Sunday: New York now number 1 in coronavirus cases; Jefferson County tests 21

Updated: Mar. 15, 2020 at 10:30 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - New York state now has the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the nation - 729 - Governor Cuomo announced Sunday.

Cuomo also announced a third person has died from the illness. Cuomo said that the latest victim was a 79-year-old woman who had “multiple, major underlying health issues." Officials say the woman died Sunday at an undisclosed hospital in New York City.

Cuomo said he believes thousands of New Yorkers, possibly tens of thousands, already have the disease.

As of Sunday afternoon, there continued to be no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the north country, Jefferson, Lewis or St. Lawrence counties. The number of people being tested in Jefferson County has risen to 21, with three negative results so far, and 18 tests pending.

Lewis County was waiting on the results of two tests.

St. Lawrence County had no confirmed cases as of Saturday, according to a press release from the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES.

Cuomo issued an “open letter” to President Trump Sunday, in which he urged the president to " take comprehensive federal action to combat the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, including developing an aggressive national strategy for testing, school closures and hospital surge capacity."

The Governor urged President Trump to deploy the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to leverage its expertise, equipment and people power to retrofit and equip existing facilities - such as military bases or college dormitories - to serve as temporary medical centers, according to a statement from Cuomo’s office.

The Governor called on the President, through the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to authorize states to certify a wider array of testing labs and methods in an effort to maximize testing capacity to identify and isolate positive cases faster.

The Governor also called for a uniform federal standard for when cities and states should shut down commerce and schools, or cancel events.

Copyright 2020 WWNY. All rights reserved.