New York: Latest updates on Coronavirus

The state is reporting 421 total positive cases of COVID-19, with 154 of those in New York City. 

New York state has banned gatherings of more than 500 people and has ordered smaller spaces like bars and restaurants to slash their occupancy in half. That edict has come in the wake of a growing case count in the state, with 325 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 95 of those in New York City. Subways had emptied and bikers are flooding the streets of the city, according to The New York Times. Most city public schools remained open, though hundreds of private schools and daycares have closed. 

Despite the growing number of cases and the fact that school districts across the country are being closed, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is holding firm in keeping public schools open. According to The New York Times, de Blasio said on Thursday (March 12): “We are going to fight tooth and nail to protect our school system … we are going to do our damnedest to keep the schools open.” 

Then on Friday evening, he reiterated his position. “We shut down the school system, we might not see it for the rest of the school year, we might not see the beginning of the new school year. And that weighs heavily on me,” he said, as reported by the Times.

Cases by county:

  • Westchester County: 158
  • New York City: 154
  • Nassau County: 51
  • Suffolk County: 28
  • Rockland County: 9
  • Saratoga County: 3
  • Ulster County: 5
  • Orange County: 3
  • Albany County: 2
  • Monroe County: 1
  • Duchess County:1
  • Delaware County: 1
  • Herkimer County: 1
  • Broome County: 1
  • Schenectady County: 1

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The first Manhattan case involves a woman who had recently traveled to Iran and is now isolated in her home as of March 1. The second case in the state was reported on March 3 in a man who lives in New Rochelle, New York, in Westchester County and works in Manhattan. On Wednesday (March 4), Gov. Cuomo confirmed there were nine additional cases of people connected to the man, including his 20-year-old son, 14-year-old daughter and a neighbor who drove the man to the hospital, the Times reported. In addition, a friend of the infected man, along with the friend’s wife and three of their kids, according to the Times. 

After a huge cluster of cases emerged in New Rochelle, Cuomo announced a 1-mile-radius (1.6 kilometers) “containment zone” in the area. The National Guard has entered the area, schools and pubic buildings in that zone are being closed, but roadways are open, The New York Times reported.

On Wednesday (March 11), Gov. Cuomo announced the state will contract with 28 private labs to increase testing capability for the novel coronavirus. New York received federal approval for local testing on Friday (March 13). 

New York hotline for coronavirus: 1-888-364-3065.

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Originally published on Live Science. 

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