Breaking News
More () »

2 members of New York State Assembly confirmed to have coronavirus

Cuomo: 'Speaker Heastie has been in contact with both members, and we are taking swift action to address this situation.'

ALBANY, N.Y. — There are two cases of coronavirus impacting New York State Assembly members.

A statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Speaker Carl Heastie confirmed that news on Saturday night.

"It has come to our attention that two of our Assembly colleagues, Helene Weinstein and Charles Barron, have been diagnosed with COVID-19. It is important to note that both members have not been in Albany since early March for separate reasons. Speaker Heastie has been in contact with both members, and we are taking swift action to address this situation," the statement read.

"We have spoken with the Senate and are undertaking an intensive cleaning of the Capital and the Legislative Office Building. All legislators and staff that have come in contact with these members will be tested to ensure the safety of everyone.

"Additionally, out of an abundance of caution we are closing the Capitol to visitors effective (Sunday).

"We are working hand in glove to contain and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in New York but we will continue to act aggressively to protect the public health."

That came after Cuomo confirmed three cases of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, in Erie County.

Earlier Saturday, New York officials reported 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.

More than 600 New Yorkers have been officially been diagnosed so far with COVID-19. But Cuomo says he believes perhaps tens of thousands of New Yorkers are infected.

The true number of people with the virus in the state is unknown because testing is still being done across the United States on a very limited basis.

RELATED: 3 Erie County residents test positive for coronavirus, Cuomo says

RELATED: Daemen College student under quarantine after being near confirmed coronavirus case

RELATED: State of emergency issued in Orleans, Genesee counties; schools now closed