As the total number of cases of coronavirus in the U.S. continues to rise, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York now has at least 173 cases — making it among one of the states with the largest number of confirmed cases in the country.
In New York, 108 cases are in Westchester County, with New York City and Nassau County following with 36 and 19 cases, respectively, according to officials. Rockland county has six cases, Saratoga has two, Suffolk and Ulster each have one.
As of Tuesday night, Washington state had more than 200 cases, followed by California with at least 143.
Cuomo announced Tuesday that officials are implementing a “containment area” centered in New Rochelle from March 12-25, affecting large gathering places such as schools, temples and churches.
The state will send National Guard troops to help clean surfaces and deliver food in the area, a 1-mile-radius around a point near a synagogue connected to some existing cases, Cuomo said. The state and a private health system are setting up a testing facility in the area.
“It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster of cases in the country,” Cuomo said. “The numbers are going up unabated, and we do need a special public health strategy for New Rochelle.”
At a press conference Monday, Cuomo introduced NYS Clean hand sanitizer, a “superior product to products now on the market.” He said the product is first being distributed to transit workers and schools in New Rochelle and criticized Purell, eBay and Amazon forduring the epidemic.
Even the MTA is telling New Yorkers to avoid mass transit, instead recommending telecommuting if it is an option. MTA chairman Patrick Foye said all trains are being disinfected daily.
“For a business that can allow more employees to telecommute, we want you to do that,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “If you can do it, it’s a good thing to do. Why? Because we simply want to reduce the number of people on mass transit just to open up some more space.”
Officials are hesitant to close schools in New York City amid the outbreak because of concerns that working parents have no other child care options. In addition, a large number of students rely on the city for free meals during school hours.
“We want pinpoint accuracy,” de Blasio said Monday. “We want to make sure that a school is closed only for the period of time it needs to be, because there are so many parents who depend on that school. We want to keep those closures minimal.”
Editor’s Note: This article originally reported an incorrect number of deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus. For the latest updates, click here.