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New York cases of COVID-19 rise to 6 after patient's wife, son, daughter and neighbor test positive

Posted at 8:17 AM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 13:11:51-05

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed Wednesday morning that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state has risen to six.

Cuomo confirmed that the son, daughter, wife and a neighbor of a Westchester man who had tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday had also contracted the disease.

The 50-year-old man is a New Rochelle resident who works at a law firm in Midtown Manhattan and lives in a home with school-age children. After he was confirmed to have contracted coronavirus, the man’s wife, his 20-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter were tested for possible exposure. All are self-quarantined in the family’s home.

The neighbor who drove the man to the hospital also tested positive, according to Cuomo.

Cuomo said the man apparently had an underlying respiratory illness and no known travel history to China or other countries on the virus watch list. He is currently in critical condition and is at the hospital in the intensive care unit.

The man's 20-year-old son is a student at Yeshiva University in Washington Heights, Manhattan. The school canceled classes at their Wilf campus on Wednesday as a precaution, the school announced.

“We have unfortunately confirmed that our student has tested positive for COVID-19 and our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family as well as those affected,” the school said in a staement.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Twitter that city disease detecitves are on Yeshiva University's campus, identifying close contacts of the COVID-19 patient. As of Wednesday morning, two contacts have been taken to the hospital for testing, according to de Blasio.

The man's 14-year-old girl is a student at Salanter Akiba Riverdale (SAR) Academy in Riverdale. The school is also closed for the day as a precaution.

New York announced its first confirmed case of the virus Sunday. The 39-year-old woman who lives in Manhattan contracted the virus while in Iran, officials said. She is currently isolated in her home. Her conditions are not serious. Her husband was also tested for the illness, but results came back negative.

More than 93,000 worldwide have been infected with COVID-19 and the death toll worldwide has reached at least 3,198. In the United States, there are at least 128 confirmed cases, with at least nine deaths.

For those who feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and traveled to areas experiencing coronavirus outbreaks or came into contact with someone with COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about recent travel and symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

For more information about the coronavirus, visit the Health Department website.

This story was originally published by Kristine Garcia and Mark Sundstrom on WPIX in New York.