Sixteen additional cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in New York State, with residents testing COVID-19 positive for the first time in Suffolk and Ulster counties.
The number of total cases in the state is now 105, with 82 in Westchester, accounting for 78 percent of those testing positive in the state.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the new numbers in a news conference at Northwell Health Imaging at the Center for Advanced Medicine in North New Hyde Park late Sunday morning, March 8.
At the end of the day Saturday, there were 89 cases in the state, with 70 in Westchester.
The latest, most up-to-date geographic breakdown is as follows:
- Westchester: 82
- NYC: 12
- Nassau: 5
- Rockland: 2
- Saratoga: 2
- Suffolk: 1
- Ulster: 1
Cuomo named there are steps all New Yorkers can take to prevent the spread of coronavirus:
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoid handshaking
- Stay at home if you feel sick
He said private sector companies can help by:
- Allowing nonessential employees to work from home
- Offer generous paid sick days
- Stagger shifts
"We are working to do more testing as quickly as possible to find the people who are infected and help contain the spread of the virus," Cuomo said. "There are going to be more cases because we are testing more people - that's a good thing because then we can deal with the situation based on more facts.
"We know about 80 percent of those infected will self-resolve. The best way to calm anxieties is to demonstrate absolute government competence, and that's exactly what we're doing."
Cuomo announced on Saturday that he declared a state of emergency to help New York more quickly and effectively contain the spread of the virus.
The state of emergency declaration allows, among other things:
- Expedited procurement of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and other essential resources
- Allowing qualified professionals other than doctors and nurses to conduct testing
- Expedited procurement of testing supplies and equipment
- Expedited personnel onboarding
- Expedited leasing of lab space
- Allowing EMS personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations other than just hospitals
- Providing clear basis for price gouging and enforcement investigation
Additionally, Cuomo directed the state's Department of State's Consumer Protection Division to launch an investigation into reports of unfair price increases of consumer products such as household cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer and launched a toll-free hotline - 1-800-697-1220 - for New Yorkers to report suspected price gouging.
The Division of Consumer Protection has also created an online consumer complaint form, where New Yorkers can report suspected price gouging or concerns about improper delivery of quantity. Consumers who wish to file a complaint can visit dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection .
All credible complaints will be referred to the New York State Attorney General's office.
At a briefing on Friday, Cuomo announced travel insurance companies and travel agents will offer New York residents and businesses the ability to purchase coverage when making travel plans that would allow them to cancel a trip for any reason, including for reasons related to COVID-19.