The National Guard will be deployed to New Rochelle to aid food delivery and cleaning efforts associated with the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, and a containment zone will be enacted around the community.
People will be permitted to enter and leave the containment zone, the governor explained. He said the focus is “not really people, it’s facilities.”
New Rochelle is where the first positive case was confirmed in the state and many of the subsequent cases can be linked to the local attorney who first contracted the virus. There are 108 cases in Westchester County, out of 173 across the state.
Cuomo said there will be a 1-mile containment zone in New Rochelle to help contain the spread of the outbreak.
In addition, there will be a two-week period in which all public facilities within the containment zone will be closed, including all schools.
A satellite testing facility will also be set up by Northwell Health to increase testing in New Rochelle.
“The largest cluster of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country is located in New Rochelle, and as the numbers continue to go up we need a special public health strategy to contain it,” Cuomo said. “We are moving from containment to mitigation, and because much of the transmission of this disease tends to happen on a geographic basis, we are attacking this hotspot at the source. As the number of positive cases rises, I am urging all New Yorkers to remember the bottom line: we talk about all this stuff to keep the public informed — not to incite fear — and if you are not a member of the vulnerable population then there is no reason for excess anxiety.”
Separately, news broke today that three New York students tested positive for the virus forcing Rockland County’s East Ramapo School District to cancel classes for two weeks.
The first New Jersey death in a case of the coronavirus was also announced Tuesday. The person who died was a 69-year-old Bergen County man with underlying medical conditions. He did have a history of health issues, including diabetes, officials said.
This story is breaking, more details will be added as information becomes available.