The first patient with a confirmed case of the 2019 novel coronavirus in New York City is a 39-year-old health care worker who had recently traveled to Iran and acted with “textbook” and “sophisticated” diligence in her efforts to avoid infecting others, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo early Monday morning. Residents in New York have anxiously awaited the seemingly inevitable first case in the largest city in the U.S., which was confirmed over the weekend. Cuomo said the woman avoided public transport on her way home from Iran and then self-isolated at her home in Manhattan, even before she began exhibiting symptoms. The woman “took precautions that turned out to be very advantageous,” said Cuomo, noting that authorities are still working to determine if she may have come into close contact with anyone on her plane or at the airport.
“She was not on any public transportation, she has been in her home virtually isolated, and she is isolated once again.” Though Cuomo called community spread—where officials are not able to determine a source—“inevitable” in New York, he said the risk remains low to the general population and that “at this point we have no reason for concern.” He added: “You can’t have it be in this many places in the globe and this many places in the country and not be in New York. So that is going to happen.”