New York City patient being tested for coronavirus 'did everything right'

KIPS BAY, Manhattan -- Officials say the patient being tested for coronavirus in New York City did everything right, and if that patient tests positive, the health department is ready to react.

A person under 40 years old, who had spent time in mainland China, arrived in the city on Thursday and called 911 on Friday after feeling symptoms.

"The symptoms were fever, cough and a runny nose. Like that simple. And they did the right thing for everybody else by coming in and getting care," said NYC Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot.

Early Saturday morning, an ambulance brought the patient to Bellevue Hospital.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the patient did "exactly as they should have" by following the guidelines that New York City put out.

"Our radar's always set high, so we can screen these patients to stop it from affecting other people," said Patricia Tennill of Bellevue Hospital.
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Officials report the testing will take 36-48 hours and depends on CDC testing capacity. The patient is currently stable.

The virus that started in a Wuhan meat market has now infected more than 14,000 people globally, killing nearly 300. The U.S. has seen eight confirmed cases in five states, but New York now becomes the 37th state looking into possible cases.

"If it turns out to be a positive case, the Department of Health will do the work that it is well-known for in tracing back all substantial contacts the individual has had to ensure that anyone else who may have been affected gets the potential medical treatment they need," de Blasio said.

Officials declared a public health emergency -- that means turning away foreign nationals who have been to China in the past 14 days. For American citizens, there are potential quarantine sites at four military locations in the West.

Starting Sunday, all Americans returning to the U.S from China will be tested at seven ports of entry, including JFK Airport.

"If you yourself or anyone you know matches the criteria here, they have the symptoms, and they have a connection to travel to the affected areas of China, see a medical professional immediately," de Blasio said.
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