[Update: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has declared a state of emergency in New York over the coronavirus.]
The variety of confirmed instances of the brand new coronavirus in New York State doubled on Thursday to 22, with officers saying eight new instances in Westchester County, one on Long Island and two sufferers in New York City who’re critically ailing.
But the virus’s potential attain was underscored by a a lot bigger quantity: The City Department of Health is protecting tabs on 2,773 New Yorkers presently in residence isolation, most of them in self-quarantine, metropolis officers stated on Thursday.
Most of these underneath self-quarantine have not too long ago returned from the 5 nations the place the outbreak has been most extreme: China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan, the New York City well being commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, stated.
At least two New Yorkers — a well being care employee who has examined constructive after visiting Iran and her husband, who examined unfavourable — are underneath obligatory quarantine in their Manhattan residence.
Two different New York City sufferers, a person in his 40s and a lady in her 80s, in addition to a 42-year-old man in Nassau County on Long Island, have been hospitalized after testing constructive for the coronavirus, officers stated on Thursday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio didn’t say how the 2 new New York City sufferers, who’re in intensive care models in Manhattan and Brooklyn hospitals, turned contaminated. Neither traveled to an space the place the illness is understood to be spreading, nor had a connection to individuals who examined constructive for the illness, he stated.
The mayor added that each had underlying circumstances that might make the virus extra harmful to them, characterizing their situation as “critically ill.”
The eight new instances in Westchester introduced the whole in the county to 18, and state officers stated that every one have been related to the person who was the state’s second constructive take a look at, a lawyer who lives in New Rochelle.
[Read extra: New York in the Age of Coronavirus]
The city is aggressively monitoring the 2,773 people who have self-quarantined.
“We, along with our state partners and various jurisdictions across the country, are taking the approach of providing them information when they get off the planes, giving them our phone numbers, what symptoms to look out for,” Dr. Barbot said at a news conference on Thursday. “Then we reach out to them on a daily basis to make sure that they are not developing symptoms. It’s what we call voluntary home isolation.”
In general, people under home isolation are asked to “minimize their outdoor exposure,” Dr. Barbot said. Those who are asymptomatic are told they can leave their homes, if necessary.
If they start to feel unwell — such as developing a cough or a fever — then they are asked to call the health department or a physician and get examined as soon as possible, Dr. Barbot said.
The disclosure of the 11 new cases comes as New Jersey officials announced their first two likely cases, including the first positive test, a 32-year-old man from Fort Lee who had been hospitalized since Tuesday.
Gov. Philip D. Murphy said in a statement that the state’s Department of Health had gotten a “presumptive positive result,” and was waiting for further confirmation from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The latest cases illustrate how the authorities still know little about how long the virus has been present here, or how many people have already been infected.
“It’s hard to conclude how long it has been circulating in our environment,” Dr. Michael Phillips, the chief hospital epidemiologist for the N.Y.U. Langone Health System, said in an interview Wednesday, before the two most recent cases in the city were announced, but after the detection of the Westchester cases.
Dr. Phillips said that as local capacity to test for the virus continues to expand in the coming days, much more would be learned about the prevalence of the virus here. “There’s no doubt that the ability to test readily may rapidly change our appreciation for the extent of the disease in a place like New York,” he said.
The Long Island patient is being treated at N.Y.U. Winthrop Hospital in Mineola. Hospital officials said on Thursday that the diagnosis was possible because the C.D.C. had recently expanded the criteria for who was eligible for testing.
Over the last few weeks, various state and city officials have urged the C.D.C. to broaden testing parameters and allow local testing to expedite the ability to detect cases. Last weekend, the Wadsworth Lab in Albany began administering coronavirus tests after receiving permission from the federal government; New York City began its own tests earlier this week.
Mr. de Blasio on Thursday pressed the C.D.C. to increase the city’s “supply of Covid-19 test kits and expedite the approval of any testing approaches developed by private companies.”
“The federal government was very late to the dance in getting tests out to localities,” the mayor said. “They’re still late in terms of getting the volume we need.”
The second case in the state was the 50-year-old man from New Rochelle, who works in Manhattan as a lawyer.
Earlier this week, state officials disclosed that nine additional people directly linked to the man — including his wife, two of his children and a neighbor who drove him to a hospital in Westchester — had tested positive. The man, who had an underlying respiratory illness, is currently being treated at a hospital in Upper Manhattan; the others have been self-quarantined in their homes in New Rochelle.
On Thursday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that eight more people connected to the man had also tested positive, and had self-quarantined in their homes. Westchester County officials initially said on Thursday that they had 11 new cases of the disease, but later said that the governor’s numbers were correct.
The eight cases included a woman in her 40s and her son and daughter, as well as five other people ranging from their 30s to their 60s. The state health commissioner, Howard A. Zucker, said that one of the eight was an employee at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, where the man was first admitted before learning he had coronavirus.
Officials are uncertain how the man, who had not traveled to any of the areas with widespread transmission of the disease, became infected.
Two schools where the Westchester man’s children attend, Yeshiva University and a religious school in Riverdale, have been closed as a precaution, as has the synagogue where he recently attended events. New York Law School in TriBeCa canceled classes after a student there reported being in contact with the Westchester man.
Late Thursday, officials at the Collegiate School, a private boys school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, said that classes would be canceled on Friday so that “a thorough cleaning” of the school could be performed after it was determined that a parent of a student had traveled abroad to an unidentified country with relatives and might have been exposed to the virus.
Lee M. Levison, the school’s headmaster, said in a statement that by closing, officials were “acting in a very conservative manner” and that New York health officials had not required the move.
A message posted on Thursday on the website of another prominent Manhattan private school, the all-girls Spence School on the Upper East Side, said that it, too, would be closed on Friday for “a comprehensive sanitization of the entire campus.” No further details were included in the message and a call to the school seeking comment was not returned.
A group of people who had come into contact with the Westchester man and later attended the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington this week, have also been asked by health officials to self-quarantine.
Those moves are part of a strategy known as contact tracing, which involves following the chain of transmission from person to person, and trying to get ahead of it.
If the health authorities conclude that the spread of the virus is outpacing their ability to track it, the focus on contact tracing may give way to more aggressive efforts such as discouraging mass gatherings and instituting other so-called “social-distancing” measures aimed at slowing transmission, epidemiologists said.
New York officials have not signaled that they are ready to move in that direction. So far, they have told residents to wash their hands more, but to otherwise go about their lives uninterrupted.
The mayor said that the school attendance was higher on Thursday than on the same day a year ago, suggesting that parents are not keeping their children home from school out of fear over the virus.
Although there has been some isolated cancellation of events in the New York area, Mr. de Blasio said the city was “not there yet” in terms of requiring or even suggesting such a stance.
“We’ll tell you the second we think you should change your behavior,” he said.
Michael Gold and Neil Vigdor contributed reporting.