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Coronavirus Update: New Rochelle's 1-Mile Containment Zone Takes Effect, District Closes All Schools

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - The coronavirus numbers continue to rise across the Tri-State Area, and now the New Rochelle school district will close all schools for the next 13 days starting Friday.

"Effective tomorrow, March 13, 2020, all city school district of New Rochelle Schools will be closed through March 25, 2020, returning on March 26, the same period of time as the schools located within the containment zone," said superintendent Dr. Laura Feijóo in a statement issued Thursday.

On Thursday, New York was reporting 325 cases, along with 23 in New Jersey and five in Connecticut.


  • Albany County: 1 (1 new)
  • Broome County: 1 (1 new)
  • Delaware County: 1 (1 new)
  • Dutchess County: 1 (1 new)
  • Herkimer County: 1 (1 new)
  • Monroe County: 1 (1 new)
  • Nassau County: 41 (13 new)
  • New York City: 95 (43 new)
  • Orange County: 1 (1 new)
  • Rockland County: 7 (1 new)
  • Saratoga County: 3 (1 new)
  • Suffolk County: 20 (14 new)
  • Ulster County: 4 (3 new)
  • Westchester County: 148 (27 new)

MORE: New Jersey Confirmed Cases

Gov. Cuomo Gives Coronavirus Update

Updating New Yorkers on the evolving #Coronavirus situation. WATCH:

Posted by Archive: Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday, March 12, 2020

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to stop the spread by placing part of Westchester County in a containment zone, which takes effect today.

People living and working inside the zone can go about their daily lives and visit businesses that are open, but large gatherings are banned.

Residents outside of the zone were facing some restrictions as well. In Connecticut, the chief federal judge is banning people who've visited China, Italy and New Rochelle in the last two weeks from entering federal courthouses, reports CBS2's Tony Aiello.

People who merely commuted through New Rochelle without stopping are exempt from the order. He says it is aimed at limiting exposure to COVID-19.

WATCH: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Announces New Rochelle Containment 

The National Guard arrived in New Rochelle in the morning, armed with helping hands, preparing food for distribution to needy families and children stuck at home after schools are closed.

The Guard's home base will be a county park in New Rochelle that closed to the general public on Thursday. One source says a satellite lab to test for coronavirus may also be placed here.

"Glen Island itself is being used as a staging area and we hope effectively so given the size and space we have available," said Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

"So that in the event we need to close schools for a long period of time that we have the instructional materials so that instruction may continue for each and every one of our students," said School Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada.

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano says six residents have tested positive for COVID-19, but he's been told little about who they are or where they might have been exposed.

"We have not gotten that information from the Department of Health yet," he said Thursday. "I've been a little critical of the DOH and their inability to make information available to local governments but everyone's writing a new chapter here."

In White Plains, Saturday's St. Patrick's Day Parade was canceled to avoid a large gathering. Precautions were also being put in place at the courthouse where a matrimonial lawyer who works there tested positive for COVID-19.

"We're trying to do as much remotely as possible," said Westchester District Attorney Tony Scarpino. "We're having witnesses and victims come in only as necessary we try to do it by telephone. If we have hearings of course they'll have to be present. All of our travel is being canceled. We're just trying to reduce our footprint everywhere in the county."

The district attorney is also monitoring what he is calling "hate incidents" - ugly emails sent to COVID-19 positive people who've gone public with their diagnosis, and also a Kosher restaurant delivering food to people in quarantine. If appropriate, charges will be filed.

White Plains Mayor Tom Roach delivers a message on Coronavirus

Posted by City of White Plains, Mayor Thomas M. Roach on Thursday, March 12, 2020

On Wednesday night, crews in hazmat suits got a head start disinfecting. It's an all-too-familiar sight in a town where the coronavirus quickly spread.

"People think there's just a black cloud, a dome, or whatever you want to call it on New Rochelle, so they're just staying far away. They don't want to touch it with a 10-foot pole," business owner Josh Berkowitz told CBS2.


Meantime in Rockland County, the legislature canceled last night's committee meeting, along with one at the end of the month, out of an abundance of caution.

Cuomo also said more students will take their college classes online.

Reducing density and isolating positive patients are part of the overall strategy.

New Rochelle resident Adina Garbuz is still in quarantine. In a new Facebook post, she addressed concerns, saying, "Unknowns are scary, but we also know quarantines and testing are helping. Let facts override bad thoughts."

CORONAVIRUS: CDC Latest | NY Health Dept. | NYC Health Dept. | NY Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Hotline: 1-800-222-1222 | CT Hotline: 211

Today, a one-mile containment area will be enforced around Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue, where Garbuz's husband, Lawrence, inadvertently infected others.

It's the new normal as the fight continues to contain the virus.

The governor said nearly 30 additional private labs have been put on notice to help increase testing, but the plan still needs FDA approval.

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