Tompkins County is reacting to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranking of risk of COVID-19 transmission by changing its advice on mask-wearing in public.

With the county at a medium community level on the CDC map, the Tompkins County Health Department suspended the Mask Advisory on June 10.

Face Mask
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While there is no official requirement for facial coverings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and the latest variants, the Tompkins County Health Department encourages community members to continue to remain cautious.  Residents should always assess the risk when deciding whether to attend certain events and whether or not to wear masks.

Health officials also continue to urge residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and stay up to date on booster shots.  Vaccines remain the most-proven defense against serious illness.

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Residents should also test for COVID-19 if they experience symptoms or have a known exposure, isolate and report to health officials if they get a positive result.

Tompkins County is making high-quality KN95 masks available free to the community.  More information can be found at the TCHD

Elsewhere in the Southern Tier, Broome, Cortland and Tioga Counties were recently moved from a high transmission risk to medium on the CDC list. Chenango and Delaware Counties are rated as a low risk.

Under a high transmission risk designation, health officials had recommended people consider wearing masks in all indoor settings while a medium risk carries no such recommendation.

Health officials still advise that people consult with the health-care provider about mask wearing, especially if they are in a group that is at risk for a negative outcome if they contract COVID-19.  Those persons include those with compromised immune systems and who have other underlying health issues like diabetes and pulmonary disorders.

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