Anyone who has left the City of New York should self-quarantine for 14 days, according to the White House Task Force on Coronavirus.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, made the recommendation at the White House’s daily coronavirus briefing Tuesday.

“We remain deeply concerned about New York City and the New York metro area. About 56% of all [US cases] are coming out of that metro area and 60% of all the new cases … and 31% of those succumbing to the disease,” Birx said.

“Because of the number of cases, you may have been exposed before you left New York,” Birx said. “Anybody who was in New York in the last few days should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days to ensure that the virus does not spread to others.”

A day earlier, Birx revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus “attack rate” was nearly five times greater in New York and New Jersey than elsewhere in the US.

“The New York metro area of New Jersey, New York City, and parts of Long Island have an attack rate close to 1-in-1000. This is five times what other areas are seeing,” Birx said at Monday’s White House briefing. She added that less than 8% of test samples taken outside the NY/NJ metro area test positive for COVID-19, but within the NY/NJ metro area that positive rate was 28%.

“We have to deal with the New York City metropolitan area as a high-risk area,” Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday. Pence encouraged residents there to monitor their temperature, be sensitive to symptoms, and anyone who has left the area to self-isolate for 14 days.

As of Mar 24, New York City had an estimated 15,597 cases and 192 deaths from COVID-19, by far the largest cluster in the United States.

StateKnown infectionsDeaths
New York (state) 26,376 271
New Jersey3,67544

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said last week he believed between 40% and 80% of his state would contract COVID-19 and he has pleaded with the federal government to send the necessary supplies his state needs to respond. He has also emphasized that New York is the first of many hard-hit areas but won’t be the last.

“New York is the canary in the coal mine, New York is happening first, what is happening to New York will happen to California and Illinois, it is just a matter of time,” Cuomo said in a Tuesday press conference. “We are your future.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has echoed those sentiments. “We are now, in New York City, the epicenter of this crisis in the United States of America,” de Blasio said. “The worst is yet to come.”