Coronavirus: New York airport boss contracts deadly virus as cases in US state soar to 142

Director Rick Cotton had been overseeing international arrivals at New York City area airports, but has contracted coronavirus. As such, Mr Cotton will work from home, as the deadly virus continues to rapidly spread across the globe.

Rick Cotton has been overseeing international arrivals at JFK Airport and other airports.

"He has been at airports with many people coming back with the virus," Cuomo said.

The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, wrote on Twitter: “There are additional confirmed cases of #Coronavirus in NYS, bringing total to 142.”

Adding: “Currently, 8 of the 142 positive cases are hospitalized — or about 6 percent.

“There are steps that all New Yorkers can take to prevent the spread of #Coronavirus.”

Mr Cuomo suggested Mr Cotton may have contracted the virus during his work on behalf of the authority.

It has been reported some colleagues of Mr Cotton only discovered his test results shortly before the announcement was made.

The numbers who have been quarantined because of close contact with Mr Cotton have not yet been revealed. 

Senior officials at the Port Authority, where Mr Cotton has worked, are also being tested for the virus. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus is here to stay and will become like the common cold

In a statement, the Port Authority said Mr Cotton was "currently asymptomatic" and was quarantined at home, maintaining a full schedule in the meantime.

They added: "Any staff members who have had close contact with him in recent days are also working from home as they follow the guidelines and protocols put in place by the New York State Department of Health."

Govenor Cuomo recently identified the city of New Rochelle in Westchester County, New York as a so-called "hotspot" for the virus.

He said: "Westchester is our problem.

“That is a relatively small community in New Rochelle with 98 cases, more than the city of New York.”

Mr Cuomo and New York mayor Bill de Blasio have also urged people to avoid crowds, especially when using methods of public transport.

The comments came shortly before a state of emergecy was declared in New York.

According to John Hopkins University, there have been at least 566 cases across the US, with 22 deaths. 


There was previously controversy in the United States, as testing kits were not readily available.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention had initially stopped labs from developing their own tests, before sending out faulty testing kits.

It also had strict guidelines for who should be tested - which did not include those who had not travelled.

Once these errors were rectified, the country reported more than a hundred cases over just a few days. 

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