Politics

Port Authority head tests positive for coronavirus, New York Gov. Cuomo says

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Key Points
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that Rick Cotton, the Port Authority's executive director for New York and New Jersey, has tested positive for the new coronavirus.
  • Cotton has been overseeing the arrival of overseas flights coming into airports in the area, including John F. Kennedy International Airport.
  • Cuomo on Monday identified the New York city of New Rochelle as a "significant hotspot" for the virus. At least 106 cases have been confirmed there so far, the governor said.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers remarks at a news conference regarding the coronavirus in New York State in New York, March 2, 2020
Andrew Kelly | Reuters

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Cotton "is going to be on quarantine" and will be working at home, Cuomo said at a press briefing.

The team of senior officials who work with Cotton will also be tested, Cuomo said, adding that "several of them may be on quarantine."

Cotton has been overseeing the arrival of overseas flights coming into airports in the area, including John F. Kennedy International Airport. The Port Authority is responsible for oversight of much of the region's transportation infrastructure.

Cotton "has been doing a magnificent job handling the airports," Cuomo said.

The Port Authority said in a statement that Cotton is "currently asymptomatic and has self-quarantined at his home while maintaining a full schedule."

"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," the Port Authority said.

The deadly coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, has spread across the globe in recent months. The disease has killed more than 3,800 people worldwide and infected more than 111,000 so far, including more than 500 people in the U.S. across 34 states.

Cuomo on Monday identified the New York city of New Rochelle as a "significant hotspot" for the virus. At least 106 cases have been confirmed there so far, the governor said.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect Cotton's correct role at the Port Authority.

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