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Cuomo declares emergency as NY’s coronavirus cases reach 76

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a Saturday briefing confirmed additional cases of novel coronavirus including two cases upstate in Saratoga County, bringing the statewide total to 76 confirmed cases in New York State. (Provided photo -- Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that New York state’s coronavirus caseload has risen to 76 from the previous day’s count of 44, prompting him to declare a state of emergency to speed up the medical response to the outbreak.

Of those cases, by far the largest concentration — 57 — is in Westchester County, north of New York City. The outbreak there has been traced to a synagogue in New Rochelle where the congregation was asked to self-quarantine earlier in the week after a person in the community was hospitalized with the disease. Since then, a growing number of friends and relatives of the patient, a 50-year-old lawyer who works in Manhattan, have tested positive.

The governor said the state’s push to do more testing should offer hope that the outbreak can be contained.

“We’re doing more tests. The more tests you can do, the better,” Cuomo said at a news conference in Albany. “That’s good news because we know who these people are and can put them in isolation.”

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