Tri-State COVID-19 Cases Up to 113 and Counting; Conn. Sees First Presumptive Case

More results from state-run testing for the novel coronavirus continue to come in, and as a result, the tri-state is seeing the number of confirmed cases increase exponentially with each passing day

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What to Know

  • The number of novel coronavirus cases in the tri-state area nearly doubled between Friday and Saturday
  • New York was up to 106 cases as of Sunday afternoon, the vast majority of which were in Westchester County, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said
  • New Jersey had six positive samples that had been sent to the CDC for confirmation; Connecticut was connected to two of NY's positive cases, but no resident has yet been infected

Overall, there have been at least 113 total cases found in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, with the biggest portion of infected patients coming from Westchester County. There have been 82 people to test positive there, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday, almost all of which are connected to the cluster that started with the midtown Manhattan lawyer, the first case of community spread.

Cuomo declared a state of emergency after announcing the new New York State totals on Saturday afternoon. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, meanwhile, announced the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 involving a Connecticut resident on Sunday.

While health officials have sought to emphasize that most cases are mild and the overall risk to the general public is quite low, officials have already asked thousands of people in recent weeks to quarantine themselves, putting others in a mandatory isolation.

A few schools and college campuses have closed for cleaning. Community events have been canceled out of an abundance of caution. Local governments are implementing changes — some major, some minor — that may impact the daily lives of people who will never get COVID-19. Here's a breakdown of what's happening in that regard by state.

New York

The number of cases in New York State rose to 106 by Sunday morning, up from 89 reported just one day before. Those cases include 82 in Westchester County, 13 in New York City, five in Nassau County, two in Rockland County, two in Saratoga County, one in Suffolk County and one in Ulster County, Cuomo said.

Rockland County health officials on Sunday warned residents that anyone who visited 150 Remsen Avenue in Monsey on Friday, Feb. 28 between 11 a.m. and 11:45 p.m. or on Saturday, Feb. 29 between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. may have been exposed to the two county residents confirmed to have the novel coronavirus.

The health officials also said anyone who visited The Atrium Ballroom at 401 NY-59 in Monsey on Monday, March 2 between 2:30 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. may have been exposed to the virus

One of the new cases in New York City involved an Uber driver from Queens, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. The Far Rockaway patient is being treated in isolation at St. John's Episcopal Hospital, the hospital confirmed.

The driver, in his 30s, works on Long Island. A spokesperson for Uber told News 4 that all of his passengers were notified as of Saturday.

Additional cases reported in Brooklyn were found in people who recently returned from trips outside of the U.S. According to de Blasio's office, two women from Brooklyn returned from a cruise in Egypt, while a Brooklyn man is in serious condition after returning from Italy.

NBC New York's Myles Miller reports.

Cuomo also announced Sunday that the federal government has approved a Nassau County laboratory to begin manual testing of coronavirus samples. He said Northwell Laboratories can immediately begin testing 75 to 80 samples per day as he called on the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow more private laboratories to do testing to greatly expand the number of tests that can be done.

"It's one thing for the federal government not to have the testing capacity in place themselves - that was bad enough - but there's no excuse for them not to be authorizing existing labs to do the work," he said.

Cuomo on Saturday said nursing homes and senior living facilities in the vicinity of New Rochelle had been instructed to "suspend outside visitors."

As of Saturday morning, de Blasio said 2,255 people statewide were under voluntary quarantine and 18 people in New York City were under mandatory quarantine.

Those people have either A) Tested positive; B) Had direct contact (within 6 feet) with a person who has tested positive; C) Returned from a country with CDC travel health levels 2 or 3, the countries in the hotbed of the outbreak; or D) Is deemed in need of quarantine by a local health provider and local health department. Officials will coordinate with the state Department of Health to make that determination, the governor said.

Many positive tests in the state involve people with mild symptoms — or none at all. Most of the patients remain in isolation in their homes and have not required hospitalization — as officials have said, 80 percent of people who get coronavirus self-resolve with no additional treatment necessary.

