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Governor: Suspected coronavirus cases down to 3 in New York State

Some wore masks during the Queens Lunar New

Some wore masks during the Queens Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing this past weekend because they were afraid of the coronavirus. Credit: Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire/Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire

The number of suspected coronavirus cases in New York State grew to 10 Tuesday, but seven already have been ruled out, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office.

The governor's office said three samples sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still pending, while the number of confirmed cases across the United States remains at five. None are from New York.

One of the suspected cases involved a person who was "passing through" Nassau County, local health officials said. That individual has tested negative for the virus. Officials declined to say whether the person was a local resident or just visiting someone in Nassau. 

Health officials in both Nassau and Suffolk said there are no suspected coronavirus cases in either county.

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, was first detected in Wuhan, China, last month. Government authorities in China have reported more than 4,500 confirmed cases of the virus. The death toll has topped 100, officials said.

Cases of the virus have been detected in 18 countries, including the United States.

“Americans should know this is a potentially very serious public health threat, but at this point Americans should not worry for their own safety,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said during a livestream news briefing in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning. “This is a fast-moving, constantly changing situation.”

The CDC also announced it is beefing up screenings at 15 more “quarantine stations” around the country, airports and other places where health workers regularly check arriving travelers for signs of illness.

JFK Airport is one of the five airports in the United States where the CDC has been screening travelers arriving from the hardest-hit parts of China.

The U.S. government chartered a plane to fly out diplomats from the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan, where the outbreak started, and other Americans. The plane will make a refueling stop in Alaska before flying on to Ontario, California, the U.S. Embassy said.

"While we continue to closely monitor the spread of this novel coronavirus, I have directed our Department of Health to continue communicating with and providing updates to our local communities, health care providers, colleges, universities and New York companies with locations or business interests in China," Cuomo said in a statement. "My message to New Yorkers is: Take this coronavirus seriously, take proper precautions, stay informed, but also feel confident that our Health Department and this administration are prepared and ready." 

With The Associated Press

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