New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced a one-mile “containment zone” in New Rochelle, where the first cases of coronavirus in the state were observed.
The “containment area,” which is about three-square-miles, centers around Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue in New Rochelle, a Westchester County suburb just north of the Bronx, which appears to be where the virus began to spread in New York.
“New Rochelle, at this point, is probably the largest cluster of these cases in the United States,” Cuomo said at a press conference announcing updates on the status of the outbreak.
On Thursday, schools in the area and “major gathering spaces” such as churches and community centers will be shut for two weeks. However, businesses will remain open and no movement restrictions will be put into effect.
“You’re not containing people. You’re containing facilities,” Cuomo said.
“This is unique in the United States of America. We haven’t seen this anywhere else,” the Democratic governor said. “Think about it: New Rochelle has double the amount of cases as New York City.”
New York will also send the National Guard to disinfect schools, assist with transportation, and provide food to residents who are currently quarantined.
New York has a total of 173 confirmed cases of people diagnosed with the coronavirus, 108 of which are in New Rochelle. The state has zero deaths so far and only 36 cases in New York City. New Jersey on Tuesday announced its first death from the epidemic, a man in his 60s.