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New York coronavirus case total rises to 13; de Blasio urges CDC to provide more tests

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2010. (William Alatriste/Flickr)

The total confirmed amount of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in New York has risen to 13, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday morning.

“There are two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City. One new patient is a man in his 40s, and one new patient is a woman in her 80s,” de Blasio said.

Neither patient, according to de Blasio, had any connection to recent travel nor any of the other local individuals diagnosed with the virus — indicating further community spread.

Both people are currently hospitalized and in an intensive care unit. It wasn’t immediately clear which hospital the patients are being treated in.

“City disease detectives are tracing close contacts of both individuals and will ensure they are appropriately isolated and tested immediately,” de Blasio said. “We are going to see more cases like this as community transmission becomes more common.”

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Despite the recent stark case rise in New York, de Blasio urged New Yorkers to be “prepared and vigilant, not alarmed,” adding, “We are taking the same decisive steps in every case to shut transmission down: Isolate and test each suspected case, trace close contacts, and isolate and test them as well. “

However, with an influx of tests in New York, de Blasio is asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to “increase our supply of COVID-19 test kits and expedite the approval of any testing approaches developed by private companies.”

“Our single greatest challenge is the lack of fast federal action to increase testing capacity — without that, we cannot beat this epidemic back,” he said.

The House of Representatives voted to pass a bipartisan funding package to address the coronavirus with the help of Rep. Max Rose (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn).

Now on its way to the Senate, the $8.3 billion package will be used for a “robust response” to what officials are calling a public health emergency.

The World Health Organization said there are over 95,200 confirmed cases globally. The Washington State Department of Health announced on Tuesday that 10 deaths have been confirmed in the state. One death has been reported in California, the state’s health department said Wednesday.

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© 2020 Staten Island Advance