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'Shocking,' says Cuomo, as new study shows most coronavirus patients contract the disease at home

Posted at 6:16 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 18:16:50-04

NEW YORK — New information from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who ordered the subway system shut down for four hours every day to disinfect against coronavirus, shows that only a small percentage of infections occur on public transportation.

The overwhelming majority of coronavirus infections happen at the place he and health experts have recommended that people remain in order to be safe from the disease: at home.

"It was shocking to us," Gov. Cuomo said at his daily briefing on Wednesday.

"We thought maybe they were taking public transportation," the governor said. "We've taken special precautions on public transportation, but actually, no, because these people were literally at home."

The information was from a statewide survey of 1,000 patients at 100 New York hospitals. The results are preliminary, but offer a strong picture of who's most at risk.

The study showed that virtually all coronavirus cases, 96 percent, were people who have other health issues; 73 percent of cases were people age 51 or older and in a state that's majority white, a majority of the coronavirus patients are black or Latino.

The governor summed up the statistics simply, saying that most of the people getting sick are "not working, not traveling, predominantly downstate, predominantly older, predominantly non-essential employees."

Cuomo said that it was a further reminder that people need to do all they can to protect themselves, and by doing so, protect others.

"Are you wearing the mask? Are you doing the hand sanitizer?" the governor asked.