Dear friends and supporters:

This week we received notification that two asymptomatic Finger Lakes ReUse employees, working at our ReUse Caboose (700 W. Buffalo St) on Monday, and Triphammer ReUse Center (2255 N. Triphammer Rd) on Tuesday, tested positive for COVID-19. The Health Department has determined there was potential public exposure only at the Triphammer ReUse Center – their public announcement, released on 12/9, follows this communication so you can read it in full (below).

We worked with the Tompkins County Health Department to complete a thorough contact tracing investigation. Anyone who was a close contact (as defined by the Health Department) with the employee has already been contacted by the Health Department. We have acted quickly in response to these positive cases, alerting the health department and our staff, sanitizing affected work areas, and making sure anyone who had possible close contact with the affected individuals self-isolate and get tested before returning to work. 

Finger Lakes ReUse has followed strict safety measures meeting and exceeding governmental requirements. We are proud that our organization has prioritized safety throughout this difficult year, and that up until this point we have not had any positive cases reported. We knew that the nature of this virus meant it was likely a matter of time until a positive case arrived, and this week our safety practices have been reviewed and confirmed by the Health Department, giving us additional assurance that we are operating as safe as is possible.

The health of our staff, volunteers, customers, and donors is a priority, and safety remains a top organizational value through everything we do. We will continue to monitor updates from the Tompkins County Health Department and the NYS Department of Health to keep our facilities and ourselves healthy. 

Although as an essential business, the Health Department would allow for an asymptomatic worker to return to work after a positive COVID-19 test result, we are opting to exercise an abundance of caution and are asking these employees to isolate for 14 days and be symptom-free before returning to the workplace. To our knowledge, these two cases had zero contact with each other.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a social and economic justice issue, as well as a health crisis for all of us. We will be actively considering different ways of doing business, and we invite your thoughts through direct reply to this email.

Wishing you and your loved ones good health,Diane Cohen
Executive Director,
Finger Lakes ReUse, Inc


December 9, 2020

For media inquiries: Samantha Hillson, 607-274-6714,

For health inquiries: Community Health Services at 607-274-6604

For general inquiries (non-medical): Call 2-1-1 or 877-211-8667

Cayuga Health COVID-19 Sampling Site: 607-319-5708,

New York State Hotline for COVID-19: 1-888-364-3065HEALTH ALERT:  Potential Public Exposures at Triphammer ReUse Center, Mahogany Grill, and TOPS Friendly Markets

(Ithaca, NY – December 9, 2020) – The Tompkins County Health Department is alerting the public of multiple potential COVID-19 exposures. The Health Department received notification of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and worked at the locations listed below during the time when they could have infected others. The individuals who tested positive are in isolation and any close contacts are being notified for quarantine.

Potential public exposures include:

Triphammer ReUse Center, 2255 N Triphammer Rd., Ithaca

  • Sunday, December 6, 9:00am – 6:00pm
  • Monday, December 7, 9:00am – 6:30pm
  • Tuesday, December 8, 9:00am – 1:45pm

Mahogany Grill, 112 N Aurora St., Ithaca

  • Thursday, December 3, 9:00am – 4:00pm

TOPS Friendly Markets, Meat Counter, 710 S Meadow St., Ithaca

  • Saturday, December 5, 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sunday, December 6, 8:00am – 5:00pm

If you were at any of the locations above during the dates and times listed, please do the following:

  • It is recommended that you get tested at a Cayuga Health Sampling Site:
  • Mass Sampling Site: The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd. Regular hours, Monday-Friday 8:30AM-4:00PM.
  • Downtown Sampling Site: 412 N. Tioga St. Monday-Friday 8:00AM-4:00PM
  • Appointment Required. Register for an appointment online at or call the Cayuga Health Call Center at 607-319-5708. Regular hours for the Call Center are Monday-Friday 8:30AM-4:00PM.
  • Monitor your health for any symptoms of cough, fever, congestion, and shortness of breath for 14 days from the last time specified above that you were at this business. For a full list of symptoms, go to the TCHD website.
  • If you seek testing and the result is negative, continue to monitor your health for the full 14 days from the last time specified above that you were at this business. If you become symptomatic, seek testing again.
  • If potentially exposed, Cornell University students should contact Cornell Health at 607-255-5155; do not go to an arrival or surveillance testing site.
  • All other students and community members should seek testing at the Cayuga Health Sampling Sites.

Triphammer ReUse shared with the Health Department that they are following COVID-19 precautions and cleaning protocols. Mahogany Grill shared that they closed for two days following notification of the positive cases, tested all employees, and is following all cleaning protocols. TOPS Market reported that they are following all COVID-19 precautions and cleaning protocols. Environmental Health staff consult with all businesses that have a positive case to ensure proper protocols are being followed.

“Anyone who may have been at these businesses during these dates and times should seek a test and closely monitor themselves for symptoms. It is concerning to see more potential points of public exposure in our community and a reminder that the virus is present. The public exposures that we note are often related to employees, however, it is important to recognize that these businesses have customers coming and going who could unknowingly be positive. We all must remain vigilant and limit our exposures. To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, we’re reminding everyone to continue to wear a mask, stay six feet apart, and consider density when going out,” stated Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director.