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New York state has confirmed its first case of novel coronavirus

Mar 1, 2020

New York state has confirmed its first case of novel coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday night.

This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab.
Credit National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Rocky Mountain Laboratories

The case is in a woman in her mid-30s who contracted the virus while traveling in Iran, the governor said.

The state health department said the woman is in Manhattan. She has the respiratory symptoms associated with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, but "is not in serious condition," Cuomo said.

The governor's office said the woman "has been in a controlled situation since arriving to New York."

This positive case was confirmed after more than two dozen negative tests of people with potential cases of the virus in the state.

Those tests were performed at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. This most recent test, however was performed in Albany on Sunday morning, hours after the state received federal approval to run coronavirus tests, the health department said.

"This is not surprising," Monroe County public health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said. "This is what we've been preparing for all along."

Mendoza said the news of the positive case in Manhattan does not change anything about the public health response to the virus locally, but he does expect new guidance from state and federal health authorities in the coming days.

Mendoza and other state health officials had been saying for weeks that they were anticipating the virus's arrival in New York state. Cuomo asked the state legislature last week for $40 million to prepare health systems for a heavy disease burden.

Monroe County has set up a page on its website with information about the virus.