First confirmed coronavirus case detected in Manhattan, patient recovering

The governor and mayor outlined the measures taken to prepare for the novel coronavirus outbreak. (Photo via Flickr)

A Manhattan woman has contracted coronavirus, the first confirmed case of the illness in New York City, officials announced Sunday night.

According to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, the patient is a woman in her 30s who picked up the illness during a recent trip to Iran. Cuomo said the patient “has respiratory symptoms, but is not in serious condition and has been in a controlled situation since arriving to (sic) New York.”

“From the beginning, we have said it was a matter of when, not if there would be a positive case of coronavirus in New York,” de Blasio said. “Our health authorities have been in a state of high alert for weeks, and are fully prepared to respond. We will continue to ensure New Yorkers have the facts and resources they need to protect themselves.”

Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot noted that the agency’s “disease detectives have already identified close contacts of the patient who may have been exposed and will take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

“Despite this development, New Yorkers remain at low risk for contracting COVID-19,” Barbot added. “As we confront this emerging outbreak, we need to separate facts from fear, and guard against stigma and panic.”

Tests are ongoing for one other New York City patient suspected of having coronavirus.

Two patients exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus are now being tested for the illness, the city’s Health Department announced Sunday.

Until tonight, all tests of patients suspected of having coronavirus had come back negative. The previous tests were conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, and the city had to send samples from to their Atlanta headquarters. This resulted in a days-long wait for the city to learn the prognosis.

On Saturday, the city and state received approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration for their own coronavirus tests. The state tests are being conducted out of the Wadsworth Lab in Albany, and the city tests will be conducted from the Public Health Lab at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. 

“Tests for novel #coronavirus are now being performed by @HealthNYGov’s (the state Health Department) lab, which means we will be able to get results back much sooner,” the city Health Department tweeted Sunday.

This story was updated on March 1 at 9:05 p.m.