New York State Orders Containment of Coronavirus 'Hot Zone' in New Rochelle

New York State orders 'containment zone' in New Rochelle area, 40 minutes northeast of Midtown Manhattan.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered schools, temples, churches and other public gathering facilities to close in a large part of New Rochelle to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Cuomo described New Rochelle as a "significant hot spot" for the the disease and said the National Guard has been called in to help clean facilities and deliver food. 

Located in New York's Westchester County, about a 40-minute drive northeast of Midtown Manhattan, New Rochelle has 108 of the state's 174 confirmed cases of the illness. 

“It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster in the country,” Cuomo said, according to the New York Daily News. “This is a matter of life and death."

The state will enforce a "containment area" for a one-mile radius around the Young Israel Synagogue, which is at the center of the cluster. The area includes much of the city of New Rochelle and reaches into the town of Eastchester.

Any large gathering places within that containment area will be required to shut down beginning Thursday and running through March 25.

Cuomo said residents who live within the containment area will be free to leave their homes and the area so long as they have not otherwise been ordered to quarantine.

Northwell Health, which is based in North New Hyde Park, on New York's Long Island, will set up a satellite location in New Rochelle to conduct tests locally and save possible coronavirus patients the the need to travel far and putting others at risk. 

Separately, New York's Rockland County, which is west of Westchester County across the Hudson River, said the number of coronavirus cases has risen to six and results for two other residents are pending. 

All the infections are connected with exposure of a pair of caterers that occurred at a New Rochelle bat mitzvah celebration late last month, health department official said.