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Cuomo: 'Take this coronavirus seriously'

Aaron Favila / AP
Airport passengers wear masks, as a new coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, has infected hundreds.

A tenth individual in New York State has been identified for testing for the novel coronavirus, while two confirmed cases in Ontario have canceled celebrations for the Chinese New Year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office issued a statement Tuesday updating the status of the health threat.

He said seven of the 10 samples tested have come back negative from the Center for Disease Control, with three results still pending. So far, there are no confirmed cases across the state.

The governor has directed the state health department to closely monitor the situation, and to continue to be prepared and to keep communities, health care providers, colleges, universities and New York companies with business interests in China informed.

"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, healthcare providers, colleges, universities and New York companies with locations or business interests in China," Cuomo said. "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."

Meanwhile, across the border, Ontario is dealing with its second confirmed case of the new form of coronavirus.

Testing by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg confirmed a woman returning home from China with her husband contracted the virus. Her husband was earlier confirmed to have the virus after the couple in their 50s visited Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicentre of the viral outbreak.

Health officials said the man remains in isolation in a Toronto hospital, while the woman is in stable condition at home in self-isolation. Toronto's chief medical officer of health said authorities have reached out to most people who may have had close contact with the couple.

Concerns over these cases in the St. Catharines, ON area have resulted in the cancelation of a Chinese New Year celebration.

Niagara This Week reports that this year’s event was set to place Sunday at the Merritton Community Centre. An estimated 500 people were expected to attend.

The coronavirus surfaced Dec. 31 in the Wuhan region of China and has since spread to other countries. In China, 106 people have died so far from the virus.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
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