TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—In line with New York loosening its mask mandate, the Tompkins County Health Department announced that it is suspending the local mask advisory as active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations “have slowed.”

The Health Department supported this decision with data from the CDC, which currently shows Tompkins County coming down from a steep rise in COVID-19 cases from the holidays.

The Health Department previously moved to stop publishing its own daily active COVID case data, which it last reported on Jan. 30.

According to the CDC, Tompkins County has 180 active cases, which works out to a 1.89% positivity rate. 

While the local mask advisory has been lifted, and New York State has ended its mask mandate, masks are still required by the state in certain settings, such as nursing homes, on publican transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and health care settings regulated by state agencies or the Tompkins County Department of Health.

The downward trend in COVID-19 cases being seen statewide informed Hochul’s decision to end the mask mandate in schools, starting on Mar. 2. Individual school districts will be able to decide if they want to continue with masking or not. 

The Health Department distributed a statement from its Director Frank Kruppa, who wrote, “While we’re moving forward with new guidance it’s important to continue to stay vigilant and we are encouraging everyone who is eligible to stay up-to-date on vaccination.”

Free KN95 masks have been made available across the county, such as at the Tompkins County Public Library.

Jimmy Jordan

Jimmy Jordan is a general assignment reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact him at Connect with him on Twitter @jmmy_jrdn