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Annual Tompkins County Water Taste Test this Sunday, April 30, at Streets Alive!
Celebrate Water Week, May 7–13, 2017

The Health Department is celebrating National Drinking Water Week by hosting the annual water taste test on Sunday, April 30, from 1:00 5:00 p.m. at Streets Alive! on Cayuga and Lewis Streets in Ithaca. Throughout the day the public is welcome to sample water from the seven municipal water supplies in Tompkins County and rate the best tasting water. Demonstrations of specialized monitoring and inspection equipment, interactive activities, hands-on displays, and other water-related and general Health Department information will be available. Full press release.

National Infant Immunization Week April 22–29, 2017

NIIW is a reminder that children need vaccines right from the start. Immunization gives parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before they turn 2 years old. Full press release.

Tompkins County Health Department offers immunization clinics every Friday for county residents who do not have a primary care provider and do not have insurance or are under insured. Clinics are open from 9am to 4pm by appointment. Call 607-274-6604 for information or to schedule an appointment to get the proper vaccines for your child.

Proposed law to raise the minimum legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old in Tompkins County.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 2, 5:30 p.m. Click here for the agenda and packet.
WHERE: Tompkins County Legislative Chambers, 121 E. Court St., Ithaca.tobacco21-dot-org
RESEARCH conducted by the Institute of Medicine presents strong evidence that increasing the tobacco purchase age to 21 will reduce youth smoking, reduce youth initiation of tobacco use, and ultimately reduce the prevalence of adult smokers and smoking caused chronic disease and premature death. 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.

Influenza Vaccination Still a Priority

Cover your sneezeA flu vaccination is the best protection against the flu. Getting a flu vaccination in January or later will still provide protection this flu season. Melissa Gatch, Supervising Community Health Nurse, notes that through the busy holiday season, people who haven’t gotten a flu vaccine yet often take if off of their “to do” list. “I urge everyone who hasn’t been immunized to get a flu vaccination,” she said, “to protect themselves, their family and friends from the flu during the winter months.”

Go to our seasonal flu page
or use the widget below to find a vaccination location near you.


Updated School Immunization Regulations for 2016-2017 School Year are in effect.

Rabies Awareness

Rabies is a fatal neurologic disease that may be transmitted to humans from infected raccoons, bats, skunks, foxes, dogs, cats and other mammals. There have been eight confirmed rabid animals in Tompkins County in 2016. Three of these cases involved encounters with family pets, one of which was with a rabid bat inside the home.

NYS Public Health Law requires all cats, dogs and ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies by four months of age. The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) provides FREE rabies clinics for dogs, cats and ferrets. The next vaccination clinic will be at the SPCA in January 2017, with clinics at sites throughtout the county in the spring. Click here for the full press release. Click here for more information about free clinics for pets.


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!

Zika Virus

Zika virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Anyone who is living in or traveling to an area where Zika virus is found (Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America) and who has not already been infected with Zika virus is at risk for infection.

Zika virus has been in the news recently because of the possible link to microencephaly in infants whose mother was infected by the virus during pregnancy.

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.

for more information.

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. Many people who can benefit from PrEP aren't taking it. If more health care providers know about and prescribe PrEP, more HIV infections could be prevented. 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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