New York governor declares coronavirus state of emergency

The state can now purchase the necessary supplies and hire workers to assist health officials.

New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency on Saturday as the state’s number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 76, 11 of them in New York City.

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The declaration of emergency will allow state officials to expedite the process of purchasing supplies and the hiring of workers to assist local health departments that have handled and monitored thousands of quarantined patients, Cuomo said.

“Somebody has to go knock on their door, once a day,” he said during a midday briefing in the state capital. “This is labor-intensive.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Larry Busacca/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign)

Ground zero for the cases in the state is just north of New York City, in Westchester County, where there were 57 in cases total. Many if not all of those cases were from the first cluster that was brought to authorities' attention last week.

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To date there are more than 250 confirmed cases in the United States with 16 fatalities across three states: Washington, California and Florida.