NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.— New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered a “containment area” for New Rochelle amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
From Mar. 12 to Mar. 25, a “containment area” will be set up for two weeks. Facilities and schools within the area will be closed off as cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted, according to Cuomo.
The area impacted falls within a one-mile radius from the Young Israel synagogue.
New Rochelle Public Schools within that radius are impacted by the closure according to the school district’s superintendent, Dr. Laura Feijoo.
The schools impacted are limited to New Rochelle High School, Albert Leonard Middle School and Ward Elementary schools in the City School District of New Rochelle. Schools are anticipated to reopen on Mar. 26.
Cuomo also announced the state will partner with Northwell Health to deploy a satellite testing facility in New Rochelle.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said officials are moving their plans from a containment strategy to a mitigation strategy.
“As we see the number of cases continue to rise based upon close contacts with persons who are positive for COVID-19, there is a particular need to reduce the opportunity for further close contacts. These opportunities include schools, churches, synagogues, and other event spaces where large numbers of people gather and remain together for extended periods of time. Although we believe that the risk generally to New Yorkers is low, I have recommended this strategy to reduce opportunities for further spread with the goal of reducing the number of new cases we are seeing in New Rochelle,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said.
The National Guard has also been deployed to New Rochelle to deliver food to homes and assist in the cleaning of public spaces, according to Cuomo.
The order comes as Westchester suburb is considered the “largest cluster in the United States,” in the confirmed cases of COVID-19, Cuomo said.
There are currently 108 confirmed cases in Westchester County, with the majority in New Rochelle.
“That 108 in Westchester, you may as well say New Rochelle,” Cuomo said.
There are currently 173 confirmed cases in the state. In addition to Westchester’s 108 confirmed cases, there are 36 cases in New York City, 19 cases in Nassau County, six cases in Rockland County, two in Saratoga, one in Suffolk County and one in Ulster County, according to Cuomo.
Of the 173 cases, 14 people are hospitalized. Cuomo said those hospitalized are “members of the vulnerable community,” which are people with underlying health conditions.
Gov. Cuomo speaks about the latest on COVID-19 in the video below.