More COVID-19 Cases Confirmed Upstate as Disease Continues to Spread
by Dan Clark • Published on March 12, 2020 • 0 Comments
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to reporters in Albany.
Cuomo’s Flickr account
Two counties in upstate New York reported their first cases of COVID-19 Thursday, with Albany County reporting that two individuals had contracted the disease and Monroe County reporting its first case.
That brings the total number of cases, as of Thursday morning, to at least 219, with the majority of those individuals concentrated in Westchester County.
The state Department of Health reported a total of 216 cases statewide Wednesday afternoon. More than half of those cases — 121 — have been found in Westchester County, with more expected as testing continues in the area of New Rochelle.
Before Thursday, COVID-19 had only spread to one county above Ulster County in upstate New York: Saratoga County. There were two cases reported in Saratoga County this week, but no additional cases had been found as of Thursday morning.
County officials in Monroe County said Thursday morning that its first case was related to international travel, not interaction with students at SUNY Brockport. That’s according to reporting from Brett Dahlberg from WXXI in Rochester.
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello issued a statement on the case Thursday morning, according to WXXI.
“This case is the result of travel from a high risk area, and not a result of local transmission” the statement said. “It is NOT related to the students under quarantine at SUNY Brockport.”
Reporters from the Times Union, a partner of New York NOW, reported Thursday morning that one of the cases in Albany County is a student from the University at Albany. The other is a woman from Guilderland, a suburb of the city of Albany.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy confirmed the cases in a press conference Thursday morning. Read the full story from the Times Union on their website.
Those cases come after Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on Wednesday, announced that students from the State University of New York and the City University of New York would be transitioning to distance learning for now, meaning in-person classes will essentially be cancelled.
The number of cases in Westchester County has reached to at least 121, but a higher number will likely be reported Thursday afternoon.
A so-called “containment zone” took effect Thursday in the community of New Rochelle in Westchester County. The zone, which has a radius of one mile, will ban large gatherings from taking place until March 25th.
The National Guard has also arrived in New Rochelle to help contain the outbreak. Cuomo said earlier this week that they’ll be used to hand out food to individuals in quarantine, and will clean public areas that might have been exposed to the virus.
New York reported its first case of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, two weeks ago.