TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Health Department has announced another limited set of COVID-19 vaccine doses, with new additions to the slate of prioritized populations: those who work in childcare, the homeless shelter, public transit, P-12 schools, and those who live in a homeless shelter.

There are also 100 doses that are being dedicated to people who work in places that are “overseen by Office for People with Development Disabilities.” It does not appear that, contrary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement today, restaurant workers will be able to register for vaccination appointments yet. A full list is available at the bottom of this story.

Pharmacies will continue prioritizing vaccinations for people over age 65, while hospitals will continue on people who are healthcare workers (Cayuga Medical Center should receive 300 more doses for workers in Phase 1A this week). More information on those centers can be found here.

The Health Department said they will release appointments to the prioritized groups, each of which will have a determined amount of time for appointment registration before moving on to other prioritized groups. The link for appointment registration will be provided through employers.

“We continue to receive a limited supply of vaccines, though the State has indicated that we will have a steady distribution over the coming weeks and are planning accordingly. It is our goal to get as many people in our community vaccinated as quickly as possible and we continue to have capacity in partnership with Cayuga Health System to do so,” said Public Health Director Frank Kruppa. “This week, we are locally prioritizing childcare, homeless shelter, public transit, and P-12 school workers in phase 1b. Over the coming weeks, we plan to continue this method of local prioritization in phase 1b and communicate with the eligible populations directly.”

People can sign up for regular updates here.

The priority populations, in more detail, are as follows:

 P-12 Schools

o P-12 school (public or non-public) or school district faculty or staff (includes all teachers, substitute teachers, student teachers, school administrators, paraprofessional staff, and support staff including bus drivers)

o Contractor working in a P-12 school (public or non-public) or school district (including contracted bus drivers)

o Licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt group childcare


o Employees or Support Staff of Licensed, Registered, Approved or Legally Exempt Group Childcare Settings

o Licensed, Registered, approved or legally exempt group Childcare Provider

Public Transit

  • Airline and airport employee
  • Passenger railroad employee
  • Subway and mass transit employee (i.e., MTA, LIRR, Metro North, NYC Transit, Upstate transit)
  • Ferry employee
  • Port Authority employee
  • Public bus employee

Homeless Shelters

  • Individuals living in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared with individuals and families who are not part of your household.
  • Individuals working (paid or unpaid) in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared by individuals and families who are not part of the same household, in a position where there is potential for interaction with shelter residents.

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief of The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at