NEW YORK - Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday confirmed the state's first coronavirus-related death as the number of cases continues to rise.
During a conference call in Albany, Cuomo says an 82-year-old woman with pre-existing emphysema died Friday night at a New York City Hospital.
Cuomo says the woman was first admitted to the hospital on March 3.
The governor says the state now has 524 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 117 patients are currently hospitalized.
Speaking to reporters, Cuomo says state officials believe there are thousands of people with the virus.
In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "Today, we are confirming our first death due to severe complications from COVID-19. The patient, an elderly woman with advanced emphysema, was admitted to the hospital last week as one of our first cases, and had been in critical condition ever since. We’ve known from the outset that these people are the most at risk in this pandemic, and today’s news is a sad confirmation of that reality. I want to thank the staff of Wyckoff Medical Center for their efforts to save this woman’s life, and all the medical professionals on the front lines protecting our most vulnerable.
The mayor went on to say, "We all have a part to play here. I ask every New Yorker to do their part and take the necessary precautionary measures to protect the people most at risk."
Health officials have continually said those under 50 years of age with no underlying health issues will most likely be fine.
Meanwhile, Cuomo will sign an executive order waiving the requirement for schools to be in session for 180 days.
The seven day requirement for unemployment insurance applications has also been waived.