There have been 16 new positive coronavirus cases confirmed in Westchester, bringing the total to 142 statewide, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
New York now has the most positive cases of COVID-19 in the nation, with the latest statistics released just before noontime on Monday, March 9 pushing it ahead of Washington State, which now has 141.
During an Albany news conference, Cuomo offered an update on the spread of coronavirus throughout the state, with most cases still connected to the 50-year-old attorney from New Rochelle who became the second in New York to contract the virus.
As early Monday afternoon, here is the geographic breakdown of the positive coronavirus cases in New York:
- Westchester: 98 (16 new);
- New York City: 19 (seven new);
- Nassau: 17 (12 new);
- Rockland: Four (two new);
- Saratoga: Two;
- Ulster: One;
- Suffolk: One.
Of the 142 cases, just eight (6 percent) have led to hospitalization.
“Westchester is a problem,” Cuomo said. “New Rochelle is a relatively small community, and there were several large gatherings there with hundreds of people, and it transmitted through those interactions."
Cuomo said that New Rochelle is “a significant hotspot if you look at the overall map of the United States,” and that he is consulting with the CDC about how to handle the situation.
He introduced a new policy for schools moving forward, which includes shutting buildings down for at least 24 hours when there is a positive test in a student or staff member.
“We’re talking about closing schools in that area,” the governor said. “The question now is for how long? We could be talking weeks. We’re going to do an assessment over 24 hours and make a determination going forward given the facts in a particular school district.”
While some schools in Westchester and Rockland announced they will be closed for days or weeks, the New Rochelle School District has remained open as Superintendent Laura Feijoo “eagerly awaits (Cuomo’s) much-anticipated plan for school closures as it relates to coronavirus.”
“Had (New Rochelle) closed schools, it would have resulted in 11,000 students being asked to stay home. Many of our students do not have home care available during the day,” she said. “If students are asked to stay home, many of them would likely congregate anyway.
"Furthermore, from a strategic long-term perspective, closing schools has no ‘end game.’ Once schools reopen, a student or staff member could test positive and so the cycle of school closures would continue. Students graduating do not have the luxury of missing critical seat time.”
Cuomo also announced that New York Port Authority executive director Rick Cotton has tested COVID-19 positive and is being quarantined and that the governor may have had contact with Cotton recently.
Globally, there have been 111,758 confirmed COVID-19 cases, which led to 3,889 deaths. Of those cases, 566 were reported in the United States, including 22 deaths.
“Every effort to contain the virus and slow the spread saves lives," the World Health Organization said. "These efforts give health systems and all of society much needed time to prepare, and researchers more time to identify effective treatments and develop vaccines.
“We must stop, contain, control, delay and reduce the impact of this virus at every opportunity.
"Every person has the capacity to contribute, to protect themselves, to protect others, whether in the home, the community, the healthcare system, the workplace or the transport system.”
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