The first coronavirus case on Long Island was confirmed Thursday in Nassau County, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The patient is a 42-year-old man who has been hospitalized at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, officials said. Nassau County health officials have since begun tracing the man’s contacts to see who else might be infected. Multiple local news outlets reported that the man is a Uniondale resident who works at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre.
“Our goal now is to avoid community spread,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, who noted that the patient is in isolation. “There is no need to panic. If you live on Long Island, you can go about your day. But please, take care of yourself.”
There are currently 22 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York State and at least 160 cases in 17 states. Eleven people have died of coronavirus nationwide as of Thursday.
Nassau health officials said Wednesday that the county completed monitoring of 147 travelers and is current monitoring 62. The county has had six tests come back negative before the one case was confirmed Thursday.
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services is currently monitoring 15 individuals who recently returned from mainland China and are under voluntary home isolation, officials said. There are three patients under investigation in Suffolk and the county is currently awaiting test results.
“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.”
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