1st New Yorker with COVID-19 recovers; business restrictions
A look at developments Wednesday in the coronavirus outbreak in New York:
The first person to test positive for the coronavirus in New York appears to be free of it after recovering at home, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The 39-year-old Manhattan woman had returned in February with her husband from Iran, a hotspot for the virus. The unidentified health care worker had been recovering from home and was not hospitalized.
“She actually took a second coronavirus test and tested negative,” Cuomo said.
For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.
New York state has more than 2,300 confirmed cases. More than 1,000 were new, reflecting not only of the spread of virus but a dramatic increase in testing.
There have been 20 deaths statewide from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and around 550 hospitalizations.
The governor said more than 100 people who tested positive have recovered.
Cuomo is requiring many businesses in New York to decrease their in-office workforce by 50%, the latest in a series of restrictions to keep the virus from spreading.
He said the executive order, effective Friday, will exempt essential services including media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, health care providers, utilities and banks, and other industries critical to the supply chain.
The state already has similar work-from-home rules for public workers.
Cuomo said that he understood the order will be a burden to business, but that dealing with the unprecedented health crisis at hand is the priority.
New York could lose out on $4 billion to $7 billion in tax revenues over the next year because of the coronavirus, according to state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Losses are expected amid the economic slowdown and volatility in the markets.
The state had projected $87.9 billion in revenue next year.
“Economic forecasters are currently unable to rule out a more severe recession or sharper stock market declines; if either occurs, the revenue outlook could be significantly worse,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said.
The large Destiny USA mall in Syracuse has been ordered to close. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said malls in Onondaga County must close as of 5 p.m. Wednesday to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Destiny USA draws 26 million visitors a year and employs 5,000 people, according to owner Pyramid Cos.
New Jersey ordered indoor malls and amusement centers closed Tuesday.