Coronavirus: COVID-19 cases in NY exceed 140; 8 hospitalized

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NEW YORK — The number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in New York state is now at 142, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday morning.

Of the 142 cases, eight people are hospitalized.

The total number of cases now exceeds the number of cases in Washington, Cuomo noted. Washington currently has 136 confirmed cases, according to the state’s department of health.

There are 98 confirmed cases in Westchester County, 19 cases in New York City, 17 cases in Nassau County, four cases in Rockland County, two in Saratoga, one in Suffolk County and one in Ulster County.

“We’ve been testing around the clock now,” Cuomo said.

“Westchester is our problem, as you can see from the numbers. That is a relatively small community in New Rochelle — 98 cases, more than the city of New York.”

“This is the hot spot. One of the hot spots nationally, by the way, is the New Rochelle hot spot,” Cuomo said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday morning that there are three more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City; two of the new COVID-19 cases are in Brooklyn and one is in Queens.

Nassau County officials also announced Monday six new cases were confirmed.

According to Cuomo, Executive Director of Port Authority Rick Cotton has tested positive for COVID-19. He is currently quarantined and working from home.

“He’s been at the airports obviously when many people were coming back with the virus,” Cuomo said. The senior team that has been working with him is being tested.

Cuomo urged people over 50 to take precautions.

“It’s not the time to be getting on a plane,” he said. “The fear and the hysteria are out pacing the reality, but the reality of the situation is that people in that group should be careful.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Watch in video below.

As the number of novel coronavirus cases continues to climb, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging New Yorkers to stay away from crowded places, including workspaces and public transportation. He also suggested employees should work from home if they are capable to.

Cuomo calls the growing number of cases in the state “good news.”

“The more you test, the more positives you will find. And you are testing primarily a suspect group because we’re testing people who we believe came in contact with a positive person. We want that data because we want to find out who’s positive so we can isolate them and reduce the spread.”

“Statistically, I don’t know what it is but I take it as good news because I want to be finding the positives so we can isolate them and reduce the spread,” he said.

On the fear surrounding the illness, Cuomo called the panic “unwarranted.” “We have dealt with worse viruses. This spreads like the flu but most people will have it and they get on with their lives. Many people will have it and not know that they have it.”

Schools in New York and New Jersey have closures planned as officials deal with the spread of coronavirus.

Some schools are closing because of possible COVID-19 exposure. Others are closing to develop plans to handle future novel coronavirus-related closures; schools would physically be closed, but students would have lessons in some form.

If a student tests positive, that school closes for at least 24 hours so that officials can evaluate the situation and make an educated decision, according to Cuomo.

Over the weekend, Cuomo declared a state of emergency to would allow expedited purchasing and hiring to assist in battling the outbreak.

He also unveiled a new hand sanitizer produced by the state that is 75% alcohol. Corcraft, which makes various cleaning supplies, was contracted to manufacture the product for the state. About 100,000 gallons are manufactured per week and it will be provided to the MTA, schools and other agencies.

Additionally on Sunday, New Jersey confirmed two more presumptive positive cases, bringing the total in the state to six, and Connecticut saw its first positive test result.

Amid coronavirus fears, stock trading was halted in the moments after Monday’s opening bell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down more than 1,800 points, amounting to a 7% loss.

There are 111,363 cases of coronavirus and 3,892 deaths worldwide. The total number of people who have recovered worldwide is at 62,375.

Click here to learn tips on how to protect yourself amid COVID-19 concerns.

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