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State of New York leads US in number of COVID-19 cases – over 4,000 confirmed

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Posted at 11:36 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 23:39:54-04

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The state of New York is leading the country in the amount of confirmed coronavirus cases and it has reported the second largest amount of deaths, behind Washington state.

As of Thursday, New York had confirmed a total of 4,152 cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. At least 34 deaths from the virus have been reported in the state, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The number of cases in the state has grown steadily over the past few days as officials ramp up testing, with the help of drive-thru testing centers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state processed tests for 7,584 people from Wednesday night to Thursday morning. Just a few days prior, the state was only testing a few hundred people a day.

Thursday, Cuomo ordered businesses to keep at least 75% of their workers at home to help stop the spread of the virus amongst the workforce. The new mandate came just a day after he initially ordered companies to keep 50% of their workers home.

In efforts to further protect New Yorkers from the economic side effects of the spreading virus, the governor announced a 90-day mortgage relief plan, which includes waiving mortgage payments, based on financial hardships.

Additionally, Cuomo said there will be no negative reporting to credit bureaus due to late or not-received mortgage payments, as well as a grace period for loan modifications, and no late-payment fees or online-payment fees.

Foreclosures will also be postponed or suspended, the governor assured.

Doubling down on statements made previously , Cuomo said there is still no plan for a "shelter in place"-type shutdown for New York City, an area where positive cases have seen the biggest rise in the state.

In New York City alone, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that there were 3,615 positive cases of COVID-19 and 22 fatalities. That was up from 2,496 earlier Thursday.