CORONAVIRUS: 6 new cases reported in Nassau County as NYC plans for 'hundreds of cases' in the coming weeks

1010 WINS Newsroom
March 08, 2020 - 4:59 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- There have been six new cases of coronavirus reported in Nassau County on Monday.  

Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced three new New York City cases on Monday. Saying that two are in Brooklyn, the first for the borough, and the third is in Queens.

The number of coronavirus cases in the tri-state area surged by more than 130 percent between Friday and Monday.

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This brings the city total to 16.

There are over 100 known cases in New York:
16 in New York City
82 in Westchester County
11 in Nassau County
2 in Rockland County
2 in Saratoga County
1 in Suffolk County
1 in Ulster County

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De Blasio said that the city’s public health apparatus “is already planning on the assumption that we will be at hundreds of cases over the next two or three weeks.”

The mayor also announced a ban on international travel for city workers and international trips for city schools.

He also announced financial assistance for small businesses in the city that have been impacted by the coronavirus. Many businesses in Chinatown, Flushing and Sunset Park have reported a drop in foot traffic because of fears over the virus. The assistance includes a $75,000 interest-free loan for businesses with up to 100 employees and a $6,000 grant for businesses with under five employees.

De Blasio said sick New Yorkers should avoid taking the subway and urged people to work from home.

 

Cuomo spoke Sunday at Northwell Health Imaging at the Center for Advanced Medicine in North New Hyde Park, which he called one of the most sophisticated testing labs in the country.

“It has automated testing, which expands exponentially the number of tests that can be done,” Cuomo said. “CDC has not authorized the use of this lab, which is just outrageous and ludicrous.”

Cuomo said Suffolk County reported its first case. Neighboring Nassau County had reported five cases.

Cuomo urged calm and said people with compromised immune systems and senior citizens are most at risk.

"We're testing aggressively and we are seeing the number of confirmed cases go up as expected," Cuomo tweeted.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has flu-like symptoms ranging from mild to severe, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The CDC advises those who are mildly ill with the virus to stay home and avoid public areas to avoid spreading it.

“There’s more fear, more anxiety than the facts would justify,” Cuomo said. “Most people have mild symptoms and don’t get hospitalized.”

Meanwhile, Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert said Sunday that two Rockland County residents who have been confirmed to have coronavirus may have exposed others to the disease from Feb. 28 to March 2.

Anyone who visited the following locations in Rockland County may have been exposed to Coronavirus (COVID-19):

150 Remsen Avenue, Monsey, NY

• Friday, February 28, 2020, between 11:00 am and 11:45 pm

• Saturday, February 29, 2020, between 11:30 am and 4:00 pm

The Atrium Ballroom, 401 NY-59, Monsey, NY

• Monday, March 2, 2020, between 2:30 pm and 11:45 pm

“It was previously believed that these infected individuals had not worked as caterers during these events and it was only through the detective work of one of our investigators thatthis discovery was made,” Ruppert said. “Any person who believes theymay have been exposed should contact their health care provider by phone right away. I also ask that anyone who becomes ill with this disease be completely forthcoming with our investigators, it is only with your help that we can prevent the spread of thisdisease.”

CASES RISE IN NY, WITH MOST IN WESTCHESTER

The largest concentration of cases, 82, is in Westchester County. There are 13 cases in New York City, 2 upstate in Saratoga County, and a handful of others on Long Island and in Rockland and Ulster counties.

The Westchester outbreak has been traced to a synagogue in New Rochelle where the congregation was asked to self-quarantine after a 50-year-old lawyer in the community was hospitalized with the illness. A growing number of friends and relatives of the patient have tested positive.

The hospitalized lawyer’s wife put a statement on Facebook on Friday saying that when she first heard he had tested positive, she realized there would be “pandemonium all around us,” so the family “shuttered the windows, turned off the internet and together stayed strong and in good spirits.” She said she immediately contacted everyone in the law firm and all have been working remotely ever since.

Cuomo said nursing homes near the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue will suspend outside visitors as a precaution. Several schools in Westchester and neighboring Rockland County were closed over the weekend for deep cleaning.

“Westchester is obviously a problem for us,” Cuomo said. “They talk about contagion in clusters, and then the clusters tend to infect more and more people.”

As a precaution, nursing homes in that immediate area of the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue will suspend outside visitors, the governor said.

The risk that the virus could quickly spread and cause fatalities among nursing home residents “is what I worry about,” the Democrat said. “That’s what keeps me up at night.”

Cuomo declared a state of emergency on Saturday to clear the way for more testing, purchases of more supplies and hiring of workers to help monitor self-quarantined patients. Cuomo said expanded testing by qualified professionals could detect additional cases faster so they can be put in isolation to limit the disease's spread.

State officials say the state of emergency will clear the way for more testing by allowing qualified professionals other than doctors and nurses to conduct the tests.

More testing that could detect additional cases “is good news because we know who these people are and can put them in isolation,” the governor said.

The emergency will clear the way for purchases of more supplies and the hiring of workers to help monitor self-quarantined patients, Cuomo added.

"Somebody has to go knock on their door, once a day," he said. "This is labor intensive."

It is also expected to provide a basis for investigating price-gouging. Cuomo cited one report of a retailer trying to charge $80 for a bottle of hand sanitizer.

"I want businesses to be aware that you can lose your license because of price gouging,” the governor said. “Not only is it disrespectful, it’s also illegal. And you will be caught."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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