NEW YORK, NY — The number of new coronavirus cases in New York increased again on Saturday. The tally initially jumped from 44 on Friday to 76 on Saturday— and then, an additional 13 cases were confirmed later in the day, bringing the total to 89 statewide, with 10 hospitalized.
The 13 new cases are located in Westchester County, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. Cuomo declared a state of emergency Saturday.
Of the 89 total individuals in New York State who tested positive for the virus, 70 are located in Westchester, 11 in New York City, 4 in Nassau County, 2 in Rockland County and 2 in Saratoga.
“We are working to do more testing as quickly as possible to find the people who are infected and help contain the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said. “There are going to be more cases because we are testing more people — that’s a good thing because then we can deal with the situation based on more facts. We know about 80 percent of those infected will self-resolve. The best way to calm anxieties is to demonstrate absolute government competence, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Saturday’s announcements came after a parent of a student at a Hudson Valley elementary school tested positive for the new coronavirus.
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In New York City, two people tested positive who had just got off a cruise ship and the other five appeared to be community spread. One was hospitalized in the Rockaways.
Worldwide, there have been about 105,000 cases of coronavirus, known as COVID-19, spanning 79 countries, according to Johns Hopkins University. About 3,500 people have died. In the United States, coronavirus has killed at least 14 people and infected about 340 as of Saturday morning, according to the organization.
No deaths have been reported in New York.
The outbreak forced President Donald Trump this week to sign an $8.3 billion measure from Congress to tackle the new coronavirus outbreak. The money would pay for a multi-dimensional attack on the virus that is beginning to threaten major disruptions in the United States.
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“We are testing aggressively especially along suspected populations by following the infection tree,” Cuomo said.
He added the state wants to find positive tests.
“That’s good news because we can put them in isolation,” he said. “The more positives you find, the better because you can isolate them and slow the spread.”
Cuomo also reiterated he’s most concerned about vulnerable people, such as seniors, people with underlying conditions and those with weak immune systems.
Cuomo described the overall health risk to New Yorkers as “low.”
Amid concerns over the spread of the virus, officials said students at SUNY and CUNY schools studying abroad in China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea — where coronavirus outbreaks are most widespread — will return to New York and remain quarantined for two weeks.
Robert Amler, a dean at Westchester Medical College and former chief medical officer at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, told Patch this week the public’s overall risk in New York and in the rest of the United States remains low — even “very low.”
“Even if exposure occurs, even if infection occurs, for the vast majority of people the risk is still low,” he said.
But widespread panic has led to a run on hygiene products at stores nationwide, with soaps, paper towels and hand sanitizers disappearing faster than stores can restock shelves.
Coronavirus fears prompted numerous employers to issue travel advisories to workers, forcing many to rethink plans to visit countries such as Italy, South Korea, China and Japan. Numerous airlines are also waiving change fees for affected travelers.
Concerns also forced Starbucks to tell investors this week it would no longer allow customers to use personal cups and “for here” cups that customers could request. Those who bring in their own cups will have to take a disposable cup.
Many schools have also issued letters to parents about their preparation plans.
During a briefing on the novel coronavirus Saturday, Cuomo said he declared the state of emergency to help New York more quickly and effectively contain the spread of the virus. The state of emergency declaration allows, among other things:
Cuomo also directed the New York State Department of State’s Consumer Protection Division to launch an investigation into reports of unfair price increases of consumer products such as household cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer during the novel coronavirus outbreak, and launched a toll-free hotline — 1-800-697-1220 — for New Yorkers to report suspected price gouging.