NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than two dozen people in Westchester County have been quarantined after possible exposure to novel coronavirus.
County officials say the 26 patients in Westechester are being quarantined as a precaution because even though they haven’t shown any symptoms of the virus, they may have recently been exposed to the illness abroad.
“This is serious, but it’s not reached a stage by which undue speculation is warranted,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer said.
Most of the patients are being quarantined in their own homes, and all of them have recently returned to New York from areas where the disease is more prevalent.
“The county is making sure the individuals have everything they need to maintain their separation, their isolation within their homes, so food, medications, whatever they need, we’re ensuring that they have these things,” Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said.
County officials say doctors are able to video conference with patients around the clock while monitoring their conditions.
“You’re watching to see if people develop symptoms of the disease, and at that point, you would then test them if they did,” Amler said.
While there have been no positive cases of coronavirus in New York State, there are currently 15 confirmed cases across the United States.
In California, hundreds of Americans who had evacuated China due to the outbreak are now finally allowed to leave the military bases where they’ve spent the past two weeks in federal quarantine.
But hundreds more Americans are still in limbo, like Jeri Serrati-Goldman and her husband, Carl, who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which docked in Japan. On their way back to the U.S., however, Carl developed a fever and the couple is now in quarantine at a Nebraska hospital.
“The care where we are is supposed to be top in the country, so I’m not in fear at all that he’s not gonna have a full recovery from this,” Jeri Serrati-Goldman said.
Westchester County officials would not specify where exactly the quarantined patients recently traveled but say they were not all traveling together.
Doctors advise people to wash their hands and keep at least a 6-foot distance from someone who is coughing or sneezing.