Westchester County Executive George Latimer: 'There is no reason to overreact'

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Westchester County leaders and health officials held a news conference Tuesday, and say they are trying to track down all of the people who had contact with the first confirmed Westchester resident with the virus.

The New Rochelle man in his 50s is tested positive for coronavirus and is currently being treated in the hospital. The man apparently fell ill after a recent trip to Miami.

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In an attempt to calm fears, Westchester County Executive George Latimer said that while these are "truly sobering moments," there is "no reason to overreact." Latimer warns that Westchester is likely to see more cases of the coronavirus in the coming days and weeks.

Health officials also expect more cases to emerge in the days and weeks ahead. They say they are manning the 211 hotline to answer any questions the public may have.

Latimer said in his news conference that the county is on heightened alert.  He said it's a problematic situation without clear answers.

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Part of the big task ahead is conducting an investigation to backtrack and figure out all the places the man and his family have gone to over the past weeks. Latimer says the man's family, including a wife, a high school student and college student, are now quarantined inside their New Rochelle home until health officials can confirm they are safe.

Officials are asking anyone who came in contact with the patient or his family to contact them and get tested. It is unclear how he contracted the disease, but he did spend about four days at the Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville before being transferred to a hospital in New York City.

Health officials are telling people not to initially go to the hospital if they think they have the coronavirus. They recommend calling health care providers from home because a hospital will need to prepare for the person's arrival.

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Complicating matters is that 80% of its victims show no symptoms, but can still transmit the disease. Latimer says it's everyone's responsibility to take precautions.

 

 

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