New York officials are reporting the state's first two deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, including an 82-year-old woman who had advanced emphysema.
Authorities said the woman died Friday at a Brooklyn hospital. A 65-year-old also died from the disease in Rockland County.
Rockland County medical examiner Dr. Laura Carbone issued a statement on Saturday night:
The death we have been investigating within the Village of Suffern on March 12, 2020 has tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are confirming that this is the first death in Rockland County due to COVID-19. The decedent was 65 years old and had other significant health problems which were likely contributory to death.
More than 600 New Yorkers have been diagnosed so far with COVID-19, the new illness that has sickened people around the globe.
The governor said of the 524 cases confirmed as of Saturday, 117 people are currently hospitalized. That number increased by 100 patients since Friday.
Tioga County and Tompkins County both have their first confirmed cases. And Monroe County currently has two confirmed cases.
Governor Cuomo said the state did 700 tests.
"The number of positive cases is more a function of the number of tests we're taking," Cuomo said. "The more tests we take, the more that number will go up. Nobody believes there's only 500 cases of coronavirus in New York today. We believe there are thousands of people who have coronavirus, maybe tens of thousands. We believe there are thousands of people, maybe tens of thousands who have had coronavirus and have resolved that never knew they had it. So the 524 cases doesn't mean there are 524 positive people. It means the testing capacity is going up."
The virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness.