New York quarantines town for coronavirus Image via Shutterstock

There are currently 108 patients with the virus in Westchester County, with most residing in New Rochelle, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

The state of New York is instituting a quarantine around New Rochelle, a small town in Westchester County north of New York City that has seen a cluster of coronavirus cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

The so-called “containment zone” will focus on a one-mile radius centered around a synagogue believed to be at the center of the outbreak. Under Cuomo’s plan, schools, community centers, houses of worship, and other large gathering facilities inside the containment area will be closed for two weeks starting on Thursday. Grocery stores and delis will remain open, and the state does not intend to shut down streets or institute travel restrictions. 

“You’re not containing people,” Cuomo said during a press conference. “You’re containing facilities.”

There are currently 108 patients with the virus in Westchester, with most residing in New Rochelle, according to the governor. 

“New Rochelle is a particular problem,” Cuomo said. “The numbers have been going up. The numbers continue to go up unabated and we do need a special public health strategy for New Rochelle.”

New York also plans to deploy the National Guard to the town to clean schools and deliver food to residents within the containment zone. The state’s plan for New Rochelle marks the most drastic efforts taken so far in the United States to combat the spread of coronavirus. 

“This is the single greatest public health challenge we have in the state right now,” Cuomo said. 

The containment zone will remain in place through March 25.

Here’s the rest of Tuesday’s coronavirus news:

  • President Trump continues to focus on the outbreak’s economic impacts over its public health consequences and is considering pushing for federal aid to oil and natural gas companies affected by falling oil prices. 
  • Nursing homes and assisted living centers should institute measures to limit social visits and even keep some employees out, industry leaders said Tuesday.
  • Colleges and universities, including Harvard, Columbia, Ohio State, and UC Berkeley continue to cancel in-person classes due to the coronavirus.
  • The stock market continues to fluctuate wildly. The markets opened strong Tuesday, but lost most of their gains as the day went on. 
  • The Ivy League has canceled its postseason men’s and women’s basketball championship tournaments.
  • Coachella organizers are preparing to postpone the festival, which was set to take place in April.