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Opioid Resource

Opioid Resource graphic logoA NEW Opioid Resource page has been posted to the TCHD website. The intent is for this page to be a portal for information and services related to the opioid crisis within Tompkins County. The page is evolving, and comments related to its content are welcomed. Sections include:

  • County Statistics
  • FAQ
  • Emerging Issues
  • Resources
  • Videos

To visit the page, click here.

Widespread Flu: Prevention Efforts Increase

Similar to statewide trends, Tompkins County is seeing an increase in flu this season. The Health Department is urging residents to get their flu shot to slow down and stop the spread of the flu virus. As flu diagnoses continue to increase across New York State, Governor Cuomo has authorized counties to expand efforts that promote and increase access to flu vaccine and other prevention techniques. Full press release.

Click here to learn more about what you can do to beat the flu!

Take Precautions During Severe Cold and Wind Chill

Wind Chill is the term used to describe the rate of heat loss from the human body resulting from both low temperatures and wind. As winds increase, heat is carried away from the body at a faster rate, causing skin temperature and eventually internal body temperatures to drop. People exposed to extreme cold are susceptible to frostbite in a matter of minutes. Areas most prone to frostbite are uncovered skin and the extremities, such as hands and feet. Hypothermia is another threat during extreme cold.

Infographic about windchil

Click here for checklists to follow during severe or extreme cold weather

It is important to check on our neighbors during periods of extreme cold. Seniors and young children are at the greatest risk. A small child will lose heat faster than older children and adults. A senior adult may be dealing with other health issues that compromise their ability to hold their body heat.Infographic of how to dress for extreme cold weather

Pets are also at risk during these low temperatures. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

Be sure you are heating your home safely, especially during a power outage. Take precautions to avoid exposure to carbon monoxide any time a fossil fuel such as natural gas, oil, or coal is burned. Make sure that both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas and is hard to detect. Common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO poisoning can lead to death, so do not ignore these symptoms, especially if more than one person is feeling them. Get medical help right away.

Frostbite is the freezing of skin and body tissue. Frostbite occurs after prolonged exposure to a cold environment. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It can permanently damage body parts if not promptly treated.

Tompkins County Health Department Reports an Increase in Pertussis

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease spread person to person through coughs or sneezes. Pertussis can affect anyone at any age, but it is particularly harmful to infants who are too young to be vaccinated.Chart of pertussis cases 2002 to 2017

Pertussis is cyclical in nature. Year to date there have been 21 confirmed cases, 9 cases were reported during November. In 2016, there were 4 cases; 2015 had 4 cases; 2014 had 14 cases. In 2012, there was a spike of cases with a total of 105.

Infants are particularly at risk from older siblings, parents, or caregivers who may be carrying the bacteria. If people are exposed and develop symptoms they should stay home from work, school and social gatherings to avoid exposing friends and extended family, until they are medically evaluated and treated.”

If you or your child has a persistent cough, call your doctor to determine if an evaluation is necessary. Click here for more about symptoms, complications, and precautions in the full press release.

Kidde Fire Extinguisher Recall

Approximately 40 million Kidde fire extinguishers have been recalled nationwide, affecting products manufactured from 1973 until 2017. Participants of the Healthy Neighborhoods Program in Tompkins County may have received one of these recalled fire extinguishers during a home visit. It is important to check your fire extinguisher and to call Kidde if you believe you have a recalled model. The Healthy Neighborhoods Program distributes about 300 fire extinguishers per year.

To determine if your fire extinguisher has been recalled, call Kidde directly at their toll-free number 855-271-0773 or online at and click “Product Safety Recall.” Full TCHD press release.

Health Department Pilots a TCAT Bus Stop

The Health Department now has a bus stop outside its front doors. In partnership with TCAT, the Health Department is pleased to offer the public easier access to the services provided at TCHD. TCHD encourages the public to take the bus when coming to the Health Department. The bus stop is on TCAT Route 32. Click here to see the full schedule on the TCAT website. For full press release click here.

Tick-Borne Diseases — Take Steps To Prevent Them

New tick-borne diseases have been discovered in recent years with infections steadily increasing. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported. Most tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease, can be successfully treated with antibiotics especially if treatment is started early. Preventing tick bites is your best defense against tick-borne diseases.

Do a daily full body tick check. Pay close attention to the back of the knees, behind the ears, scalp, arm pits, groin area and back. Check children and pets too. Remove a tick within 36 hours to decrease the chance of infection. Full press release. Click here to learn how to remove a tick.

Tompkins County Legislature votes to raise the minimum legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21, effective July 1, 2017.

By a 9–5 vote, the Tompkins County Legislature on May 2 passed a local law that raises the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21. All products that are currently age restricted under the NYS Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act (ATUPA) are also in the new local law. This includes all tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and vaping products, and smoking paraphernalia.

The law goes into effect on July 1, 2017. Staff from the Tompkins County Health Department’s Health Promotion Program will provide educational outreach to retailers and the general public leading up to and after the effective date. Full press release. Text of the law (PFD). Click here for more info about T21.

Free Lead Testing Pilot Program:
$1.5 Million State Program to Test Residential Drinking Water

The NYSDOH is launching a pilot program to test for lead in drinking water. The free program is available to residents that are served by either a private well or public water system, allowing everyone to have access to lead testing. The program will continue as long as funds are available.

Residents who are interested having their tap water tested are encouraged to sign up on the NYSDOH website, or by calling the Bureau of Water Supply Protection at 518-402-7650. For more information about this program, read the full press release here. For more information about lead poisoning prevention, click here.

Rise in Sexually Transmitted Infections Seen in 2016

The Tompkins County Health Department reports an increase of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) locally. In 2016, 374 cases of Chlamydia were reported, a 9% increase from 2015; 81 Gonorrhea cases, a 47% increase from 2015; and 12 Syphilis cases, an alarming 200% increase from 2015.

Syphilis cases in Tompkins County have disproportionately affected males, and have ranged from 19 to 55 years of age. Many Syphilis cases have reported anonymous sexual encounters arranged through internet and mobile hook-up and dating apps, making it difficult or impossible to notify, educate and treat exposed partners.

Confidential, free or low-cost STI education, testing and treatment can easily be accessed at various locations throughout the county. For a complete list and contact information, please visit our website at, or call (607) 276-6604 for more information. Click for the full press release.


Three words that everyone who is sexually active should know, to protect your health and prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs)!

    1. Talk to your partner before you have sex.
    2. Get Tested!
    3. If you test positive for an STI, Get Treated

Want to learn more about STIs and the Talk-Test-Treat campaign? Click right here, right now!

Daily Pill Can Prevent HIV

Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medicine taken daily that can be used to prevent getting HIV. PrEP is for people without HIV who are at very high risk for getting it from sex or injection drug use. Click here for more information.

Vaccines Save Lives

Flu vaccinations: Everyone, Every Year!

The Health Department recommends a flu shot for everyone, every year. Visit our Seasonal Flu page for more info.

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NOTICEThe Tompkins County Health Department makes every effort to post accurate and reliable information. However, it does not guarantee or warrant that the information on this website is complete, accurate, or up-to-date. Tompkins County shall not be liable under any circumstances for any claims or damages arising directly or indirectly from information presented therein. Please contact the program area by phone or the receptionist at 274-6600 for more information.


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