On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an area of New Rochelle with a one-mile radius will be contained for two weeks to curb the spread of coronavirus. He did so at the recommendation from State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and said this is "literally a matter of life and death."
"This is the single greatest public health challenge we have in the state right now," Cuomo said. "New Rochelle is a particular problem. It is what they call a "cluster." 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."
Westchester County, where New Rochelle is located, has had more than 100 coronavirus cases compared to just 36 in New York City. Cuomo said "New Rochelle, at this point, is probably the largest cluster of these cases in the United States."
Large gathering areas, such as schools, places of worship and businesses within that one-mile radius will be contained from March 12 to March 25. The spaces will be closed, assessed and cleaned. Cuomo said the National Guard will deliver food to homes, help with transportation and clean public spaces. Officials will also set up a COVID-19 testing facility in the city.
The New York Times reports a lawyer who lives in New Rochelle and works in Manhattan was diagnosed with the state's second confirmed case last week. Some people he was in contact with have tested positive for the virus.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there were over 170 reported coronavirus cases in New York, according to Johns Hopkins University.