry Opportunity – A fund for previously incarcerated individuals. “While all of us are facing numerous challenges right now, this crisis has shown us that some people are much more vulnerable than others. In particular, formerly incarcerated folks seeking reentry into our community are facing enormous challenges right now.” The Ultimate Reentry Opportunity, in collaboration with OAR, Richard Rivera of OAR, STAP and REACH Medical, and a few folks from Decarcerate Tompkins have created a fund to help with food insecurity, homelessness, needs for essentials like water and propane, and many other issues for individuals who have reentered the community and found themselves among the most vulnerable.
No Mas Lagrimas/No MoreTears (NMT) is a 501-c-3, grassroots community organization, NMT strives to identify and address gaps in the immediate needs of residents in our community. They hold weekly food and supply distributions staffed by all-volunteer teams. Youth programs such as movie nights to engage and lift up our young people also have been launched during the last year. They accept donations through paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org ,Venmo, or by check that can be mailed to: PO Box 814. Ithaca, NY, 14851. For more information, please visit their Website:https://nmlagrimas.wordpress.com/ or our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/126458227429051
Sending Program and Organizational Updates to 2-1-1
2-1-1 Tompkins-Cortland wants to make sure that community members who contact us receive the most accurate and up-to-date information about programs and services. If your organization has made (or makes in the future) any changes to your programs, hours of operation and location, availability of services, or any other modifications because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, please let 2-1-1 know. We can make a temporary note in your program’s file to be sure that anyone who contacts us seeking assistance will have the latest details. Please dial 2-1-1 during business hours or email email@example.com anytime with your updates.
Human Services Coalition
At this time, the Human Services Coalition has moved to remote operations to better protect our staff, volunteers, clients, and nonprofit partners. Staff are currently mostly working from home.
- 2-1-1 staff are available to take your calls, texts, chats, and emails. Visit 211tompkins.org to learn the various ways to contact us.
- Health Navigators are assisting clients via phone, you can book a phone appoint online at https://hsctc.org/health-insurance-assistance/ or by calling 607.273.8686.
- All other staff may be reached via email, by dialing their direct line, or by calling 607.273.8686
We will not be accepting walk-ins or visitors to our office until further notice.
Thank you for your patience as we work through this as a community.
Consider a donation to support our programs. Learn more at www.hsctc.org/donate
Last Updated February 28, 2022