The attorney, whose identity has been withheld, is the first case of community spread in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed.
In New Rochelle, a small suburb on the outskirts of New York City, the number of coronavirus cases skyrocketed from one to more than 100 in fewer than 10 days. While you would assume the spread of Covid-19 is faster in urban areas, it appears that that isn't always the case. This exponential jump in cases, however, is most shocking because a majority of them were traced back to a single attorney. Yes, one lawyer singlehandedly infected at least 50 other people because he did not self-quarantine, CNN reports. The 50-year-old, whose name has been withheld in order to protect his identity, was allegedly New York City's first case of community spread.
The attorney, who works near Grand Central Station in Manhattan, was officially diagnosed with coronavirus on March 2 after testing positive on a test. He was shortly hospitalized at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed. He was, as the Governor stated, the first case of community spread in New York City. This means health officials could not trace where or who he contracted the disease from. According to medical experts, the attorney had an underlying respiratory condition. This, unfortunately, made him more susceptible to the virus.
Just two days after the man tested positive for coronavirus, his son also tested positive. A 20-year-old student at New York's Yeshiva University, school officials confirmed that he had been exhibiting signs of the illness. On the same day, the rest of the attorney's family, his wife and 14-year-old daughter, was also diagnosed with coronavirus. Who else tested positive in just two days? The neighbor who drove the attorney to the hospital; one of his friends; the friend's wife, two sons, and daughter; eight other people connected to the attorney. After it had been confirmed that 17 people had tested positive for the disease, Governor Cuomo announced sweeping self-quarantine measures to protect the community at large. About 1,000 New Yorkers were categorically instructed to stay at home.
The following day, on March 6, three members of the Young Israel Congregation of New Rochelle tested positive. The attorney attended the congregation frequently. Two more of the attorney's friends tested positive. So did another four people connected to the attorney, as did two residents from nearby Rockland County who worked as caterers at a bar mitzvah which the attorney had attended. Then, on March 7, the Governor announced that 23 others linked to the attorney had also contracted the virus. The day after, a dozen more cases were reported in Westchester County, home to New Rochelle. Finally, by March 10, a whopping 108 cases of coronavirus were officially confirmed.
In just a little over a week, the virus had spread across the region. As a result, Governor Cuomo announced on Tuesday that he would be deploying the National Guard and declared New Rochelle a "true geographic cluster." Until March 25, the National Guard is expected to help combat the spread of coronavirus, according to the governor. He affirmed, "It is a true... phenomenon." While the United States grapples with the biggest and most complex public health crisis it has seen in the recent past, the federal government has urged citizens to ensure they practice safe hygiene behaviors and even self-quarantine. For those who can, it is best to work from home and stay away from public spaces. Evidently, the USA is vastly unprepared to handle a pandemic such as this one.