A New Rochelle man has been confirmed to have the coronavirus — making him the second person in the state to have the illness, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday — as three Jewish private schools closed, including one in The Bronx attended by one of the man’s children.
The Westchester County man — an attorney who commutes to work in Manhattan — had no direct connection with any known countries at the center of the novel virus, he said on LI News Radio.
He was initially treated in Westchester at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville beofre being transferred to New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, where Mayor de Blasio said he is in serious condition.
Cuomo said the man has an “underlying respiratory illness,” Cuomo said. It was unclear if he took public transportation for his commute.
“The initial review of his travel doesn’t suggest any direct connection to China or any of the countries on the watch list,” he said about the man, whose infection appears to be the first “community spread” case of the illness in the state.
Cuomo also said two families in Buffalo are being tested for the virus and are isolated in their homes after recently traveling to a part of Italy where travel warnings have been issued.
Meanwhile, the Modern Orthodox Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy in Riverdale — known as SAR Academy, which one of the man’s kids attends — closed Monday, according to a letter sent to parents and faculty obtained by The Post.
“We are writing to inform you that there is a suspected case of coronavirus in our community,” reads the letter. “We are in touch with the New York City Department of Health and following their guidelines.”
Also shuttered in were the Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck and the Westchester Torah Academy in White Plains, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Rachel Goldman, executive director of the Westchester Day School, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the pre-K-to-eighth-grade school has no cases of suspected coronavirus and closed “out of an abundance of caution.”
The Westchester Torah Academy told parents in a letter that it would be turn buses around and send their kids home, according to the JTA.
The Westchester patient traveled to Miami, but not while he was contagious, the governor said later in Albany, adding that the Florida city “is not a place that we have any known cluster of coronavirus.”
“We’re taking every measure,” the governor said while flanked by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
He urged New Yorkers to “just remember the facts” and not panic, adding that there will be more cases, “but there is no reason for alarm.”
On Monday night, he signed a bill providing the Health Department $40 million for coronavirus preparations.
“We said for the past several weeks that … we are going to see a continued spreading and that spreading is inevitable,” Cuomo said. “I said you’ll start to see community spread cases that you can’t track back to one place or one visit.”
He added: “This is New York. We deal with things like this and we’re stronger for it.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement Tuesday that “city and State disease detectives are working closely to identify close contacts and the appropriate next steps. The test was conducted by the New York City Public Health Laboratory on our first day of testing.
“With the results confirmed within a number of hours, we were immediately able to take next steps to stop the spread of this virus,” he added. “We have said from the beginning that it is likely we will see more positive cases of the Coronavirus. We are working closely with our State and Federal partners to ensure we are taking the highest precautions to keep New Yorkers safe.”
The first first person to test positive for coronavirus in the state is a 39-year-old health-care worker who arrived from Iran with her husband, Cuomo said Monday. She avoided taking public transportation as she headed home to Manhattan, where she self-isolated, he said.