Cayuga Medical Center,
Chamber Recommend:
All Public Facing Essential Workers Should be Tested for COVID-19
Cayuga Medical Center President Dr. Marty Stallone recommends that all public facing Essential Workers, volunteers, and anyone that is symptomatic be tested for COVID-19. New York State recently expanded testing criteria to include all essential workers , and Cayuga Medical Center has sufficient testing capacity available to our community to manage significantly more testing. In addition, thanks to a collaboration with Rheonix, a company founded by Ithacan Greg Galvin, Cayuga Medical Center is the first hospital in New York State to use a new technology that provides same day results for COVID-19 testing.

The best way to ensure we maintain a healthy population and prevent further spread of this disease is to test those who are most at risk of exposure and transmission - and at this time, that includes essential workers and volunteers working for human service organizations. The Chamber and CVB support this recommendation, and hope that our stakeholders will take seriously their role as employers and human service agencies to support flexible scheduling if necessary to accommodate more testing.

Further, as we begin preparing to reopen our local economy and bring more people back to work, access to regular testing, isolation for those with positive results, and contact tracing will be key strategies to help reduce risk to COVID-19 exposure, keep our workforce and customers safe, and support efforts to continue virus suppression in our community. Employers will need to be prepared for this new reality, and our entire community will need to work together to manage this crisis in the long term.
If you are an Essential Business or employer, please work with your team to ensure they have access to testing during open testing hours in the coming week or two. Below is critical information regarding how and when your staff members can be tested for COVID-19. Please share it with your team members, and consider tracking when and how often your staff is tested. It is recommended that testing take place every 14 days, even for those with negative results.

To register to be tested at the drive-thru sampling site , call Cayuga Health Registration Line at 607-319-5708, or go online to .

Due to high winds and inclement weather, the drive-thru testing site will be closed Thursday and Friday, but will reopen Saturday from 10-3. The site will be closed Sunday, but open M-F from 10-3 of next week.
"Un-Pause" Your Business: 12 Step Guidelines Released by Governor Cuomo

Priorities that our area, region, and your business or organization's plan will need to address
  1. CDC Guidelines: Based on CDC recommendations, once a region experiences a 14-day decline in the hospitalization rate they may begin a phased re-opening.
  2. Industries: Businesses in each region will re-open in phases. Phase one will include opening construction and manufacturing functions with low risk. Phase two will open certain industries based on priority and risk level. Businesses considered "more essential" with inherent low risks of infection in the workplace and to customers will be prioritized, followed by other businesses considered "less essential" or those that present a higher risk of infection spread. Regions must not open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.
  3. Business Precautions: Each business and industry must have a plan to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business.
  4. Building Health Care Capacity: To maintain the phased re-opening plan, each region must have at least 30 percent of hospital beds and ICU beds available after elective surgeries resume.
  5. Testing Regimen: Regions must implement a testing regimen that prioritizes symptomatic persons and individuals who came into contact with a known COVID-positive person, and conducts frequent tests of frontline and essential workers. Regions must maintain an appropriate number of testing sites to accommodate its population and must fully advertise where and how people can get tested. The region must also use the collected data to track and trace the spread of the virus.
  6. Tracing System: There must be at least 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 people. The region must also monitor the regional infection rate throughout the re-opening plan.
  7. Isolation Facilities: Regions must present plans to have rooms available for people who test positive for COVID-19 and who cannot self-isolate.
  8. Regional Coordination: Regions must coordinate the re-opening of schools, transportation systems, testing and tracing with other surrounding regions.
  9. Re-imagining Tele-Medicine
  10. Re-imagining Tele-Education
  11. Regional Control Rooms: Each region must appoint an oversight institution as its control room to monitor regional indicators during the phased re-opening, including hospital capacity, rate of infection, PPE burn rate and businesses.
  12. Protect and Respect Essential Workers: Regions must continue to ensure protections are in place for essential workers
Turning Towards Reopening/Recovery

We've been thinking a lot about what "reopen" and "recovery" might look like - throughout our local area, New York State, and beyond. We know that you are, too.

Recent updates from the Governor's Office show that Albany is beginning to plan for a regional approach to reopening our economies beginning on May 15th, with construction and manufacturing industry sectors. It is clear that this strategy must rely on local and regional assessments of risk, testing and healthcare capacity, and readiness to open. Testing will be a critical piece of our new world, as will retaining some social distancing and mask-wearing practices for an undetermined amount of time.

Some Recommended Resources/Reading:

The Chamber and CVB Team will be here with you every step of the way - advocating for your business and organization's interests, while keeping our shared public health goals and community safety top of mind. We will continue sharing resources on "reopen and recovery" in the coming weeks, and be in touch about ways we can collaborate to support our business community. If you've found a compelling article or planning resource, please email it to Jennifer .
Tompkins County Health Department & Emergency Management collaborate with Tompkins Chamber Foundation to provide lunches to mask makers supplying masks for essential workers. Operating restaurants are encouraged to sign up to take advantage of this opportunity.

Tompkins County is also still seeking volunteers to support sewing efforts. Sign up at the link to the right, and put "sewing volunteer" in the subject line.
Do you need masks or hand sanitizer to protect your employees or customers?

Please click the button below to fill out a Google form.
Indicate how many essential employees you're seeking homemade fabric masks for (and for what purpose/responsibilities), and how many gallons of hand sanitizer you would be interested in receiving in the next week or two. We cannot promise supplies will be available, and note that you'll need to be patient especially for masks. Public health priority order will determine where masks go and when. Thank you!
Local Business has Hand Sanitizer Available for Purchase

Local startup Ecoelectro has begun manufacturing hand sanitizer, available in 9 oz bottles or 32 oz bottles. Email Gabriel Rodrigue z if you're interested in purchasing hand sanitizer from this firm.
What other supplies or services might you need to reopen and maintain a healthy workforce and clean environment?

Do you need thermometers, cleaning supplies, or services you don't currently have? We are hoping to understand what will help our members reopen faster.

Do you distribute any products or services that you think would be valuable to other businesses or organizations? We will be compiling a list of local suppliers and service providers.

Please submit an email to Jennifer with any needs or offers of service.
Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Application
New York State has set up an application for New Yorkers to apply for pandemic unemployment assistance without having to first apply for unemployment insurance.
Tompkins Chamber Support Fund through Chamber Foundation

The Chamber is providing critical support to our network and the community during this unprecedented crisis. Engaging with peers, receiving valuable information and updates, conducting effective advocacy, and sustaining the promotion and support of local businesses or organizations are as important as ever. We are striving to make our services universally available, regardless of ability to pay. However, if you can afford to pay your membership or fees, please do.

If you represent a business or organization that values the work our team is doing and wants to help ensure the Chamber is here to support our members and the community for the long term - our community and organization could use your support.
Still have questions?

Here's an adorable, inquisitive kitten to make you feel better.

Seriously, though...we'll do our best to help you or make referrals to those who have the answers you need.

Just call the Chamber at 607-273-7080, or email us at .

* A brief reminder that we are not doctors or legal experts - just your friendly local Chamber doing our best to keep you informed.*