National guard deployed to New York coronavirus hotspot

A containment zone is being set up around the suburb of New Rochelle, where the bulk of the state's coronavirus cases have been reported

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Tuesday 10 March 2020 17:53
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National guard deployed in New York to stop spread of coronavirus

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the deployment of the National Guard to New Rochelle, and the establishment of a containment zone.

The New York City suburb in Westchester County is the site of the largest cluster of coronavirus cases in the state, centred on a local synagogue.

The one mile wide containment zone will be put in place on 12 March and last until 25 March, during which schools, community centres and houses of worship in the zone will be closed. Grocery stores will remain open.

This is the single greatest public health challenge we have in the state right now,” the governor said at a news conference.

He described the number of cases as going up “unabated”, as he outlined the special strategy for New Rochelle aimed at stopping the geographic spread of the virus.

There is no plan to close streets or implement travel restrictions. “You’re not containing people. You’re containing facilities,” he said.

A satellite testing facility run by Northwell Health will be set up in the containment zone. Northwell received permission to do coronavirus testing on Monday night.

The National Guard will assist in the delivery of food and in the cleaning of public spaces. Mr Cuomo said that there is a debate as to how long the virus can live on hard surfaces, with some saying it could be active for up to two days or more on surfaces such as stainless steel and plastic.

There are currently 173 cases of coronavirus in New York state, the vast majority in the New Rochelle cluster.

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