NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Health officials in New York say three patients are being tested for coronavirus.
They had recently been to China and showed symptoms: A fever, cough, shortness of breath.READ MORE: Police Searching For Missing Long Island Teenagers Freddy Turcios-Funes, Alexandra Baca-Funes
So far, the deadly coronavirus virus has killed at least 425 people, with the Philippines reporting the only death outside of China.
As many as 100 students at Princeton University were initially evaluated for possible exposure. They were under self-quarantine after recently visiting China. As of Monday night, fewer than 20 remained under self-quarantine as per new N.J. Department of Health guidance, Princeton University officials said in a statement.
“If I go to work I’ll put my coworkers’ health at risk. I don’t want to do that. That’s why I want to stay home and work from home,” Princeton employee Yong Wu said.
Many people in New York City are wearing masks, doing what they can to protect themselves in the middle of the global coronavirus outbreak. Inside New York Presbyterian, signs urge “please clean your hands and put on a mask.”
“I feel bad for the doctors. Everyone’s wearing masks in the hospital,” Ruby Niehus of Fresh Meadows told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis. “How can you avoid it? It’s difficult.”
There have been no confirmed cases in the city, but the deadly coronavirus has infected 11 in the U.S. and more than 17,000 around the world.
“It’s crazy. It’s already in our country amongst us. We don’t even know who has it. That guy could have it right now as we talk, you know what I’m saying? It’s already here,” said Kirk Villareal of Flushing.
On the streets of Flushing, Queens, people are acting as if the contagion were already here. Restaurants are empty. Face masks are everywhere, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported.
Andy Feng who works at Spicy Palace told CBS2 his boss has already let go of seven workers. His hours have also been cut. Customers are down by 50%, despite posters trying to woo families in by offering free hand sanitizer.READ MORE: National Media Coverage Of Gabby Petito's Disappearance Raises Questions About Attention For Missing People Of Color
“Because of the suspected cases of coronavirus under investigation in Flushing, everyone’s been too scared to come outside,” Feng said.
This, despite the fact that in order to catch coronavirus, close extended physical contact is needed, health officials have said..
City Councilman Peter Koo, who oversees the district, has spent most of the last week calming fears. Of the three suspected cases in New York City, two are in Flushing. Even if they test positive, he said the Department of Health has the situation under control.
“But they shouldn’t be worried. They are in the hospital. They are in isolation,” Koo said.
Perhaps the busiest employees now are those who work for travel agencies. Cindy Wang told Fan she has been bombarded by requests from people wanting to cancel or re-book their flights to and from China. She said in her 20 years in the industry, she’s never seen so much panic.
“Even during the SARS epidemic airlines didn’t stop flights. I think a lot of hysteria now stems from the fact people can’t get back home,” Wang said.
Strict new travel restrictions took effect across the country Sunday, requiring anyone arriving from mainland China, where the novel coronavirus was first detected, to undergo additional screening at one of 11 airports, including Newark and JFK. Non-American citizens who recently were in China may be denied entry.
“There’s no reason to panic. There is no reason to have an inordinate amount of fear about the situation,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.
Of the 14 suspected New York cases of coronavirus, 11 have come have come back negative following testing at the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention. For the most recent three, testing is expected to take a minimum of 36-48 hours, which means we could find out if the coronavirus spread to New York by Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the creation of a coronavirus task force to coordinate efforts against the disease.
“With the outbreak and rapid spread of coronavirus around the world, it is critical that New Jersey has strong preparedness protocols in place,” Murphy said. “By establishing the coronavirus task force, we are bringing together experts across state agencies, health officials, and federal partners to ensure that we are working collaboratively to protect the health and safety of all New Jerseyans.”
“Outbreaks like this — when a new virus is emerging to infect people — are always concerning,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli. “The situation poses a serious public health threat, but the risk to New Jersey residents remains low and our level of preparedness is high.”MORE NEWS: Gravity Of Gabby Petito's Killing Hits Long Island's Blue Point: 'It's Kind Of Like A Shattered Community'
For more information about the coronavirus task force in New Jersey, click here.