Only one possible coronavirus case remains pending in New York State, and it happens to be in Queens.
Gov. Cuomo announced on Monday, Feb. 10, that there continue to be no confirmed cases in the state after results from another Queens case came back negative. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tested 23 samples since the outbreak, 22 of which have come back negative.
“We have not had a positive coronavirus test yet. [But] we will, we will. I don’t want to set a false precedent,” Cuomo said on WAMC Northeast Public Radio’s “The Roundtable with Alan Chartock” the same day. “Yes, it’s inevitable that we’re going to have a case of coronavirus, most experts say it’s probable, but that’s OK. When you hear that, don’t overreact. It’s about being prepared for it and having the precautions and having the healthcare system ready.”
Two individuals were hospitalized in Queens on Sunday, Feb. 2. One of them was found to be free of the rapidly spreading disease, with the other case still pending over a week later — tests take a minimum of 36 to 48 hours depending on the CDC’s testing capacity.
The coronavirus has claimed over 1,100 lives and has infected over 45,000 individuals worldwide, according to a live CNN count as of Feb. 12.
In anticipation for infection reaching New York, Cuomo said quarantine facilities have been set up in various areas throughout the state, two of which include Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens and NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue in Manhattan.
The CDC and state Department of Health advise New Yorkers to continue safe practices as they would for any other illness, such as washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Individuals are also encouraged to avoid close contact with sick people, to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces and to take precautions for others if one were to become ill, such as staying home if feeling unwell and covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue that should then be immediately discarded.
Although the coronavirus remains the main concern across the globe, the DOH reminds citizens to take similar precautions against the flu. This season, there has been a total of 89,597 lab-confirmed cases reported in New York State, with three flu-associated pediatric deaths.
“While New York does not have a confirmed case of coronavirus, the flu is here and can be very serious,” said DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “Taking simple preventive steps ... will help prevent the spread of the flu. These same actions will help protect New Yorkers against the novel coronavirus.”