Bellone: Suffolk’s first coronavirus patient is male in his 40s

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a Sunday morning tweet that Suffolk County now has its first confirmed case of the coronavirus.

In a statement Sunday afternoon, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone identified the patient as a male in his early 40s, who is hospitalized and in isolation. The county executive did not provide any more details about the individual.

“Suffolk County communicable disease professionals have begun a thorough investigation into the patient’s contacts as it is believed that this case was contracted via community transmission,” the statement continued. “We are continuing to work closely with the New York State Department of Health to ensure a swift and effective investigation. While we continue to do all that we can to avoid a wide-spread outbreak, we are asking the public to do the same. If you are sick, stay home and contact your primary care physician to avoid spreading any illness to others.”

With that new one, there are now 105 confirmed virus cases across New York State, the governor said in a morning briefing at Northwell Health.

In addition, officials said arrangements are being made for SUNY students who have been studying in Italy to be voluntarily quarantined at the Stony Brook Southampton campus. According to Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, 22 students are expected to arrive at the campus today, where they will be screened for the virus, Newsday reported.

He also said, Newsday reported, that none of the students were showing symptoms.

“On testing, we need more help from the federal government and the CDC,” Mr. Cuomo said at the Sunday briefing. “The CDC I believe was slow to begin with. They were not ready for this and should have been ready for this. … The CDC has been slow in allowing states and other commercial laboratories to test.”

On Saturday, Mr. Cuomo declared a state of emergency to allocate more funding for local health departments and outline expedited procedures.

“The more tests we run, the more positive people we will find,” Mr. Cuomo said. “The better we can deal with the containment.”