Coronavirus in New York: the Latest – The New York Times

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It’s Thursday.

Weather: Mostly sunny, with gusty wind and temperatures in the low 40s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until March 10 (Purim).

Credit…Kevin Hagen for The New York Times

New York State still has no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus that has spread from China, but the governor is blunt about what may come: “No one should be surprised when we have positive cases,” Governor Cuomo said yesterday.

His statements on a potential outbreak came a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised local governments across the country to brace for the worst, and on the same day that health officials in suburban Nassau County said they were monitoring 83 people in voluntary isolation for potential exposure.

[Coronavirus in New York: $40 million to combat the spread.]

Here is the latest on how the state and the city are preparing for possible infections:

Mr. Cuomo said yesterday that the Legislature would set aside some $40 million to fight the coronavirus. The money would be used to hire medical staff and to procure equipment, among other measures.

He also asked the federal authorities to give New York permission to test patient samples for the coronavirus in a laboratory in the state, rather than sending them to the C.D.C. in Atlanta.

In New York City, where six people have been tested for the coronavirus and cleared, Mayor de Blasio has reiterated that officials are equipped for an outbreak. According to my colleagues, the city has made 1,200 hospital beds available for people suspected of having the coronavirus, and has distributed 1.5 million face masks to health care workers.

The Coronavirus Outbreak

  • Answers to your most common questions:

    Updated Feb. 26, 2020

    • What is a coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crownlike spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The C.D.C. haswarned older and at-risk travelers to avoid Japan, Italy and Iran. The agency also has advised against all nonessential travel to South Korea and China.
    • Where has the virus spread?
      The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has sickened more than 80,000 people in at least 33 countries, including Italy, Iran and South Korea.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is probably transmitted through sneezes, coughs and contaminated surfaces. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have been working with officials in China, where growth has slowed. But this week, as confirmed cases spiked on two continents, experts warned that the world was not ready for a major outbreak.

“This is something we can handle,” Mr. de Blasio said this month.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced yesterday that it was working with state and federal health officials to develop contingency plans, but did not offer details. According to a document prepared by City Hall, public transit ridership could be limited or staggered to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Patrick J. Foye, the M.T.A. chairman, also said the authority had increased its supply of masks and other materials.

Thousands of signs on subways and buses encourage riders to wash their hands and avoid close contact with sick people.

The new strain of coronavirus was first identified in China, and the number of confirmed cases globally has reached more than 82,000. Almost 3,000 people have died. The vast majority of the cases are in China; the rest of the globe accounts for fewer than 4,000 of the infections and just more than 50 of the deaths.

There are at least 60 confirmed cases in the United States. In New York, state officials have asked some 700 individuals who have recently visited China to voluntarily quarantine themselves.

The new coronavirus is part of a family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses ranging from the common cold to the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS. It can incubate for as long as two weeks before symptoms, such as coughing, fever and difficulty breathing, appear.

Health officials advise taking the same precautions you would during flu season — frequently washing your hands, moving away from people who appear sick, and coughing and sneezing into your elbow.

The C.D.C. has advised against all nonessential travel to China and South Korea, and has warned older and other at-risk travelers to avoid Japan, Italy and Iran.

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Want more news? Check out our full coverage.

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

Investigators seized a polygraph machine as well as some 40 journals in a raid against the man accused in the Sarah Lawrence trafficking case. [New York Post]

Between Jan. 21 and yesterday, there have been eight bank robberies or attempts in Staten Island. [Staten Island Advance]

These newly digitized photos show old Greenwich Village. [Gothamist]

Writers try out their material at the Mouth to Mouth Showcase, an open-mic event at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in Manhattan. 7 p.m. [$5 suggested donation]

Laugh out loud at “Room Service,” a comedy series with Dan Davies and Andy Haynes, at the Hoxton in Brooklyn. 7:30 p.m. [Free]

The Art of Spam,” an interactive discussion about the history of the canned meat in Asia and the Pacific, will be hosted by the artist and playwright Jaime Sunwoo at the Museum of Food and Drink in Brooklyn. 7 p.m. [$25]

— Alana Herlands

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.

If you entered the drawing to run the New York City Marathon on Nov. 1, the odds weren’t in your favor: Only 2.3 percent of applicants were accepted yesterday into the 26.2-mile road race, according to New York Road Runners, the organizer.

For perspective, 4.5 percent of applicants to Harvard’s Class of 2023 received admission offers.

The majority of the marathon’s bibs were reserved for runners who had completed several local races in 2019, or who had pledged to raise money in 2020 for charity. The fastest runners can earn guaranteed entry as well, which left about 185,000 slower folks vying for just over 4,200 spots, N.Y.R.R. said.

Last year’s field made the New York City Marathon the world’s largest, with 53,640 finishers.

The marathon was first run in 1970 and included just 127 participants, who looped Central Park. Now in its 50th year, the race spans the five boroughs.

Sam Hawickhorst, 27, of St. Louis said she had entered the drawing every year since 2011 but had never been selected — until yesterday. She was immediately overcome with emotion.

“I ugly cried,” she said. “It makes me tear up thinking about it.”

It’s Thursday — good luck.


Dear Diary:

I was standing in front of my apartment building with my toes going numb from the cold. I was thinking about how I should stop wearing sandals when I went out for my wintertime smokes.

Down the block, walking away from me, a woman in a navy puffer jacket with the hood up paused in front of a tree. She stared at the trunk as though she was stopping to chat with an old friend.

I was wondering what she was up to when she glanced in my direction. I turned away quickly, and stared straight down the street. I didn’t want to come off as a busybody.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her turn back toward the tree, so I returned to watching her. She raised her hand to a spot just above where a limb had been removed. She appeared to put something there, and then walked away.

I waited for her to round the corner, and then I approached the spot where she had stopped. I imagined that she might have left a sentimental note or a trinket,something that a busybody like me could examine.

When I got near the tree, I saw three saltine crackers that were slightly broken nestled in the bark.

I hurried back to my building, my toes stinging from the cold. I wondered whether the woman was trying to tell someone something, or if all was just for the birds.

— Mark Lee

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