Governor Cuomo shared in a recent press conference that many coronavirus patients in New York State are people who were staying at home, as opposed to essential workers or those working outside their homes. As more surveys and public health data become available, new information is being released about those affected by the coronavirus and how it is transmitted.

Experts have some theories based on available data. In New York State, data from 113 hospitals showed that 66% of patients were at home before being admitted, they were more likely to be over 51 years of age and 96% of admitted patients had pre-existing medical conditions. Admitted patients were also more likely to be Hispanic or African-American.

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So how can the virus be transmitted even when people are staying at home? Public health experts spoke to Forbes about these findings and said that admitted patients who stay at home may have family members who are essential workers and traveling outside the home or may live in crowded apartment buildings where the risk of exposure is higher. Even those that are staying at home could be exposed in one of the ways listed above.

Dr. Ashish Jha, Director of Harvard Global Health Institute, told Forbes that, “older and sicker people are less likely to go out and travel, and much more likely to get infected and to need hospital care.” Another expert, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, Columbia University Medical Center professor and CEO of nonprofit Fountain House, said more data on patients’ living situations were needed. Information on people living in multi-generational households or with essential workers would provide more data to the questions of how people got sick.

Vasan told Forbes, “It’s hard to know whether people are asymptomatic, and the virus transmits so easily. It’s hard to say whether [healthcare and essential workers] who are exposing themselves are the main chain of transmission.”

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

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Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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