New Jersey

In neighboring New Jersey, six people have presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus.

Lieutenant Gov. Sheila Oliver on Sunday confirmed two new presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus in New Jersey, bringing the total number of presumed cases to six.

Of the two new cases, one is a 32-year-old man from West New York who is currently at Hackensack University Medical Center, officials said. His condition wasn't immediately clear. The other is a 70-year-old man who lives in Teaneck and is currently in stable condition at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, according to officials.

A total of 21 possible cases in New Jersey were under investigation as of Sunday afternoon, according to the officials.

The state is also reaching out to a New York City-based Uber driver with a confirmed case of the virus who brought riders to New Jersey, officials said.

One of the previous presumptive positive cases is a health care worker in his 30s who works in New York City and splits time between homes there and in New Jersey, officials said. It's not clear where he works or in what capacity. He's doing well in isolation at the hospital, officials said. Another woman tested positive in Bergen County, and was released into isolation at her home.

Two other cases in the state were announced Friday, including a man in his 60s in southern New Jersey's Camden County and a man in his 50s in Bergen County. Both have been hospitalized.

Organizers for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) hosted in Maryland last week said an attendee tested positive for COVID-19 and was under quarantine in New Jersey. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence attended CPAC but "there is no indication" they came in contact with the patient, the White House said.

Cranford Public Schools announced its classes would be canceled on Monday, March 16, to give staff and administrators time to "develop strong and meaningful plans for your children in the event of school closures due to the coronavirus," a letter to parents read, in part. The day off will also give faculty time to clean and disinfect buildings.

The New Jersey State Department of Health has established a 24-hour coronavirus hotline to answer questions: 800-222-1222. New York has a similar hotline set up: 888-364-3065.


Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, meanwhile, announced the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 involving a Connecticut resident on Sunday, a resident of Wilton who is being treated at Danbury Hospital.

The resident is 40 to 50 years old and most likely became infected on a trip to California, Lamont said. The person "sought medical care shortly after returning to Connecticut," he added. The CDC is testing the resident to confirm the case.

A Fairfield County nurse tested positive for COVID-19, Lamont previously said. However, the woman is a Westchester County resident and is believed to have been exposed to the virus there.

And on Saturday, Lamont announced that a second New York State resident who works in Connecticut tested positive for COVID-19, noting that the person "is a community physician who made rounds at Bridgeport Hospital and did not show signs or symptoms of coronavirus while working with patients and stayed home to self-monitor."

The Wilton resident's presumptive case is not related to either of those cases, Lamont said Sunday.

The Fairfield County nurse marked the 35th person in Westchester County to be infected with coronavirus. She is under self-quarantine at her New York home, but she may have come in contact with patients and staff at Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, where she worked. Officials are trying to find those she may have come into contact with.

Connecticut also has more than 200 people self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19. Gov. Lamont announced that he was asking the CDC to send more testing kits so the state could comply with updated federal guidance on who should be tested.

How to Protect Yourself

New York City's Health Department released the following guidance for people who recently traveled to China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea -- or for anyone who experiences fever, cough or shortness of breath:

  • Stay home — do not travel or go to work or school while sick
  • Go to a health care provider and tell them about your travel history
    • If you do not have a health care provider or insurance, call 311
  • Avoid contact with others
  •  Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands

Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 100,000 people and killed over 3,800.

The U.S. State Department issued an alert Sunday urging people with underlying health conditions to avoid travel by cruise ship.

“U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship,” the State Dept. said.

On Friday, President Trump signed an $8.3 billion measure to fuel national efforts to combat the spread. The legislation provides sustenance for a multifaceted attack -- money for vaccines, tests, potential treatments and to help local governments respond -- on the virus.

CDC officials warned for weeks to expect a disruptive spread of the virus in America. Here's where we stand now as far as developing a vaccine.

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