UPDATE 3:30 p.m. Five more people who had contact with the Westchester man have tested positive for COVID-19. The individuals were identified as a close friend of the man, along with his wife, and their two sons and a daughter. Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered the news during his third press briefing of the day. One other daughter tested negative, he said.
The family lives in New Rochelle. The governor said the children attend Westchester Torah Academy, which is located in White Plains. He said he met with officials of the school earlier today and that it would remain closed until Friday.
It is not yet known where the newly infected man or his wife works.
"It could have happened anywhere and it will," Cuomo said. "The number of people infected will continue to increase."
The family members are self-quarantined at home and have shown symptoms, officials said.
UPDATE 2 p.m. The city is now releasing more information about the unnamed Westchester man and his family who have tested positive for COVID-19. Late Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio identified the law firm where the man worked as Lewis and Garbuz, a trusts and estates law firm with seven employees and one intern. At a press briefing, the mayor confirmed that the firm's office is located at 60 East 42nd Street. De Blasio said the man's wife worked at the firm as well.
The man's wife and daughter have not showed any symptoms despite testing positive, the mayor said.
Unlike the first confirmed NYC case, where the woman was a health care worker who had traveled to Iran, a country with a significant outbreak of coronavirus, health officials do not know the source of the Westchester man's infection. The city's disease detectives are searching for clues by looking at their contacts and asking those who have been in contact with the individuals to self-quarantine.
Earlier today, Yeshiva University, where the man's son attended college, announced that two students are being tested. De Blasio identified them as the roommate and close friend of the son, who was last on campus on February 27th.
Five individuals at the couple's law firm are also being tested.
Prior to de Blasio's briefing, Cuomo said that eight employees at the Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, where the Westchester man was first cared for, are also being tested.
The mayor also told reporters that the city will punish price gouging on items like masks or hand sanitizers. Individuals who observe price gouging should call 311.
He also said that the Taxi & Limousine Commission has provided new guidance on a daily cleaning protocol for taxi drivers. The MTA has said it would institute a deep cleaning of the subway and bus system every 72 hours.
Neither de Blasio no Cuomo have said whether the man and his wife took Metro North and the subway while coming to Manhattan for work.
UPDATE 1 p.m. Governor Andrew Cuomo said that as many as 1,000 people might be asked to self-quarantine themselves as a result of possibly having contact with a Westchester man, his three family members and neighbor who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The governor described the measure as being "overly cautious" in the wake of several confirmed cases. "The investigation starts," he said during the second press briefing on the situation of the day. "You’re trying to find as many people who may have been in contact."
The man, a 50-year-old attorney who lives in New Rochelle, is currently in stable condition at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. His family, as well as the neighbor, are all under mandatory quarantine at their homes.
Cuomo said that new tests were being administered for the neighbor's children, as well as eight employees at the Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville where the sickened Westchester man was first cared for.
SAR Academy and High School, where the man's 14-year-old daughter attended school, will be closed until after the Jewish holiday of Purim, which ends the night of March 10th. The elementary school at SAR Academy will only be closed through Friday, with no self-quaratine required for students and staff.
Cuomo said the man's synagogue, which he did not name but has been reported as being Young Israel of New Rochelle, will be closed through March 8th. All of those congregants, he said, should also self-quarantine themselves.
Yeshiva University, where the man's 20-year-old son attended college, will be closed through this Friday. The governor said the son lived on the Washington Heights campus of the university.
The general intention for self-quarantining is to limit contact and the risk of infecting other people, the governor said. Those who cannot find an appropriate place to self-quarantine should seek assistance from the state, he added.
UPDATE 9:45 a.m. The wife, 14-year-old daughter, 20-year-old son and a neighbor who drove the Westchester man to the hospital have all tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total confirmed cases in New York State to six.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the latest findings during a press conference this morning. He said that health officials were now trying to trace the contacts of these individuals. The wife and daughter had been self-quarantined in their home. Earlier today (see below) Yeshiva University, where the man's son is a student, announced a positive test and said it was canceling all classes at its Washington Heights campus today.
In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “As of this morning, two contacts have transferred to Bellevue hospital for testing. We will continue working closely with our State partners to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep New Yorkers safe.”
Asked if the Westchester man took Metro North to commute to his law firm in Midtown Manhattan, Cuomo said state officials did not know and were working to find that out.
Cuomo said that he plans to hold a meeting at noon on Wednesday with county officials in Westchester, as well as the heads of the schools that may have had exposure. The man's daughter attends a Jewish high school in the Riverdale neighborhood in the Bronx called SAR Academy and High School. The school has multiple campuses, all of which are now closed.
The governor also said that SUNY and CUNY will order all of its study abroad students in China, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Iran to return home. The students, approximately 300, will come back on a chartered plane to Stewart airport and be quarantined for 14 days in a dormitory.
From the start, Cuomo has tried to allay the public's concern about the disease, although on Tuesday the World Health Organization gave a new alarming estimate on the fatality rate of the coronavirus—3.4 percent—which is higher than previous estimates of roughly 2 percent. The death rate of the flu is well below 1 percent.
The governor emphasized that as more people in the state undergo testing, the number of confirmed cases is expected to swell.
“There are going to be many, many people who test positive," he said. "The more you test you will find people who will test positive."
Still, he downplayed the danger of the disease, saying that the majority of people recover on their own.
UPDATE 9:15 a.m. Yeshiva University announced Wednesday morning that a student has tested positive for COVID-19, making this the third confirmed case of the new coronavirus disease in New York state.
"We have unfortunately received news this morning that our student has tested positive for COVID-19. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as well as to all those affected," the university said in a statement. "We are taking every precaution by canceling all classes on Wilf Campus in Washington Heights for Wednesday March 4th, 2020."
The statement continued, "This includes all in-person graduate courses on that campus as well as at the boys’ high school. This precautionary step will allow us to work with city agencies and other professionals to best prepare our campus and ensure the uncompromised safety of our students, faculty and staff. "
The school's three other campuses in Manhattan and the Bronx will remain in operation.
On Tuesday, New York state and city officials announced that the second person with coronavirus was a man in his 50s who lives in New Rochelle and commutes to Manhattan for work. He had not been to any of the countries with outbreaks (China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea), but had traveled to Israel and Miami in February. He is hospitalized in "severe" condition.
His family is also in quarantined in their home. One of his children is a daughter who attends SAR Academy and a high school in Riverdale, prompting the school to close its locations, while another child is a son who attends Yeshiva University and lived on the Wilf campus in Washington Heights. The daughter did not have any symptoms, while the son did have symptoms.
It is unclear if the Yeshiva student diagnosed with coronavirus is the son of the second patient.
Officials also characterized the Westchester man as being the first case of "community spread" of the disease. Community spread is when someone contracts the illness without having been knowingly in contact with someone who also has disease or having traveled to one of the countries where coronavirus first spread.
The temple, Young Israel of New Rochelle, where the man worshipped has stopped its services indefinitely, and worshipers who attended services on February 22nd or a funeral and a bat mitzvah on February 23rd were asked to self-quarantine until March 8.
The first person infected with coronavirus in New York was identified on Monday as a health care professional who had been in Iran. She and her husband, who officials believe will test positive for coronavirus, are in self-quarantine in Manhattan.