WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Health officials are monitoring more than two dozen people in Westchester County, New York, who recently returned from parts of the world affected by the outbreak of novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.
"There are two widespread concerns here. The first is the spread of the virus, and the second is the spread of the virus of fear and panic," County Executive George Latimer said at a news conference on Tuesday.
These 26 people are voluntarily quarantined, mostly in their homes, for about two weeks. So far, none of them have shown any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
The Westchester County Health Department is following CDC and state protocols.
"These people are not ill, but we still have to monitor them," Dr. Sherlita Amler, the county's health commissioner, said at the news conference. "Anyone who is coming into the country into the airports who has been sick, showing symptoms of COVID, are being isolated by the CDC."
Health officials are making sure the quarantined people have food, medication, and whatever else they need during the quarantine.
"Health has the ability to video conference with all of them—using smart phones," the department said in a news release. "Health is in constant communication with these people—they can call the Department of Health at any time."
So far, the virus has infected 75,000 people and killed about 2,000 around the world.