New York confirms its first case of coronavirus; 24 now in Canada

Mar 2, 2020

New York has confirmed the state's first positive test of the new virus that has sickened tens of thousands of people across the globe.

A statement Sunday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office says a woman in her late 30s contracted the virus while traveling in Iran. A state official says she is currently self-quarantined in her Manhattan home.

The statement says she is not in serious condition. She has respiratory symptoms and has been in a controlled situation since arriving in New York.

In a Monday morning news conference with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and assorted health officials, Cuomo said the woman's husband, also a healthcare worker, was traveling with her. The governor said officials are assuming he also will be positive for the virus and treating him as such.

"There is no cause for surprise -- this was expected," Cuomo said. "As I said from the beginning, it was a matter of when, not if there would be a positive case of novel coronavirus in New York."

Last week, Cuomo called on the state legislature to pass a $40 million emergency management authorization to deal with coronavirus.

"There is no reason for undue anxiety -- the general risk remains low in New York," the governor added. "We are diligently managing this situation and will continue to provide information as it becomes available."

City and state health officials have previously tested several New York patients who have reported symptoms consistent with the pneumonia-like virus, but until now each suspected case had proven to be a false alarm.

Cuomo said only 20% of people with the virus show symptoms and "80% (of cases) will resolve on their own."

In comparison, Ontario now has 15 confirmed cases of the new virus. Four new cases were reported Sunday -- all of the patients having recently travelled abroad. One had travelled to Egypt with a man who was later diagnosed with the virus, while the rest had been in Iran.

Eight cases of the virus have also been reported in British Columbia, along with one in Quebec, putting the national total at 24.

WBFO's Marian Hetherly contributed to this story.