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As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to climb at a substantial rate in New York, the White House is asking anyone leaving the New York City metro area to self-isolate to prevent the spread of the illness.
During a press briefing at the White House on Tuesday, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said she remained “deeply concerned about New York City and the New York metro area.”
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“To everyone who has left New York over the last few days, because of the rate of the number of cases, you may have been exposed before you left New York,” Birx said. “Everybody who was in New York should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread to others.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said New Yorkers who have been going to Florida, North Carolina and Long Island need to be careful. The administration is concerned these individuals could create another “seeding point” to the rest of the country.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made a similar request of New Yorkers on Monday, many of whom are headed to – or returning to – the Sunshine State. He asked anyone who had visited New York, New Jersey and Connecticut over the past three weeks to self-isolate. DeSantis said that immediately after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued the shelter-in-place order, residents hopped on flights to Florida.
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As of Tuesday evening, New York had more than 25,660 confirmed cases, followed by New Jersey with 3,675.
It is estimated that about one out of every 1,000 residents in New York is infected – a rate that is eight to 10 times higher than other areas.
More than half of confirmed cases in the U.S. are coming out of the New York metro area.