Tompkins Cortland Community College confirms COVID-19 cluster & moves to remote instruction for one week

(Photo from Tompkins Cortland Community College).

Press release from Tompkins Cortland Community College.

After consultation with the Tompkins County Health Department, Tompkins Cortland Community College will move to all-remote instruction Monday, Nov. 9 through Sunday, Nov. 15. This is out of an abundance of caution to allow for thorough and safe contact tracing after a new COVID cluster was discovered this weekend in the campus community, identified through our on- campus testing held on Nov. 6 and 7.

The College is currently monitoring 11 positive student cases. There are currently no active faculty or staff cases. Of the 11 positives, nine are commuter students in isolation off campus and two are resident students in isolation on campus. As a result of several in-person classroom exposures, the Tompkins and Cortland County Health Departments have recommended mandatory quarantine for 11 faculty and staff members and 70 students. Of those 70, 17 are quarantining on campus in the residence halls. It is important to note that while they were on our campus, the students followed all of our COVID-19 safety protocols, but given the rise in cases and the connection to a local cluster both Health Departments have mandated these quarantines.

To permit additional cleaning of facilities and equipment and to allow adequate time for contact tracing, the College will pause operations in the fitness center, open recreation and athletic practices until further notice.

The move to remote will allow the health departments time to complete on-going contact tracing and contact any parties involved. The College’s goal is to continue in-class instruction on Nov. 16, but only when it can be certain that our campus community is safe and healthy. The College intends to move to a model of greatly reduced density after the Thanksgiving Break.

On-campus surveillance testing scheduled for Nov. 9 and 10 is canceled. The College will offer testing the following week from Nov. 16 through Nov. 19.

At this time, the College has not been required to go remote by the county, state, or SUNY, but decided to act out of an abundance of caution. The College will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.