By Maria Caspani
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A man who lives in a New York suburb and works in Manhattan tested positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing the total confirmed cases in the state to two, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday.
The 50-year-old man had an underlying respiratory illness and is hospitalized, Cuomo said at a news conference. He added that the patient had not traveled to countries considered the epicenter of the outbreak but had visited Miami recently.
Cuomo disclosed the second case after an Orthodox Jewish school in New York City canceled classes on Tuesday to allow for precautionary measures after a suspected case of coronavirus turned up within its community.
The SAR Academy and SAR High School in the Riverdale section of the Bronx borough said it was in touch with the city’s Department of Health and following its guidelines.
“At this time it important to remain calm,” a statement from school officials said.
The co-educational school, which describes itself as “modern Orthodox,” urged people to follow steps to prevent and minimize the spread of the infection, which had led to the reported deaths of six people in the United States as of Monday evening, all of them in Washington state.
About 100 people nationwide have tested positive for the virus, including the two people in New York, according to health officials.
There are more than 90,000 cases of the new coronavirus globally, with more than 80,000 of them in China. China’s death toll is 2,943, with more than 75 deaths elsewhere as 77 other countries and territories have reported the respiratory disease.
The man who tested positive remains hospitalized in serious condition, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement, adding that the confirmation was made by the New York City Public Health Laboratory on its first day of testing.
“With the results confirmed within a number of hours, we were immediately able to take next steps to stop the spread of this virus,” de Blasio said. “We have said from the beginning that it is likely we will see more positive cases of the coronavirus.”
Previously all testing was conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a process that created in a delay of several days before the result was known.
The U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates on Tuesday in an emergency move designed to shield the world’s largest economy from the impact of the coronavirus. The Fed said it was cutting rates by a half percentage point to a target range of 1.00% to 1.25%.
(Reporting by Maria Caspani in New York; writing by Frank McGurty; Editing by David Gregorio and Grant McCool)