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First Long Island Coronavirus Case Confirmed In Nassau County

A video of the news conference on Thursday, March 5.
A video of the news conference on Thursday, March 5. Video Credit: NYGovCuomo

A 42-year-old Nassau County man is the first person to test positive for coronavirus on Long Island, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

At a news conference to update the public on the outbreak of coronavirus held Thursday afternoon, March 5, Cuomo said that the first case of COVID-19 has left one man hospitalized, though his condition is reportedly already improving.

The Long Island case is one of 11 new cases statewide, including two in New York City and eight more in Westchester that are all tied back to a Manhattan attorney who was the second positive test in New York. There are now 18 COVID-19 cases in Westchester, where about 1,000 people who may have been exposed to the virus remain isolated.

"New Yorkers should focus on facts not fear as we confront this evolving situation, and the facts do not merit the level of anxiety we are seeing," Cuomo said. "The number of cases will increase because it's math - the more you test, the more cases you find. 

"We are testing more people, we are isolating anyone who may have come into contact with the virus, and we are getting people care if they need it."

Last week, Nassau officials announced that 83 people were being monitored for possible coronavirus exposure and six people who had been tested were negative. Suffolk County health officials were monitoring 29 people.

Howard Zucker, the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health noted that in the case on Long Island, the patient is not at Stony Brook University Hospital, nor is he in the ICU, though he is subject to quarantine.

“What is going to happen is the number will continue to go up,” Cuomo said. “It must, because we are continuing to test more and more. The more you test, the higher the number you will have. And as we’re testing more - because that is a good thing - you’ll see the number going up.”

Earlier this week, Cuomo likened the coronavirus to a “flu on steroids,” adding “we’re dealing with a coronavirus epidemic, but we have a bigger problem with fear.” 

As of Thursday, March 5, there have been 97,811 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, including 164 in the United States. There has been a total of more than 3,300 deaths.

The governor made not that only 20 percent of those who test positive for coronavirus will display symptoms, or require hospitalization, mostly the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.

“Why do people get frightened in general? People get frightened when either they’re not receiving enough information, or they don’t trust the information being provided.

“The facts of the case are not very frightening. The virus spreads like the flu virus. Roughly 80 percent of people will self-resolve.”

This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.

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