TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY – Tompkins County now has its first death from COVID-19, the county health department said Monday.
The person, whom the release calls “elderly,” has been hospitalized at Cayuga Medical Center since Oct. 6 and died earlier on Monday, Oct. 12. No details were provided for the contact investigation involving the patient, although they are not nurses of a home patient.
“Our deepest sympathy goes to the family affected by this loss. This transition is a difficult reminder that COVID-19 is still having a major impact on our community, “said Frank Krupp, Tompkins County Public Health Director. “I urge everyone to pay attention to what we can do to stop the spread. Although our ability to control the disease in Tompkins County has increased, we are tragically reminded that COVID-1
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Citing medical privacy guidelines, the health department said no more information would be released at this time. A separate statement from Cayuga Health states that the deceased is a high-risk patient and is 95 years old.
“We deeply regret the death of a 95-year-old patient at Cayuga Medical Center due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Martin Stallone, CEO of Cayuga Health System. “Our hearts go out to the patient’s family during this difficult time. I would also like to acknowledge the commitment of our team to Cayuga Health, which continues to treat all patients with COVID-19. They remain well prepared and committed to their calling and commitment to treating all patients, no matter what the diagnosis. “
Before Monday, Tompkins County had not seen coronavirus deaths, although its presence as a public health crisis is still being felt. As of October 12, 464 residents of the county had tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic, with 428 recovering. There are 35 active cases left in Tompkins County.
“My heart breaks because of this loss, the loss of a loved one and a member of our community is never easy, and this terrible pandemic makes grief even more difficult. On behalf of the entire county legislature, we grieve for the family and keep it close in our minds. We have come together as a community over the last eight months to do everything we can to fight this disease. I hope that we will all unite and continue to do everything we can to protect each other, “said Leslin McBean-Clairborne, chairman of the Tompkins County Legislature.