What to Know
- New York has confirmed the state’s first positive test of the new virus that has sickened tens of thousands of people across the globe
- A statement Sunday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office says a woman in her late 30s contracted the virus while traveling in Iran
- Gov. Cuomo and NYC Mayor de Blasio will hold a news conference Monday morning on the confirmed case
A 39-year-old Manhattan woman has tested positive for COVID-19, more commonly known as the novel coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said late Sunday. She is the first confirmed case in the city and in the tri-state area.
“The patient, a woman in her late thirties, contracted the virus while traveling abroad in Iran, and is currently isolated in her home,” Cuomo said in making the announcement late Sunday.
State officials familiar with the case said people with close contact to the woman have already been identified by health officials. The governor said that the woman is a health care worker, and that her background allowed her to take the appropriate precautions and seek testing.
“She was not on any public transportation. She has been in her home virtually isolated, and she’s isolated once again,” Cuomo told CNN.
She has respiratory symptoms but she is not thought to be in serious condition. The governor’s office didn’t say exactly when the woman returned to the city from Iran, but Mayor de Blasio’s office said her travel was recent.
Symptoms are likely to appear as soon as two days after exposure, or up to two weeks later, according to the CDC.
He and Cuomo will hold a joint news conference to address the first confirmed case of the virus. Later in the day, the New York City Council is scheduled to discuss the city’s preparedness and response plan.
New York City’s health officials announced Sunday morning two people were being tested for COVID-19, and both had recently traveled to the city from Iran. Both tests were being evaluated at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, the New York State Department of Health’s spokesperson said. It wasn’t clear if one of those two cases was the woman who tested positive.
NYC Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot previously said that due to the federal government expanding its criteria for virus testing to include Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea, more people are expected to be tested.
“Viruses don’t respect borders and this broader definition will help us cast a wider net to detect the virus. We expect the number of cases under investigation to grow,” Barbot said.
New York City’s Bellevue Hospital is one of several local medical centers that are preparing for a possible outbreak. It is home to 1,200 beds that could be readily available in case the virus becomes widespread, according to de Blasio.
There have been more than 88,000 cases of the new virus worldwide, with at least 3,000 deaths reported around the globe. The number of countries hit by the virus has climbed past 60.
Washington state saw the first COVID-19 death in the United States, officials said on Feb. 29.
The same day that death was announced, President Donald Trump approved new restrictions on international travel to prevent the spread within the U.S. of the new virus, which originated in China.
The travel restrictions applied to Iran — although travel there by Americans was already severely limited — as well as heavily affected regions of Italy and South Korea.
Around the world, many cases of the virus have been relatively mild, and some of those infected apparently show no symptoms at all.
Cuomo said COVID-19 must be taken seriously, but cautioned against panic.
“We have to treat it, we have to be serious, but the fear in my opinion is outpacing reason at this point,” he said.
Confirmed Coronavirus Cases
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- Public health officials push back on May opening | TheHill – The Hill
- Analysis | The Health 202: Los Angeles is racing to discover the true coronavirus infection rate – The Washington Post
- Some Public Health Officials Not Releasing Coronavirus Hospitalizations : Shots – Health News – NPR
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- Lost Your Health Insurance During the COVID-19 Crisis? Here Are Your Options – The Motley Fool
- El Paso virus cases jump to 35 as health leaders warn of increased risk of ‘community spread’ – KVIA El Paso