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17 Cases of Coronavirus Confirmed in Queens; 95 Citywide as Mayor Declares State of Emergency

Mayor Bill de Blasio hosts a roundtable for ethnic and community media on COVID-19. City Hall. Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

March 12, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency Thursday evening as the number of coronavirus cases reached 95 cases across the five boroughs — including 17 positive cases in Queens.

The number of positive cases in the city will reach 1,000 next week, the mayor believes.

“It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better,” de Blasio said at press conference today.

He said New Yorkers should expect to be dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak for six months.

“This will not be over soon. It’s going to be a long, tough battle,” de Blasio said and added that New Yorker’s lives will be lost in the process.

In the other boroughs, there are 25 cases of COVID-19 in Manhattan, 24 in Brooklyn, 10 in the Bronx and 5 in Staten Island.

Out of the 95 positive COVID-19 cases, just 22 people are currently hospitalized. Yesterday, there were 52 reported cases in the city.

As the number of cases rise higher and higher, the mayor says his office will be unable to provide updates and reports on each case–such as the hospitals where people are being treated and where they are being quarantined.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Queens was a 33-year-old Uber driver who is hospitalized at St. John’s Episcopal in Far Rockaway and the second was a 75-year-old diabetic man who is critically ill.

De Blasio said that the upcoming Queens Borough President special election on March 24 will go on as scheduled and urged all candidates to end door-to-door canvassing.

He also suggested that Queens residents take advantage of early voting, from Saturday, March 14 and ends Sunday, March 22, in over to avoid election day crowds.

COVID-19 is transmitted when respiratory droplets from a sneeze, cough or spit of an infected person is transferred directly into another person.

Global health experts advise people to practice “social distancing” and avoid large crowds and close contact with others, which increases the chance of contracting the virus.

Meanwhile, schools, mass transit and hospitals will be kept up and running, the mayor said.

“There are three things we want to preserve at all cost — our schools, our mass transit system, and most importantly our health care system,” de Blasio said.

However, extracurricular activities and parent-teacher conference will be now held online or canceled altogether.

“We are going to do our damndest to keep schools open,” de Blasio said.

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