[By Zak Failla]
A Uber driver who works on Long Island has tested positive for coronavirus and is currently isolated in a Far Rockaway hospital, officials said.
The driver, who is from the Rockaways and in his 30s, tested positive for COVID-19 after coming down with underlying respiratory issues. He is currently quarantined at St. John Episcopal Hospital.
“The New York City Department of Health has confirmed that a patient at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital has tested positive for COVID-19,” a spokesperson for St. John’s Episcopal Hospital said. “The patient is currently in isolation and we are closely monitoring team members who may have been exposed to this patient.
“We have been actively preparing for this, and we will continue to follow all standard infection control guidelines.”
Health officials are currently backtracking to see who he may have come into contact with.
In a statement, Uber said, “We have a dedicated team working closely with public health authorities and stand ready to help in any way.”
The company noted that once it was alerted to the positive test, the driver’s access to the Uber application was revoked, nothing that the driver was not a New York City-licensed driver, so he did not pick up passengers in the five boroughs.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a State of Emergency over the weekend, as thousands are under mandatory or voluntary quarantine to combat the spread of the virus.
“I have officially declared a state of emergency which gives us certain powers. We’re going to be doing purchasing and hiring more staff, especially to help local health departments that are very stressed. We’ve said to the local health departments you have to do the monitoring on the quarantine, the mandatory quarantine. So this is labor-intensive,” Cuomo said. “We need the staffing, we need the purchasing. Under the declaration of emergency, we have a more expedited purchasing protocol.”