New Rochelle Main Street

NEW YORK — Members of a second Jewish family from Westchester have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of New York cases to 11.

Ten of those 11 cases are linked to the attorney in his 50s from Westchester with an underlying respiratory illness who is hospitalized in critical but stable condition at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in Washington Heights, the New York City Health Department said.

Earlier Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted that the hospitalized man’s condition is improving.

“The not so good news is that there was another person who was being tested who came in contact with the 50 year old lawyer, a friend of the lawyer’s who he spent time with and in close proximity in a number of situations,” Cuomo said.

“That person also tested positive. We then tested that person’s wife, two sons, and daughter, and they all tested positive. And those children attend the [Westchester] Torah Academy, which, coincidentally, is one of the institutions that was at the meeting with us this afternoon where we decided the protocol there was they would be closed until Friday. Obviously, we’ll have to reevaluate that in light of this new information. But they’re closed until Friday anyway, and they have the people at Torah Academy on notice that they should be looking for symptoms. If they don’t feel well, call the health professional. But that is another one, two, three, four, five people.”

A daughter in the second family tested negative for the disease, Cuomo said.

According to the YU student newspaper The Commentator, two close contacts of the college student who tested positive have been transferred to Bellevue Hospital for testing, Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Wednesday morning.

“City disease detectives are on campus to identify close contacts of the student and connect those individuals to testing immediately,” De Blasio said, adding that YU is working alongside the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to “to take every necessary precaution to ensure the safety of students and the community.”

As a precaution, all classes on the Wilf Campus, including high school and graduate levels, were canceled Wednesday. School officials said that they expected to hold classes on campus Thursday, but they had also been working to set up remote access for classes and administrative work.

On Wednesday, a university spokesperson reassured students that the situation is under control. “We are working closely with, and following the recommendations of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response and other government agencies to take every necessary precaution to ensure the safety of our community,” the statement said.

A student at the university’s Cardozo Law School is “in self-quarantine as instructed by their doctor, as a precaution because of contact with the patient’s law firm,” Lewis and Garbuz PC in Manhattan. The student is asymptomatic.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported, three Jewish day schools in New York — SAR Academy, Westchester Day School and Westchester Torah Academy — closed on Tuesday due to possible coronavirus exposure. Young Israel of New Rochelle, where the older coronavirus victim and his family pray, will be closed through Sunday, March 8.

Health officials said Tuesday they were tracing the contacts of the man and his college-age son.

“There are going to be dozens and dozens of people,” said Mr. Cuomo. “The more people you test, the more people you are going to find.”

The first person in the state to test positive for the virus was a 39-year-old health care worker who had recently returned from Iran. She and her husband, who also works in health care, were quarantined at their Manhattan home. Mr. Cuomo said that the husband had tested negative for coronavirus. The woman who was symptomatic, said Dr. Zucker, was getting better.

The governor said that roughly 300 students and faculty from the state and city university systems were being recalled from study abroad programs in Iran, Italy, China, South Korea and Japan. They will be quarantined for 14 days at facilities on Long Island and in upstate New York.



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