Emergency Preparedness

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:

• 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:

Update: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the public will no longer be allowed in City Hall or any other city facility.  This is effective immediately.

This step is necessary to help slow the transmission of the virus, and buy our medical community the time it needs to prepare.

City departments are operating with reduced staff and we are asking members of the public to conduct business remotely. Please use phones or email for questions and correspondence, and you can send payments through the mail, and many can also be paid online.  You can find contact information for each of our departments here.

We are exploring ways in which to make public meetings accessible remotely for those who may be interested.

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

Parking Fees: 

The City is waiving parking fees for all on-street parking, and the first 3 hours of parking in city parking garages will be free.  After that, standard charges apply.  Our parking enforcement staff will still be enforcing other parking regulations such as accessible parking spaces, parking in loading zones and other posted short-term parking spaces (and private parking spaces), fire hydrants, etc.

Street cleaning will be suspended this spring, work will focus on cleaning out catch basins to avoid flooding hazards.

Trash Pick Up:

The City is allowing each household to put two bags of trash out without trash tags per week. Anything beyond two bags should be tagged. Trash must still adhere to the 35 lbs restriction.

Yard Waste Pick Up:

Yard waste pickup will proceed as scheduled. Collection of yard waste occurs within the city between April 1 and November 30, or until snow falls, on the weeks opposite of recycling collection. Yard waste collection days are the same days as trash collection; however, yard waste is collected later in the day.  Call the Streets and Facilities Division at 607-272-1718 to find out when your trash is collected or use our resident services search tool

Please do tag your Yard Waste 

Sheets of 6 yard waste tags cost $9 and are currently  available for purchase at Agway, GreenStar, GreenStar Oasis, P&C Fresh (Pine Tree Road), Tops, and Wegmans.

The City Chamberlain’s Office can also mail you Yard Waste tags. You can send in a check in the appropriate amount ($9 for a sheet of 6 tags, or $1.50 per Individual tag) made payable to the City of Ithaca, with a note indicating what the check is for (ie. Yard Waste tags and how many you want).  Checks should be forwarded that to:

City Chamberlain’s Office
108 E. Green Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

City of Ithaca Parks:

The following are presently open- City Park Green Spaces, Open Air Pavilions (not for reservation), Cayuga Waterfront Trail (CWT). 
All park visitors must comply with current COVID-19 protocols.

The following are presently closed- City Park Playgrounds and Restrooms, Tennis/Pickleball Courts, Ithaca Childrens Garden, Basketball Courts, Athletic Fields, Skate Park

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

Park information is subject to change.

Ithaca Youth Bureau:

The Youth Bureau building is closed to the public.

IYB are continuing to plan for spring and summer programs. See the list below for cancellations and schedule changes.

  • Cass Park Rink is closed for the season. Thanks for a wonderful skate season!
  • Recreation Support Services (RSS) youth and adult programs are cancelled until further notice.
  • Youth development and mentoring programs are cancelled for the time being, but many staff are staying touch with program participants via phone and the internet.
  • Outings, Pathfinders, and Explorers are cancelled until further notice.
  • Teens can still apply for summer jobs with Youth Employment Services (YES).  Please inquire at YES@cityofithaca.org.

  • Youth Council Ambassadors meetings are cancelled until further notice.

Ithaca Youth Bureau is also cancelling all Spring Programs. If you have already registered and paid for a program you will be contacted by our program coordinators about a credit or refund. 

We continue to be hopeful that we will be able to play, learn and share awesome experiences this summer at camps, lessons, Cass Park Pool and more. Summer registration is open and we encourage you to reserve your spot.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that summer programs will happen, but also know that we have to stay flexible as circumstances change.  Should we have to cancel summer programs you will be issued a refund.

To Register:

Community Pass, our online registration system is still open and summer camp registration is now open!

Thank you for bring flexible as circumstances change.

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.

Please check this page frequently as the situation in New York is changing quickly and this is our way to keep all of the information centralized for your convenience.