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Everyone who left New York recently should self-quarantine for 14 days, White House expert says

Anyone leaving N.Y. advised to self-quarantine

Anyone who recently left New York should self-quarantine for 14 days to ensure the coronavirus doesn't spread to others, Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said Tuesday during a briefing.

"We remain deeply concerned about New York City and the New York metro area," she said. "About 56% of all the cases in the United States are coming out of that metro area, and 60% of all the new cases are coming out of the metro New York area."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said earlier Tuesday the rate of new COVID-19 cases in the state is doubling about every three days. As of Wednesday morning, there were more than 15,000 cases in New York City and 25,000 in New York state.   

"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.

"We are starting to see new cases across Long Island. That suggests people have left" New York City, she said.

She said the length of time individuals should self-quarantine should be based off the time they left the New York area: "So if they already are four days out, then it's just ten more days."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House task force, said people "understandably" want to get out of New York. "They're going to Florida. They're going to Long Island. They're going to different places." 

"The idea, if you look at the statistics, it's disturbing," he said. "About 1 per 1,000 of these individuals are infected. That's about 8 to 10 times more than in other areas, which means when they go to another place, for their own safety, they've got to be careful, monitor themselves. If they get sick, bring it to the attention of a physician. Get tested."

Cuomo issued a dire warning about the rise in cases and projections for what's needed to handle the crisis: 140,000 hospital beds and 40,000 ICU beds — far more than the 53,000 hospital beds and 3,000 ICU beds normally available.

"Those are troubling and astronomical numbers," he said, adding that they're higher than previously projected.

He said infections in New York are expected to peak as early as 2 to 3 weeks from now.

"One of the forecasters said to me we were looking at a freight train coming across the country," Cuomo said. "We're now looking at a bullet train, because the numbers are going up that quickly."

He said there is a "critical and desperate" need for ventilators and that state has obtained about 7,000 but needs at least 30,000 more.

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