Governor Cuomo confirms 6 coronavirus cases in New York State


NEW YORK (AP) — The wife, two children and neighbor of a New York lawyer who is hospitalized in critical condition with COVID-19 have also tested positive for the disease, increasing the number of confirmed cases in the state to six, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

Yeshiva University, where the lawyer’s diagnosed 20-year-old son is a student, canceled classes at one of its Manhattan campuses.

Bronx school that the lawyer’s diagnosed 14-year-old daughter attends was shut down after his positive test was announced Tuesday.

Services were canceled at the suburban Westchester County synagogue the family attended, and other institutions were closed.

The neighbor who was diagnosed had driven the lawyer to the hospital when he was experiencing coronavirus symptoms, Cuomo said.

“We have unfortunately received news this morning that our student has tested positive for COVID-19,” Yeshiva University said in a statement on its website. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as well as to all those affected.”

The private Jewish university said it is canceling classes at the upper Manhattan campus where the student is enrolled.

Yeshiva University’s three other campuses are unaffected.

The school has an enrollment of about 6,000 students, including about 2,700 undergraduate students.

The new positive tests for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 came one day after Cuomo announced that the student’s father, a 50-year-old lawyer, had become the second case in New York state.

The lawyer, who commuted by train to work at a small Manhattan law firm, has an underlying respiratory illness that potentially put him in more danger from the disease, officials said. He is being treated in the intensive care unit of a Manhattan hospital.

The lawyer’s wife and children are quarantined at their home. The neighbor is also under self-quarantine at home.

County health officials on Tuesday directed the family’s synagogue, Young Israel of New Rochelle, to halt services immediately. Congregants who attended Feb. 22 services as well as a funeral and a bat mitzvah on Feb. 23 were directed to quarantine themselves at least through Sunday. County officials said they will mandate quarantines for those who do not comply.

In what he said was a bit of good news, Cuomo announced that tests in other suspected COVID-19 cases around the state had come back negative, including for the husband of the first patient diagnosed in the state. Both healthcare workers, they had recently traveled together to Iran, where the disease is widespread.

Cuomo said the woman, 39, is continuing to recover at home.

As he has in recent days, he sought to reassure the public that the disease is often passed by close contact, not casual contact like riding in the same subway car as a person who may be sick.

“We have an epidemic caused by coronavirus,” Cuomo said. “But we have a pandemic that is caused by fear.”

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