NEW YORK (WABC) — No cases of coronavirus have been reported in New York, but state and city officials are taking the necessary steps in order to help residents should the situation change.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told an afternoon news conference that the state is preparing for the worst-case scenario as it does in these situations.
“I’ve said before, it’s highly probable that you will see a continuing spread of this virus. It’s highly probable that we will have people in New York state who test positive. New York is the front door, internationally,” he said.
Cuomo said the state would be taking a number of steps, including asking the legislature for an emergency supplement of $40 Million for the state health department. The Department of Health will also convene a meeting with local health departments to work out protocols if people must be quarantined. They will also be working with local hospitals, mass transit and airports.
The governor also put the situation in perspective, saying 17,000 people in the state had the flu last week.
“Yes we’re preparing. But this isn’t a situation that should cause undue fear,” he said.
Samples from 27 New Yorkers have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing, 26 have come back negative with one result still pending.
The governor is also calling on the federal government to authorize the Wadsworth Center and NYC Public Health Lab to test for the virus, allowing for expanded testing capacity and expedited test results. New York State has independently worked to develop and validate a test using the CDC protocol.
The CDC on Tuesday warned the American public to prepare for an an outbreak of the disease, which has spawned more than 80,000 cases around the world but relatively few so far in the U.S.
There are thousands of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside of Wuhan and additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States.
The spread of the new coronavirus to Italy has led universities to reassess study abroad programs in the country, with many American schools this week calling their students back to the U.S.