Journalist Katie Couric said she recently saw Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Saturday, two days before New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Cotton tested positive for the coronavirus. The former Today Show co-host said her meeting with Cotton was very brief, and she has been told by her doctor she does not need to quarantine herself. Cotton was asked to work from home and his colleagues will be tested, Cuomo said.
"Rick Cotton is an old friend of mine. In fact I just saw him on Saturday for the first time in a long time," Couric tweeted Monday. "Feel better Rick."
Following an outpouring of support from fans, Couric shared a longer statement. She said she did not physically contact Cotton and only briefly spoke with him on Saturday.
"OK people - thank you for your concern!! I have a few updates: So far I've talked to someone from [the World Health Organization] who referred me to the [New York State Department of Health], which told me that it was not necessary to self-quarantine," Couric explained. "This was also confirmed by my primary care physician."
"My interaction was a 90-second conversation with an asymptomatic person and involved no physical contact. I am now quadruple checking with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]," she continued. "But overall, the people I spoke to said to continue using common sense and good hygiene practices... and if I start having symptoms or not feeling well I should go to my primary care doctor immediately. Hopefully, this is helpful for anyone who deals with this in the future + I will keep you guys updated as soon as I have more info!"
During a press conference Monday, Cuomo said the number of coronavirus cases surged over the weekend, climbing from 49 to 155, reports NBC New York. The state now has the most COVID-19 cases in the country. Cotton was among the newest cases, and will be working from home under quarantine. His senior team is also being tested, and several of them could be told to work from home as well.
Cuomo also announced a unique plan for New York to distribute hand sanitizers to those who need it to get around price gouging. The state will start making its own sanitizer called "NYS Clean," with about 100,000 gallons a day being sent to schools and government agencies. The sanitizer is made by pisoners for the Division of Correctional Industries' Corcraft Products, reports NBC New York.
"We are problem solvers," the governor said. "And there is price gouging on hand sanitizer and a high demand for hand sanitizer. What do you do? Make your own hand sanitizer? Can you do that?"0comments
There are now more than 113,000 confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 cases worldwide, with over 80,000 in mainland China, according to Johns Hopkins University data. There are 607 confirmed cases and 22 deaths in the U.S., with 19 deaths in Washington state alone. Two other deaths were reported in Florida, and one death in California.
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