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July 28, 2016


Water Conservation Advisory for Tompkins County

As a result of the prolonged period of low rainfall, the New York State Department of Conservation has issued a drought “watch” for all of New York State. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Tompkins County and much of the Finger Lakes are experiencing severe drought conditions.

Fall Creek and Six Mile Creek, which supply drinking water to Cornell University and the City of Ithaca, are at record low levels. USGS data shows groundwater levels are lower than normal and steadily dropping. Residents are urged to take measures to conserve water, now. Click for full press release with water conservation tips.

Increase in Sexually Transmitted Infections

There was a local increase of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis for the first half of 2016, according to the TCHD. From January to June 2016, there have been 174 cases of Chlamydia, 22 cases of Gonorrhea and 6 cases of Syphilis. STI cases have occurred in both females and males ranging in age from 16 to 62 years. Many Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis cases have reported anonymous sexual encounters arranged through internet hook-ups and dating phone apps. As a result of the anonymous encounter, they may not be able to notify sex partners of exposure and risk further infection in the community. Full press release >

TC Health Working With City to Address Drinking Water Issue

The Health Department is working with the City of Ithaca to address the discolored drinking water issue within the municipal distribution system as well as the results of recent lead sampling conducted at city facilities. We do not have indications that these issues are related, but existing water quality data is being reviewed and additional sampling has been requested. Full press release.

Lyme Disease: Take Steps to Prevent It

Summer brings gardening, hiking, and outside gatherings! Take steps to prevent tick bites and Lyme Disease! American Lyme Disease Foundation

Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to people through the bite of an infected deer tick. The time for greatest concern is late spring and early summer when nymphal ticks are active. In the nymphal stage, deer ticks are small (about the size of a poppy seed) and difficult to see. They live in shared, moist areas at ground level. They will also cling to tall grass, brush, and shrubs, at the edge of woods, and around old stone walls.

Ticks do not fly; however, they will crawl and take the opportunity to attach as an animal or human passes by.The tick must remain attached to someone for 36 hours or more for transmission to occur. Click here for the complete 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!

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.

School Drinking Water

 The Tompkins County Health Department recommends that schools that choose to sample water in their buildings for lead, follow the guidance from the EPA. Guidance documents are posted here. It is important to read the first document thoroughly and to adhere to this guidance closely in order to achieve accurate results. We recommend that schools call the Health Department before proceeding with testing.

  Communications  |  Guidance Documents  |  Schools FAQ  |  Lead Poisoning Prevention

Updated School Immunization Regulations for 2015-2016 School Year are in effect September 1

The New York State Department of Health announced amended vaccination regulations for children entering or attending school. According to the amended regulations, New York State school children will now be mandated to receive a complete series of all required vaccines – or be in the process of doing so – in order to attend classes. More info »

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.