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New Rochelle Residents Prepare For Containment Area To Take Effect

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - More than 200 people in the Tri-State Area have now tested positive for the coronavirus.

Most of those cases -- 194 -- are in New York state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo designated a containment zone for part of the city of New Rochelle.

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Many residents CBS2's John Dias spoke with said they're not panicking, but they are preparing for the two weeks of containment. Most told him it seems like a good idea.

The drop off line was visibly smaller at William Cottle school in Westchester. Thursday, the elementary school and all Tuckahoe Union Free District Schools will close for two weeks.

"Do our best and listen to what authorities have to say," one person said.


Because of the closure, many parents now forced to take off from work or do it from home, like parent Liz Crespo.

"Activities at home. Games. The good, old-fashioned stuff," she said.

Coronavirus Containment Area
(credit: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Office)

Amy Goodman, the superintendent of Tuckahoe Union Free School District, said each student will go home with a Chromebook to continue learning.

The schools are in the new, 1-mile containment zone. New Rochelle is now known as New York's epicenter of the coronavirus, so like many other schools, the state is forcing them to close.

"So that groups of students or groups of people don't congregate in large areas, and also gives us time to clean and sanitize our schools," Goodman said.

Tuesday, Cuomo declared a two week ban on all large gatherings in the area, where thousands of people live and and work, effectively shutting down its schools, houses of worship and athletic clubs.

"We're also going to use the National Guard in the containment area," Cuomo said.

"Are you grateful you live outside the containment zone?" Dias asked one resident.

"Yes, but I'm praying for those who live inside the zone," she replied.

Most New Rochelle residents are taking no chances.

"I think it's appropriate to start precautions," Richard Schwartz said.

"I don't touch anything, especially around here," said Douglas Newstein.

In the containment zone, it seems like each business is taking its own actions, Dias reported. A bagel place is closing for at least a week to protect its customers and workers. But a gym is staying open, providing extra hand sanitizer and constantly wiping down machines.

"We are going to remain open until someone shuts us down," said Tim Eble of North End Fitness and Training.

The containment zone goes into effect Thursday.

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