NEW YORK — A total of 52 children in New York City have been diagnosed with an inflammatory syndrome possibly linked to COVID-19 and another 10 cases are pending, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
Of those 62 confirmed or possible cases, 25 have tested positive for the coronavirus and another 22 had antibodies for the virus, de Blasio said. One child has died.
Children elsewhere in the U.S. and in Europe also have been hospitalized with the condition, known as pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that New York is helping develop national criteria for identifying and responding to the syndrome at the request of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
De Blasio urged parents to call their pediatricians if their children exhibit symptoms including persistent fever, rash, abdominal pain and vomiting.
"It's sobering, it's bluntly frightening," de Blasio said, "and I want to say to parents out there, if you're hearing this information about pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome and it sounds scary, it does sound scary."
De Blasio said the first 535 hires for the city's coronavirus contact tracing initiative are being trained using the Johns Hopkins University training program sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies, with the goal of having 2,500 contact tracers in place by early June.
Additionally, some 1,200 hotel rooms are being readied for people infected with the virus to self-isolate away from their families, de Blasio said.
Twelve new coronavirus testing sites will open in the coming weeks, the mayor said. He said about 14,000 coronavirus tests are conducted daily in the city now, and that he hopes to be able to test 50,000 a day within a few months.