Woman in New York City dies of coronavirus, Gov. Cuomo says

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NEW YORK — A New York City woman has died from the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The 82-year-old woman was hospitalized in critical condition at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center Emergency Room in Brooklyn on March 3 and died on Friday, according to Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

She had emphysema, which is considered a pre-existing condition that can worsen the symptoms of coronavirus, or COVID-19, Cuomo said.

“The context is very important. This was an 82-year-old woman who had an underlying respiratory illness, emphysema, for which she had been hospitalized for previously,” the governor said. “She then contracted the coronavirus on top of the emphysema and she passed.”

De Blasio, speaking at a joint news conference with Sen. Chuck Schumer on Saturday, offered his condolences to the woman’s family.

“We’ve gathered together at a very painful moment. We are very, very saddened — all of us — to hear of the death, the first New Yorker to die related to coronavirus,” the mayor said. “This is a very painful moment. This is a moment we all knew would come but it doesn’t make it any easier. Our hearts go out to her family … and we will do all we can to support this family in this really difficult moment.”

Watch the news conference below:

This is the first coronavirus death in New York.

A New Jersey man died of the virus on Tuesday. John Brennan, 69, had diabetes, which is another pre-existing condition that makes people more vulnerable to coronavirus. He was admitted to Hackensack University Medical Center on March 6 and suffered two cardiac arrests.

The number of confirmed cases in New York City rose to 213 on Saturday, an increase of 29 since Friday, the mayor said. Thirty people were hospitalized, as of Friday afternoon, and 19 of those patients are in the intensive care unit, according to de Blasio.

Statewide, there were at least 524 confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, Cuomo said.

The sharp increase is a result of more testing in the state, the governor said, adding that the number of coronavirus cases in New York is likely much higher.

“The more tests we take, the more that number will go up,” Cuomo said. “Nobody believes there are only 500 cases of coronavirus in New York today. We believe there are thousands of people who have coronavirus, maybe tens of thousands.”

There are over 2,100 confirmed cases of coronavirus nationwide and 48 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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