NEW YORK - A second person has tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York becoming the first 'community spread' case in the state.
The unidentified 50-year-old attorney from Westchester County first became ill on Feb. 22. He commuted to work in Manhattan while he was infected. On Feb. 27, he went to Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville. He was transferred on Mar. 2 to New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan. The man lives with his family including school-age children in New Rochelle. One of the children was staying at home while being monitored for coronavirus. Another child is a student at a university in New York City and is also being closely monitored.
The man, who apparently had an underlying respiratory illness and no known travel history to China or other countries on the virus watch list, was in serious condition.
"City and State disease detectives are working closely to identify close contacts and the appropriate next steps. The test was conducted by the New York City Public Health Laboratory on our first day of testing," tweeted NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Health officials would be tracking people the man and children may have been in 'prolonged and constant contact' with for any signs of the virus.
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The SAR Academy school in Riverdale would be closed Tuesday as officials investigate whether the virus had spread. One of the man's children attends the school, said Cuomo during a Tuesday morning news conference in Albany.
The Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck and the Westchester Torah Academy in White Plains were also closed, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Other schools in the area could voluntarily close.
The attorney is a congregant at Temple Young Israel in New Rochelle. Dr. Sherlita Amler, the Westchester health commissioner, asked the temple to "halt all services immediately and for the foreseeable future" and for the congregants to self-quarantine until at least March 8.
More cases were expected as the outbreak spreads and testing ramps up.
Two families in Buffalo who traveled to Italy were under quarantine and were being tested for the virus.
"You're going to see an increasing spread," said Cuomo.
More than 80,000 cases of COVID-19 have occurred worldwide since the virus emerged in China. About 3,000 people have died. The illness is characterized by fever and coughing and, in serious cases, shortness of breath or pneumonia.
With the Associated Press