TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—There’s certainly no guarantee that the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to a close, but the situation locally has steadily improved over the last few weeks as active case numbers and hospitalizations continue to drop.

With just one person hospitalized due to COVID-19 currently in Tompkins County, the hospitalizations are at their lowest since the first week of October, the last time there were no COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Hospitalizations hit their highest figure in the entire pandemic during the post-holidays surge, with 32 people hospitalized on Jan. 8.

Since that high, numbers have mostly been on a continuous decline, according to the county’s trend data. This week is the longest that the number of hospitalized people has been in the single digits since the beginning of December.

Overall, the hospitalizations statistic seems encouraging even though active cases remain fairly high, at least relative to the early stages of the pandemic in Tompkins County. There are still 222 active cases, a slight rise from earlier this month. However, that’s a vast improvement from the turn of the year, when active cases hovered well above 300 people for several consecutive days. It has not been below 200 active cases since Nov. 30.

Daily positive test numbers have still been a rollercoaster, despite the lower hospitalization numbers, ranging from 41 in a single day to 9 over the last week or so. On average, the last week of testing has produced about 28 positive tests per day; while a similar time period a month ago yielded about 33 per day (though, potentially due to the return of students, the county has been administering about triple the number of daily tests since the beginning of February).

Matt Butler

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