New York is setting up a one-mile containment zone around a Westchester County city in an effort to control the spreading of the novel coronavirus. The zone will be in place from March 12–25.
The zone will ring New Rochelle, which is an epicenter of coronavirus cases in the state. The 108 cases in the area are considered a cluster.
Schools, religious buildings, and other businesses that cater to large events inside the zone will be closed for that period.
"The numbers have been going up, the numbers continue to go up, the numbers are going up unabated and we do need a special public health strategy for New Rochelle," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference. "What we are going to do is focus on an area concentric circle around the sites of the majority of the cases in New Rochelle. Much of the transmission tends to happen on a geographic basis. … So containment strategies focus on geographic areas."
National Guard activated in New York
As part of the containment, the governor has activated the National Guard. Soldiers and airmen will help clean schools and deliver food to affected areas.
People will be allowed in and out of the zone. Children who rely on school meal programs won't be forgotten, Cuomo's office said.
A mobile testing lab will be deployed in the city to do widespread testing on citizens. Visits will be by appointment only.
New York state has at least 173 known coronavirus cases.
"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," Cuomo said. "And if you are not a member of the vulnerable population then there is no reason for excess anxiety."