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Coronavirus sickens real estate players, cancels events

The Port Authority executive in charge of overseeing airport coronavirus screening has tested positive for the virus.

Rick Cotton, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, executive director, is self quarantining and working from home, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.


The team of PA officials he works with are also being tested and “may be on quarantine,” Cuomo said at a press briefing today (Monday).

Cotton has been overseeing the arrival of overseas flights coming into airports in the area and is a member of the Interagency Task Force set up to co-ordinate with local governments and healthcare providers to monitor and respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

His was among a dozen new cases reported today, including eight more in Westchester. Governor Cuomo said there are now 142 confirmed cases in New York State.

Also among those sickened is a Brookfield Asset Management executive, based out of 250 Vesey Street,  according to Bloomberg.

And the Westchester attorney who sparked the outbreak last week worked at One Grand Central Place, an office building owned by Empire State Realty Trust, which has not responded to requests for comment.

“While the overall risk level of the novel coronavirus in New York remains low, I want New Yorkers to know that I’m not urging calm. I’m urging reality. I’m urging a factual response as opposed to an emotional response,” Governor Cuomo said.

“In New York we have the most sophisticated healthcare system on the globe, and we are continuing to prioritize testing, quarantine protocols and containment tracking to keep New Yorkers safe.”

Meanwhile, a slew of commercial real events have been cancelled as the industry operates with “an abundance of caution” to try to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Among the postponed events are The Association for a Better New York Get Out the Count fundraiser scheduled for Thursday; The Construction Specifications Institute March chapter meeting; the Light & Building 2020 Trade Fair and; the MIPIM Trade Fair in Cannes has been re-schedulued for June after several major international players announced their intention to stay away from the event.

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