(AP) – New York confirmed Sunday the state’s first positive test of the new virus that has sickened tens of thousands of people across the globe.
A woman in her late 30s contracted the virus while traveling in Iran, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
She is currently self-quarantined in her Manhattan home, a state official said.
The patient is not in serious condition. She has respiratory symptoms and has been in a controlled situation since arriving in New York, according to the statement.
“The positive test was confirmed by New York’s Wadsworth Lab in Albany, underscoring the importance of the ability for our state to ensure efficient and rapid turnaround, and is exactly why I advocated for the approval from Vice President Pence that New York was granted just yesterday,” Cuomo said in the statement. “There is no reason for undue anxiety — the general risk remains low in New York. 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 virus, but until now each suspected case had proven to be a false alarm.
More than 80,000 cases of COVID-19, an illness characterized by fever and coughing and in serious cases shortness of breath or pneumonia, have occurred worldwide since the virus emerged in China. About 3,000 people have died.
Under new travel rules imposed by the U.S., most people who aren’t U.S. citizens and who traveled to China within the last 14 days will be denied entry to the country.
New York’s Kennedy Airport is one of a select number of U.S. airports where non-stop flights from mainland China are permitted to land under federal emergency guidelines. All arriving passengers on those flights undergo enhanced health screening.
Rhode Island also confirmed its first case on Sunday, the same day that researchers said the virus may have been circulating in Washington state for weeks undetected. The state is the home of the nation’s first confirmed infection. It has seen eight confirmed cases, including the nation’s first death from the virus this weekend.