Coronavirus Continues to Spread in NY With Five New Cases, Cuomo Says
by Dan Clark • Published on March 4, 2020 • 0 Comments
Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Credit: Cuomo’s Flickr account
Update: 4:53 p.m.
New York state now has a total of 11 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed to reporters Wednesday afternoon.
Cuomo announced five new cases at a press conference in Albany, after initially reporting Wednesday morning that only six individuals had tested positive in the state. The five new cases were discovered after the Wednesday morning press event.
The five new cases stem from an attorney in Westchester County, who was the second person to test positive for the disease in New York earlier this week. The disease had spread from the attorney to another family he’s close with. The attorney’s friend, the friend’s wife, and three of their children tested positive. One child did not, Cuomo said.
State health officials still don’t know how the attorney first contracted the disease. He was the second case in New York, after a health care worker initially tested positive for the disease last week.
Cuomo said he expects the number of people who contract the disease to grow exponentially.
“This could have happened anywhere and it will. The number of people infected will continue to increase. It’s a function of mathematics,” Cuomo said. “It is going to be dozens and dozens and dozens.”
Cuomo, who held three press events with updates on the disease Wednesday, has urged the public to remain calm about the spread of the disease, which has tested positive in 11 individuals in the last two weeks in New York. The mortality rate for the disease is in the low single digits, Cuomo said, and it will self-resolve in most people.
Published: 11 a.m.
Four more people have tested positive in New York for the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, with “dozens” more expected to follow, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters at a press conference in Albany Wednesday.
The four new cases are directly linked to an attorney from Westchester County, who was the second person to test positive for the disease earlier this week.
The attorney’s wife, two children, and neighbor have all tested positive for the disease, Cuomo said. His neighbor was exposed to the disease when he drove the attorney to the hospital earlier this week.
Cuomo said that state and local health officials are now working to contain the spread of the disease in Westchester County, and other areas linked to the new cases.
“Whenever you find a case, it’s about containment, and doing the best you can to keep the circle as tight as possible,” Cuomo said.
The schools that the attorney’s children attend have been closed as a precautionary measure, Cuomo said. His 20-year-old son attends Yeshiva University in Manhattan, while his 14-year-old daughter attends the SAR Academy in Riverdale.
None of the four new cases have required hospitalization, Cuomo said. The attorney, who was first diagnosed this week, remains in the intensive care unit at Columbia Presbyterian in Manhattan.
State officials have not yet tracked back where the man contracted the disease. He traveled to Manhattan for work, but no direct link had been found as of Wednesday morning.
Two families in Buffalo that were being tested for the disease have tested negative, Cuomo said. Other suspected cases in Oneida County and Suffolk County have also been ruled out.
New York state is now taking extra precautions to prepare for more cases of COVID-19, Cuomo said.
The State University of New York and the City University of New York are both calling back students from five countries abroad where COVID-19 has been found. Those countries are China, Italy, Japan, Iran and South Korea.
Those students are being flown back to New York on chartered planes and sent to quarantine facilities, officials said Wednesday.
New York state is also ramping up its capacity to test for the disease. Cuomo said earlier this week he expects facilities in New York to be able to perform a total of 1,000 tests per day, statewide, by next week. With more tests, more cases are likely to be found, Cuomo said.
That’s because most people who have the disease will self-resolve without any treatment, health officials have said. Older individuals, and those with preliminary health conditions, are more vulnerable to worsening conditions, Cuomo said.
“There are going to be dozens and dozens and dozens of people, and the more people you test, the more people you’re going to find,” Cuomo said.
Howard Zucker, the commissioner of the state Department of Health, said during the press conference that individuals who feel they may have symptoms similar to COVID-19 should talk to their doctor before jumping to conclusions.