New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that he is deploying his state’s National Guard to assist in establishing a coronavirus containment zone in New Rochelle, north of New York City.
New Rochelle, a city of approximately 80,000 people 20 miles north of the big city, is a “particular problem” because a “cluster” of cases has broken out there, Cuomo explained at a news conference.
“New Rochelle, at this point, is probably the largest cluster of these cases in the United States,” he said, according to The New York Times.
“The numbers have been going up,” Cuomo added. “The numbers continue to go up. The numbers are going up unabated, and we do need a special public health strategy for New Rochelle.”
BREAKING: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces containment zone around New Rochelle, lasting until 3/25; National Guard to be deployed to assist in food delivery, cleaning.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 10, 2020
Westchester County, where New Rochelle is located, has 108 cases, Cuomo said, compared to New York City, which has 36 known cases, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“This is unique in the United States of America. We haven’t seen this anywhere else,” Cuomo said. “Think about it: New Rochelle has double the amount of cases as New York City.”
There are 173 confirmed coronavirus cases statewide.
“The epicenter of the zone is the Young Israel of New Rochelle, a synagogue at the heart of a modern Orthodox community that was attended by a 50-year-old attorney dubbed ‘patient zero’ in the state,” The Journal reported.
Cuomo said New York’s National Guard will be used in a three-square-mile containment area centered on the synagogue to deliver food to residents as well as assist in cleaning public areas.
— Steven Bognar (@Bogs4NY) March 10, 2020
The containment zone will be in place for two weeks, starting Thursday. During that time, facilities will be closed and large public gatherings will be limited.
Cuomo also said Northwell Health, New York state’s largest health care provider, will be setting up a satellite coronavirus testing facility in the containment zone.
The New York Times reported that several private schools and universities have canceled classes on campus.
Columbia University, Fordham University, St. John’s University and New York University are among the colleges affected.
Rutgers University, in neighboring New Jersey, also canceled classes on campus.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided not to cancel his city’s public schools, but might close particular facilities if students or teachers are determined to have been exposed to the virus.
Those schools would then be cleaned and reopened in a day or so.
“We cannot shut down [the entire school system] because of undue fear,” he told MSNBC on Tuesday.
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