Emergency Preparedness

City of Ithaca Public Health Emergency Operations Plan

COVID-19 Prevention

The City of Ithaca, like other communities around the country, is encouraging our residents to stay informed so you can do your part in staying healthy and preventing the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  For your convenience, please find links to the most up-to-date information in our community provided by the Tompkins County Department of Health:




How to Protect Yourself and Others:
- Practice Social Distancing & wear a mask!
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If a tissue is not available, cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Avoid handshakes and hugs, use an elbow bump instead.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

As always, if you develop symptoms of illness including fever, cough, or trouble breathing, contact your healthcare provider. Call ahead to explain your symptoms and any recent travel history.

City of Ithaca Operations:

The Building Department and Chamberlain's Office are now taking limited appointments throughout the week. For detailed information please visit their respective pages.

The City of Ithaca is committed to providing high quality services to our residents and is focused on developing new ways to conduct business in a manner that is efficient, productive, and safe for our residents and employees.

City staff is working hard to provide all essential services without public access to City buildings. In order to continue to protect the health and safety of City residents and workers, there are no immediate plans to reopen City buildings to the public. All residents are advised to continue conducting business remotely.

Since mid-March of 2020, office staff who could work from home have been doing so in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This will continue over the near term. As a result of a severe decrease in revenues, the City was forced to place over 80 employees on temporary furlough. As New York State reopens in phases, and people and business return, the City of Ithaca will reassess on a regular, ongoing, basis when to reopen buildings to the public and fully resume normal operations.

Public meetings will continue to be conducted using video conference technology for as long as the Governor allows it, and members of the public can view live streams and recordings of those meetings on the City of Ithaca’s YouTube channel. Public comments can be submitted through email or by using the public comment forms on the City’s website. Recently, the City began a pilot program to welcome community members to participate in public comment via Zoom, or by submitting a video. More information on that process can be found here.

Taxes, water bills, parking tickets, and other payments can be made by sending checks through the mail, or by dropping payment in the drop box next to the entrance of City Hall at 108 E Green Street. Payments can also be made online using the Payment Center, convenience fees apply. Monthly bills can be set up for payment through recurring ACH deductions from your bank account with no additional fees.

Trash tags are now required for all trash bags/cans being collected by the City of Ithaca. Trash tags are available for purchase from most major grocery stores including Tops, Wegmans, and Greenstar, along with other locations that can be found here. You can also purchase trash tags from the City Chamberlain’s Office by sending a check with a note indicating how many you would like to purchase and the tags will be mailed to you. Please makes checks payable to the “City of Ithaca” and mail them to the City Chamberlain’s Office, 108 E. Green Street, Ithaca, NY 14850.  Questions can be forwarded to the Chamberlain’s Office at (607) 274-6580.

Marriage Licenses, dog licenses, accessible parking permits, residential parking permits, domestic partnerships and more can be handled electronically and with credit card payments by contacting the City Clerk’s Office or (607) 274-6570.

For other City business, please contact the appropriate department for information on how you can conduct business remotely.

For information about New York State’s plans and guidance for the phased opening of private businesses, visit the NY Forward website https://forward.ny.gov

Ithaca Police Department:

As part of the ongoing efforts to protect the public, our police officers, and civilian employees from COVID-19 the IPD is modifying it’s patrol and front desk operations. 

Detailed document available here

Our front desk, normally staffed from Monday- Friday is now closed, and we encourage the public to refrain from visiting Police Headquarters to conduct business, unless it is a life threatening situation or you have no other means of contacting the Ithaca Police Department.

Ithaca Fire Department:

Fire stations are currently closed to the public to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Though we are not taking visitors, each station is fully staffed with Firefighters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are ready to serve the Ithaca community.

To preserve our workforce so that IFD is able to provide the services of Firefighting, Hazardous Materials Response, Technical Rescue, Water Rescue, and other non-medical emergency services that only IFD can provide, Fire Chief Parsons has decided to limit the Medical responses to life-threatening emergencies (including emergencies that require a Fire or Rescue Response ) and calls for assistance from Bangs Ambulance.  

IFD members must also wear Infection Control PPE on all calls before coming into contact with a person needing treatment.  

Any questions or concerns please contact Fire Chief Parsons at tparsons@cityofithaca.org

City of Ithaca Parks:

The following facilities are presently open: Basketball Courts, City Park Playgrounds, Tennis/Pickleball Courts, City Park Green Spaces, Open Air Pavilions, Cayuga Waterfront Trail (CWT), Skate Park, and Stewart Park Splash Pad will be open daily from 11 am- 7 pm, The restrooms at Stewart Park and Cass Park are open as staffing allows.

Please observe the rules and regulations while enjoying the Basketball Courts

Athletic Fields for current approved NY Forward activities (NY Government Sports and Recreation Master Guidancewith reservation (contact jdalterio@cityofithaca.org).

All park visitors must comply with current COVID-19 protocols.

Please pay attention to these guidelines when enjoying much needed time outdoors

Please Note: City park and facilities information is subject to change.

Alex Haley Pool

Thanks to generous donations from our community, GIAC was able to host a safe and enjoyable pool season. We look forward to seeing you in 2021! Stay Safe everyone!

Details and hours are available on the GIAC webpage here.

Ithaca Youth Bureau:

For updates visit  www.ithacayouthbureau.org or the following Facebook pages:
Cass Park Rink, Pool, & Fields
Ithaca Youth Bureau Recreation Department

Office of Economic Development

The City of Ithaca Office of Economic Development is committed to working with our local businesses and economic development partners to ensure that businesses have the information and resources that they need to help weather the economic impacts of COVID-19.

For assistance navigating local resources or to suggest additional COVID-19 business resources, please email tknipe@cityofithaca.org 

COVID-19 Business Resources

Public Art

The deadline for applications for Public Art Proposals has is currently suspended until further notice. We encourage interested parties to continue to apply until a deadline is announced at a later date.