New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at a Friday news conference that 44 confirmed cases of coronavirus had been reported in the state. That number represents a rise of 11 cases since earlier in the day.
With the exception of one case, all of the confirmed cases in Westchester County, New York are suspected to be community-spread, emanating from one infected individual who came into contact with at least 32 other people before seeking initial treatment at New York-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital.
Cuomo told reporters to expect more confirmed cases in the coming days.
“The number will continue to go up,” Cuomo said at a Friday briefing. “The number must continue to go up because it is mathematics. The more you test, the more positives you will find. And remember, we are predominantly testing people who have a higher probability because they’re in the chain of contact with the person who has already tested positive. So the number has to go up.”
Cuomo urged people not to overreact to the situation. “I’m not urging calm,” Cuomo said in a Friday statement. “I’m urging reality. I’m urging a factual response as opposed to an emotional response.”
As the capacity for testing for coronavirus increases Cuomo said more cases would be confirmed, which would help “contain the outbreak.”
“We want to keep testing and finding more people who are testing positive because that’s how you contain the outbreak,” Cuomo added. “Find the person who got infected, quarantine them and reduce the infection rate.”
Newsweek reached out to Cuomo’s office for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
New York’s first confirmed case of coronavirus was announced on Sunday. No deaths attributable to the virus in New York have been reported.
World Health Organisation advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before; during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handlings animals or waste.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.
- If you feel unwell (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and call local health authorities in advance.
- Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.
- Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
- Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
- Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of mask.
- Do not reuse single-use masks.
Washington State has reported the highest number of confirmed cases of coronavirus with 84 individuals testing positive for the virus.
Colleges in the area have been affected by the outbreak, with the University of Washington announcing that classes would no longer meet in person until the end of the winter quarter. While campus facilities like dining halls and university-run ancillaries such as hospitals will remain open, classrooms will be closed.
“We know these are challenging times, and that we are asking a lot of you in terms of flexibility, creativity and goodwill as we all strive to conclude this quarter successfully,” wrote University of Washington Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark Richards in a letter to students and faculty Friday.
In addition, Seattle-area residents over the age of 60 have been advised to remain in their homes to reduce the risk of catching the virus.
Across the U.S., 15 deaths due to coronavirus have been reported. Out of 309 cases confirmed nationwide, 15 individuals have recovered.
Since coronavirus first broke out in China, 101,951 individuals have been confirmed as positive cases worldwide. While 3,466 people have died from the infection, 56,123 people are listed as recovered.