ITHACA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Tompkins County Health Department is putting out a warning after social gatherings at Cornell University led to nine new COVID-19 cases. 

Officials say social distancing violations and a lack of mask wearing were partly to blame.

A spokesperson for Cornell University said the students who tested positive are in isolation, and the Tompkins County Health Department is in the process of contact tracing.

The health department says even gathering in small groups can be dangerous, and people should be wearing a mask and staying at least six feet apart from each other.

The health director is reminding everyone how quickly the virus can spread saying, “It is evident from these cases that the size of the gathering, whether 10 people or 30, doesn’t matter. This virus spreads quickly and easily. Everyone must remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread. Wearing a mask and staying six feet apart from others continue to be crucial to stopping the spread when individuals gather.”

If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or think you may have recently been exposed to the virus, you are asked to seek a COVID-19 test. 

For more info regarding Tompkins County and COVID-19, click here.