A notice of temporary closure is seen on the entrance of a cafe within the one-mile-radius containment area in New Rochelle, New York State, the United States, on March 12, 2020. The U.S. state of New York set up a so-called “containment area” in a COVID-19 hotspot on Thursday, with National Guard troops dispatched on site to clean surfaces and deliver food to people who are in quarantine. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
NEW YORK, March 12 (Xinhua) — The U.S. state of New York set up a so-called “containment area” in a COVID-19 hotspot on Thursday, with National Guard troops dispatched on site to clean surfaces and deliver food to people who are in quarantine.
The containment area in New Rochelle, Westchester County, is within one-mile-radius around a point near a synagogue, in which schools, houses of worships and other large gathering places will be closed for two weeks.
Many shops and restaurants are still open but empty inside the containment area.
New Rochelle is at the center of a COVID-19 outbreak in Westchester County, which is just outside New York City and currently has 148 confirmed cases.
It is also home to the state’s second confirmed case, an attorney who worked in Manhattan and is linked to dozens of cases diagnosed during the past week.
The designation of containment area was announced by state Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Tuesday.
“It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster of cases in the country,” said Cuomo. “The numbers are going up unabated, and we do need a special public health strategy for New Rochelle.”
State officials have stressed that it is not a lockdown, and Cuomo said on Wednesday that all actions have been taken through mutual agreement and that the state has not invoked any legal authority.
Cuomo also said that the state Health Department will grant 200,000 U.S. dollars to a food bank in New Rochelle. Nine schools are closed in the containment area, and the funding is intended to help feed any student or family who relies on free school lunches.
The governor declared a state of emergency on Saturday in the northeastern state. As of Thursday, New York State had confirmed 328 coronavirus cases, with 112 of those added overnight. Some 148 cases were in Westchester County and 95 in New York City.