Grand Central Terminal
The Lexington Passage at Grand Central Terminal, New York City, 2018. Source: Grand Central Terminal.
  • New York's second coronavirus case is a 50-year-old resident of Westchester County and a partner at a law firm near Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.
  • Business Insider confirmed the identity of the second patient, a married father of four.
  • The man is linked to 28 other coronavirus patients in New York, including his wife, son, and daughter.
  • For the latest case total, death toll, and travel information, see Coronavirus in South Africa.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

New York City confirmed its second coronavirus case on Tuesday: a 50-year-old married father of four who resides in Westchester County, about 20 miles north of New York City. By Friday, at least 28 people who had direct or indirect contact with the man had been diagnosed with the virus.

Governor Andrew Cuomo reported eight cases with links to the man on Thursday, and 11 more related cases on Friday. The latest cases include three members of the man's temple, two of the man's friends, two people who worked at a bnei mitzvah that the man attended, and three people connected to Lawrence Hospital, where the sick patient was initially taken.

On Wednesday, Cuomo reported that the man's wife, son, and daughter were infected, along with his neighbour, his friend, his friend's wife, and three of their four children.

The total number of coronavirus cases in New York is now 33. At least 4,000 people in the state are being asked to self-quarantine out of an abundance of precaution, including members of the man's synagogue.

The man is a partner at a firm based in midtown Manhattan, multiple sources confirmed to Business Insider. The office building is in the vicinity of Grand Central Terminal, which sees about 750 000 daily commuters.

The man's wife is a partner at the same law firm, Lewis and Garbuz, PC, which represents clients throughout New York City and its surrounding areas. Representatives from the firm declined to comment.

The couple lives in New Rochelle, a city in Westchester County. The man's friend who was diagnosed on Wednesday also lives in New Rochelle. The friend and his wife have four children. Three of those children - a daughter and two sons - tested positive for the virus.

The man had recently returned to New York from a trip to Miami before he was diagnosed, representing the first apparent case of community spread of the coronavirus in New York. He had not traveled to China and didn't knowingly interact with anyone who was infected with the coronavirus.

New York's second coronavirus patient commuted from Westchester to Manhattan

The man commutes daily into Manhattan, sources said. In a Tuesday press conference, Cuomo said he wasn't sure which method of transportation the man took to work.

One of the most common methods of transit from New Rochelle to Manhattan is the Metro-North Railroad, which passes through Grand Central Terminal.

After being admitted to Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, New York, the man was transferred to New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. The neighbour who is infected drove him to the hospital, Cuomo said in a Wednesday press conference. The man has pre-existing respiratory problems and was previously in serious condition, but his health is improving.

The rest of the family and the neighbour are not hospitalised, Cuomo said on Wednesday.

The family's temple, Young Israel of New Rochelle, has been ordered to suspend services until further notice, the local ABC news station reported. Congregants who attended services there on February 22 or a funeral or bnei mitzvah there on February 23 have been told to self-quarantine until at least March 8.

The case has prompted school closures in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Westchester

The man's 22-year-old son, who was diagnosed with the virus on Wednesday, is an undergraduate student at Yeshiva University. The university has canceled all classes on its campus in Washington Heights, Manhattan. The student had not been seen on campus since February 27, the university letter said in a letter on Tuesday.

The man's 14-year-old daughter, also diagnosed on Wednesday, attends SAR Academy High School, a private Jewish school in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Following news of the man's diagnosis, members of the Jewish community in Westchester put out calls on social media for people to pray for his recovery.

SAR sent out a message on Tuesday morning notifying parents of the coronavirus case and announcing that the school had decided to close both its elementary school and its high school as a "precautionary measure". The two schools are on separate campuses in Riverdale.

In a note to parents on Tuesday, an official at the SAR Academy elementary school said the school was coordinating with the New York state and New York City health departments.

"We are following their instructions and recommendations," the official said in the email to parents.

The school added that it would continue to keep parents updated. As of Tuesday evening, parents hadn't received any other information.

Two other private Jewish schools in Westchester - Westchester Torah Academy in White Plains and Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck - closed school on Tuesday. Westchester Torah Academy notified parents of the closure via email and WhatsApp on Tuesday morning after a number of children in the community had already been picked up by the buses for school.

"We will be turning the buses around and sending your children back home," school officials wrote in a letter to parents.

On Wednesday, the Hastings school district in Westchester County wrote a letter to families saying it would close all schools on Thursday and Friday to sanitise the buildings. The school superintendent, Valerie Henning-Piedmonte, said a parent with children enrolled in the school district may have crossed paths with a person being quarantined for the virus.

New York Law School also canceled exams and activities on Wednesday after one of it students reported to have contact with the attorney who tested positive. The student and their roommate are now under self-quarantine.

The US has at least 220 cases of the coronavirus across 16 states

The US has reported at least 260 cases of the virus across 21 states so far, though infections in Nebraska are among repatriated citizens only. New York's first case was a 39-year-old healthcare worker in Manhattan who had recently traveled to Iran. Cuomo said on Wednesday that her condition had improved.

On Tuesday, Cuomo said the continued spread of the virus in New York was "inevitable."

"Most people who get infected won't even know they have it," he said.

A day earlier, Cuomo said the state health department was partnering with local hospitals to expand testing capacity for the virus. Their goal is to conduct 1,000 test per day, he said - but the current capacity is still limited. The federal government only recently approved New York to test for the virus on Saturday.

"We're at a couple of hundred tests per day, so you prioritise who can be tested," Cuomo said on Tuesday. "You don't have the capacity to test everybody 'just in case.'"

Still, he cautioned New Yorkers on Thursday to avoid panic.

"The facts do not merit the level of anxiety that we are seeing," Cuomo said. "People look at these numbers like they're looking at the stock market. The numbers are going up like the stock market numbers are going down."

He added: "The greatest obstacle we face is not understanding the situation."

    Latest update: First patient flew to Durban via Dubai

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