The head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has tested positive for coronavirus, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.
Executive Director Rick Cotton is under self-quarantine working from home, and his senior team will be tested and placed in quarantine as well, the governor said.
Lindsay Kryzak, a Port Authority spokesperson, told CNN that Cotton is showing no symptoms. Kryzak said any staff members who had close contact with Cotton in the recent days are working from home.
“We’ve been taking stock of the situation for weeks in preparation for something like this happening,” Kryzak said. “Like many agencies and private companies, the Port Authority has work from home policies and contingency plans that allow the agency to function fully with certain staff working from outside the office.”
It’s possible Cotton contracted the virus while working in and around airports, Cuomo said.
The authority oversees New York City’s John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports, as well as Newark Liberty International and Teterboro airports in New Jersey and Stewart International Airport in Orange County, New York.
It also administers the PATH rail system, the port itself, and bridges, tunnels, commuter ferries, bus terminals and buildings, including the World Trade Center.
Cotton was at a transportation breakfast last week with other members of the industry, said Metropolitan Transit Authority CEO and Chairman Pat Foye, who noted he attended the breakfast but did not speak to Cotton or shake his hand.
“The others here who (were) at that breakfast are talking to medical staff here and will act accordingly,” said Foye, whose authority oversees the bus and subway systems.
Cuomo acknowledged he had been around Cotton, but when questioned by a reporter, the governor said he is not a “probable positive” case for the coronavirus.
The news came as Cuomo announced that there were 142 confirmed cases in the state, up from a previous tally of 106. There are 24 people under mandatory quarantine and over 2,000 people in voluntary isolation in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“New Yorkers are strong and resilient,” he said, while noting residents are taking smart precautions and “going about their lives.”
The state hopes to have prisoners at Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Comstock produce about 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer per week, to combat price gouging, Cuomo said. The sanitizer will be used in schools and other city and state properties.
CNN’s Amir Vera, Sonia Moghe and Taylor Romine contributed to this report.