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Mandatory Mask Policy Reinstated for Cayuga Health System Facilities


Sep 6, 2023

Cayuga Health System (CHS) officials in Ithaca, N.Y., have announced that starting on September 7, masks will again be required for all staff, patients, and visitors at their facilities. The decision was made in response to the emergence of a new COVID-19 subvariant called EG.5, which is currently circulating in New York. This subvariant has led to an increase in positive cases among staff members and in the SARS-CoV-2 detected in community wastewater testing.

Over the summer, infection rates have been rising in Tompkins County. In mid-August, Tompkins County Whole Health (TCWH) issued a health alert to warn residents about the increase. In the four weeks prior to the alert, the county had an average of three positive cases per day. Up until August 30, there have been 59 positive cases reported in the county, according to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDH) COVID dashboard data.

Although infection rates have been rising, hospitalizations in the county have remained low. As of September 1, the state dashboard data shows only 4 cases, which has not changed since The Ithaca Voice reported the data last month.

To ensure compliance with the new mask mandate, surgical masks will be available at the entrances of all CHS facilities. However, screening procedures and plexiglass barriers will not be implemented alongside the mask requirement.

By Editor

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