Gov. Cuomo declared New York in a state of emergency on March 7 after 106 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, making it the state with the second-highest number of cases, following Washington with 140. Thirteen of New York’s cases are confined in New York City, with the first in Queens confirmed over the weekend.
Cuomo said the victim, a 33 year-old man, is in isolation and in stable condition at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway after experiencing pneumonia related to the coronavirus. He had been working as an Uber driver before his test confirmation. His family members are in voluntary isolation in their home despite being asymptomatic. The 41 hospital workers who may have experienced exposure are also in voluntary isolation and are being monitored regularly. The hospital has been provided with support to have additional resources and personnel, and reports normal operations.
“As we continue to see community transmission between people who have no direct connection to travel to one of the affected countries, we are asking New Yorkers to adjust their routines to stem the spread of the virus where they can,” Mayor de Blasio said in a prepared statement. “I cannot reiterate enough that if you feel sick, stay home; we need every New Yorker to do their part to keep their neighbors safe.”
According to a March 9 live CNN count, COVID-19 has infected more than 108,000 people around the world and killed over 3,800. The New York Times reports that the United States coronavirus count has surpassed 500 with 22 deaths.
As a result of growing fears over the novel disease, the stock market plummeted seven percent March 9, according to The New York Times, putting it on track to experience its worst day since 2011. Trading was briefly halted in the morning due to the sudden drop.
On March 8, Cuomo announced that Northwell Laboratories has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to test people for COVID-19 in conjunction with the state Health Department’s Wadsworth Center in Albany. Northwell, which has facilities in Nassau County and Queens, began manual testing of 75 to 80 samples per day, but is still waiting for automated testing so that sample testing could increase to thousands per day.
“I want to do more testing as quickly as possible, find the people who test positive, put them in quarantine, etcetera, and let the public know that we’re on top of this,” Cuomo said on March 7 as a guest on MSNBC with David Gura. “We’re handling it and things are under control, right? Number one problem is hysteria and fear as opposed to the virus and I think government can either address that or compound it.”