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Family, neighbor of Westchester man who tested positive for COVID-19 also confirmed to have virus: Cuomo

Health officials investigating coronavirus
Posted at 9:02 AM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 13:04:40-05

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan — The son, daughter, wife and a neighbor of a Westchester man who tested positive for COVID-19 have also tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the state to six, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday morning.

The news comes a day after Cuomo and health officials confirmed the man tested positive for the coronavirus.

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 coronavirus, the man’s wife and two of their children are also being tested for possible exposure and are self-quarantined in the family’s home.

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.

During a Wednesday morning press conference, Cuomo announced tests for the patient's wife, 20-year-old son, and 14-year-old daughter came back positive. The neighbor who drove the man to the hospital also tested positive, according to Cuomo.

The neighbor's children are being tested, Cuomo said.

Eight employees at New York-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital are also being tested. The patient was intially hospitalized at the Bronxville hospital, but was transferred after his condition worsened.

The man's 20-year-old son is a student at Yeshiva University in Washington Heights, Manhattan. The school has since canceled classes at their Wilf campus on Wednesday, Mar. 4 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 message.

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

The 14-year-old girl is a student at Salanter Akiba Riverdale (SAR) Academy in Riverdale. The school will be closed through the Purim holiday, Cuomo said. Purim ends the evening of Mar. 10.

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 and the death toll worldwide has reached at least 3,198. In the United States, there are at least 127 confirmed cases, with at least nine deaths.

Click here to learn tips on how to protect yourself amid COVID-19 concerns.