Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency on Saturday due to continuous increase the count of COVID 19 CORONA cases in New York, with 89 people confirmed sick now, including 12 in the Big Apple.
One of the new city cases is a 33-year-old Uber driver from the Rockaways who worked on Long Island; he is in quarantine in Queens hospital in “serious” condition, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Remaining “calm” is not a priority but testing is, he said.
I’m not urging calm, Cuomo said, in a shot at those who have repeatedly called for calm in the face of recent COVID-19-hampered stock market fluctuates.
I’m urging reality, the governor said at a noon press conference in Albany.
I’m urging a factual response as opposed to an emotional response.
Saturday’s totals reflect a one-day jump of seven new cases in the city more than double the count, five, of the day before.
The Uber driver, who city officials said has an underlying respiratory issue, is being treated at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway.
He was not licensed by the city Taxi and Limousine Commission and so drove on Long Island, officials said.
The mayor said other new city cases include:
• The wife and 11-year-old daughter of an Upper West Side man in his 50s who tested positive. They are currently in mandatory quarantine and are mildly symptomatic.
• Two Brooklyn women in their 60s and 70s who recently returned from a cruise to Egypt. They are both at home in mandatory quarantine.
• Man from Brooklyn Around 30 hospitalized in serious condition after returning from a trip to Italy.
• A Manhattan man in his late 50s, who tested positive after spending time with a COVID-19 positive person on a recent trip to Chile, the mayor tweeted. The man is symptomatic and under mandatory quarantine, he added.
As of early Saturday, 18 New York City residents are under mandatory quarantine and 2,255 are under voluntary quarantine, the mayor added.
No public school closings had yet been announced in the city, unlike in Westchester, the worst-hit county in New York with 69 total cases, almost all linked to a Midtown lawyer Lawrence Garbuz.
The majority of the new Westchester cases are linked to Garbuz, 50, officials said.
The trusts and estates lawyer unintentionally spread the killer bug to his family and synagogue in New Rochelle after apparently picking up the virus while on a mid-February trip to Miami.
Westchester is an obvious problem for us, Cuomo said. They talk about the contagion in clusters, and then the clusters tend to infect more and more people.
Three Jewish day schools, including the Salanter Akiba Riverdale (SAR) Academy in the Bronx, the Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck and the Westchester Torah Academy in White Plains, have been ordered closed.
Nursing homes and senior living facilities in the New Rochelle area will be asked to suspend outside visitors, he said.
Nursing homes are the most problematic setting for us, given that the virus is most deadly for elderly and medically compromised patients, Cuomo said.
New York’s spike in numbers parallels what’s happening nationwide and even in Washington, D.C.
The first supposed positive case was reported Saturday in the nation’s capital.
And an attendee at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland is also infected.
The White House said neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had been in close vicinity to the infected person while attending the conference.
I’m not concerned at all, the president said Saturday when asked about the coronavirus getting closer to the White House.
We’ll hold tremendous rallies, he added when asked if he’ll continue big campaign events.
Meanwhile, a Marine stationed in Virginia’s Fort Belvoir and a Navy sailor at Naval Support Activity in Naples, Italy, became the first reported coronavirus cases among US service members.
Florida reported the first two deaths on the East Coast, both senior citizens who recently traveled internationally. Those deaths brought the total toll to 19, including 16 in Washington State and one in California.
The total number of confirmed US cases climbed to 401, as testing ramped up in many states after the federal Centers for Disease Control allowed state and local labs to test locally.
Previously, municipalities across the state to ship swabbed patient samples to the CDC in Atlanta, then wait days for the results, what Cuomo mocked Saturday as a harmful bottleneck.
Now, at least 100 tests a day are being processed in labs in Albany and New York City, including at privately contracted labs and hospitals, Manhattan’s New York Presbyterian and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center among them.
If the CDC would approve automated testing, a thousand tests a day would be possible, the governor said.
“We want to find positives,” Cuomo said. “People say, ‘Oh, no, more people have it.’ We say that’s good news, that we know who the people are so now we can put them in an isolated situation and they won’t contaminate more people.”
The state of emergency will ease access to some $40 million in federal funding for local health departments struggling to monitor thousands of potentially infected people who are self-isolating in their homes, Cuomo said.
The last time a state of emergency was declared in New York was for a blizzard in March of 2017.
Worldwide, the number of confirmed cases reached at least 105,820 Saturday, with 3,558 deaths.
Newly reported cases in China dropped below 100, as cases surged in Europe.
Italy surpassed Iran to become the country with the third-most infected cases, at 5,883.
Desperate to slow the spread, the Italian government is weighing a plan to lockdown the a fourth of its population living in the hard-hit northern Lombardy region, in what would be the most extreme containment effort outside Wuhan, China, the virus’s epicenter.
Italy’s death toll, which reached 233, is the highest of any country outside of China, in part because the nation’s population is older than average. France and Germany also reported large increases in cases, but France has reported only 11 deaths, and Germany none.
Elsewhere in Europe, the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta reported its first case.
Pope Francis, who was tested negative for coronavirus last week, will live stream the Sunday prayers he usually conducts from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, to discourage a crowd from gathering.
“These decisions were deemed necessary to avoid the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus due to the assemblies during security checks required to access the square, as is requested by Italian authorities,” the Vatican said.