26 Westchester residents in coronavirus quarantine after visiting China

26 Westchester residents in coronavirus quarantine after visiting China

Twenty-six Westchester residents who recently traveled to mainland China are in quarantine for the novel coronavirus out of an abundance of caution.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state Health Department require such travelers to be in quarantine for 14 days.

Health officials, however, say that none of these people have exhibited symptoms of the virus, nor have they tested positive.

"From the time they're exposed, they could have approximately 14 days to develop symptoms, and so that's basically what you're watching for," says Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler. "You're watching to see if people develop symptoms of the disease and at that point, you would then test them if they did."

According to Westchester County officials, most of the travelers are voluntarily staying in their homes and have been provided with what they need to prevent spreading the virus.

County emergency services are conducting video conference check-ins with all 26 people and are closely monitoring their conditions.

Officials say the best form of protection is washing hands frequently and thoroughly.

There are currently 15 active cases of the virus in the United States.

"That's a very low number," says Westchester County Executive George Latimer. "This is serious, but it has not reached a stage by which undue speculation is warranted."