The number of newly confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in New York state has gone up, according to officials on Sunday, including one in Ulster County.
So far, there are 105 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the state. That is up from 89 confirmed cases Saturday.
On Sunday morning, officials from Ulster County confirmed the case, and detailed the steps taken to mitigate the case.
“This morning, we were notified by the New York State Health Department that an Ulster County resident has received a ‘presumptive positive’ result for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This individual recently traveled internationally to France and notified our Health Department that he had symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Upon guidance from our Health Department he drove himself to a hospital where test samples were taken and he was immediately placed into quarantine," Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said in a press release on Sunday.
"We have been preparing for this contingency for the last several weeks and I am confident in our ability to respond quickly and comprehensively to ensure public health and safety. As a first step, we are activating the Ulster County Emergency Operation Center as well as deploying Health Department staff to focus solely on community mitigation efforts. Public Health officials have already begun interviewing this individual to assess who he may have come into contact with and will notify those individuals. We will continue to update the public to ensure full transparency as the situation develops."
U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) also released a statement on the new case in the area.
“I am aware of the case of COVID-19 in Ulster County and have been in touch with the Ulster County Executive Office. Keeping folks safe across our region is my top priority. I continue to closely monitor this quickly evolving situation and coordinate with local public health and elected officials. As testing occurs we are likely to see the number of cases significantly increase. Now is the time to prepare, not panic. I also want to thank our public health officials and first responders who are working around the clock to protect our communities. It is critically important that folks feel safe and prepared for this growing threat. For updates and tips on how to prepare for yourself and your family, call the New York State Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065," Delgado said in a prepared statement.
On Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency regarding the virus in the state.
During a news conference Saturday, Cuomo said the state has been testing people "around the clock" since it received expedited federal approval to use its own COVID-19 test kits at Wadsworth Lab in Albany. He said the purpose of the testing is to find out who has the virus and get them "out of circulation" and into quarantine.
The governor's office issued a news release explaining what powers the state of emergency declaration gives Cuomo's administration. The declaration allows the state and local governments to speed up the purchasing process for cleaning supplies and the leasing of lab space. The state of emergency gives the governor the power to authorize "qualified professionals" other than doctors and nurses to conduct testing and to enable EMS personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations other than just hospitals. The state of emergency also provides a "clear basis for price gouging and enforcement investigation."
After Cuomo's announcement, Albany Medical Center, Ellis Medicine and St. Peter's Health Partners issued a joint statement "reinforcing visitation guidelines" the hospitals first enacted on Dec. 11 due to the prevalence of flu cases.
Locally there are, as of Sunday, two cases of the virus in Saratoga County — one is a 57-year-old pharmacist, one is a 52-year old woman. The pharmacist works at the CVS on Main Street in Queensbury. The woman came in contact with a positive person from Pennsylvania at a conference in Miami. They are self-isolating in their residences.