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Gov. Cuomo warns coronavirus will come to New York, state preparing

The New York Daily News - 2/26/2020

ALBANY -- New York is preparing for the worst-case scenario when it comes to the coronavirus.

Gov. Cuomo announced Wednesday the state is asking the legislature to approve $40 million in emergency funds for the Department of Health and taking other steps to combat a potential outbreak of the deadly disease.

It is “highly probable” that the state will see cases of the virus in the coming months, Cuomo warned, adding that officials will be ready.

“As we are seeing the novel coronavirus spread to new countries around the world, in New York we are continuing to take all necessary precautions to protect New Yorkers from this dangerous virus,” the governor said during a press conference at the State Capitol.

So far, 27 people in the state have tested negative for the virus. One case is still pending test results, according to the governor. Cuomo said he was not aware of reports that more than 80 people in Nassau County are being monitored for possible exposure.

The Health Department will coordinate with local governments, airport personnel, Port Authority and MTA officials and hospitals across the state to create a standard protocol for responding to cases and a possible outbreak that could require quarantines and other measures.

The state has also requested approval to conduct testing in-state.

NYS Health commissioner Howard Zucker said he met with officials from the federal Center for Disease Control earlier this week and expressed confidence in how the feds are handling the situation so far.

“I was very confident about what they’re working on and they’re addressing this,” Zucker said, noting that officials from several states attended the meeting and are working together.

The virus has sickened more than 81,000 people and killed more than 2,700 around the globe according to the World Health Organization.

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