Health News

Coronavirus cases in New York up by 25: “Containment area” now being implemented in the state, enforced by the National Guard

The number of people infected with the new coronavirus in New York has risen by about 25, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday. While officials are still working on the exact number of patients to be added to the growing tally of confirmed cases, The Epoch Times reported that an increase of 25 patients would bring the total number of cases in the state to 167 — making it among one of the states with the most confirmed cases in the country.

Official statistics show that in New York, 108 of its cases are in Westchester County, with New York City and Nassau County following close behind with 36 and 19 cases respectively. Further, Rockland county only has six confirmed cases, Saratoga has two, while Suffolk and Ulster have one each.  City officials are considering canceling large public events like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, similar to what officials in Ireland and Boston have done.

“We’re taking more dramatic actions in that cluster. You calibrate your response to the time and the facts and the circumstances in that place at that time. So parades, etc., we look at that on a daily basis,” said Cuomo, referring to the Westchester cluster of infections.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said coronavirus cases are “coming in so intensely now” as private labs that are testing for coronavirus report many new cases. In effect, de Blasio claims that more than 2,000 NYC residents are currently in voluntary isolation while another 30 individuals are in mandatory quarantine.

“They’re coming in so intensely now that being able to give you a detailed case breakdown, we’re not in that position to do that at this moment because there are so many coming forward,” de Blasio said. As of 12 noon … the number of confirmed cases in New York City is 36. That’s 16 new since yesterday and 11 new even since this morning at 7 a.m. when I last spoke about this.”

According to Michelle Katz, the CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, local hospitals are now bracing for a large influx of COVID-19 cases to the point that they are willing to discharge current patients to handle any incoming coronavirus patients, especially those with respiratory distress. In the direst of emergencies, Katz said they will also cancel outpatient surgeries and visits.

Keeping the virus contained

As of writing, the U.S. coronavirus infections topped 1,000 confirmed cases. In light of this, Cuomo announced on Tuesday that city officials are now implementing a one-mile radius “containment area” centered in New Rochelle as part of their efforts to quell the spread of coronavirus, CBS New York reported.

“It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster in the country, and this is literally a matter of life and death,” Cuomo said.

According to New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, this plan is not to be confused with a quarantine zone, meaning that nobody is prohibited from going in and out of the area. Instead, it is simply a prohibition on large gatherings to mitigate the spread of the virus to the greatest degree possible. (Related: US coronavirus infections just surpassed 1,000 as global death rate reaches 6% which is 60 times higher than the seasonal flu.)

The move for this “containment area” comes as New Jersey announced its first case of COVID-19 death — the first one to be reported on in the Tri-State Area. Within this new area, officials claim that any kind of large gathering will be prohibited and that places that hold large gatherings like schools, temples and churches will be closed off for two weeks. In addition, a temporary coronavirus testing facility will be set up within the premises of the containment area while the National Guard will deliver food to homes and clean up public spaces.

“We have moved from a containment strategy to more of a mitigation strategy,” New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said. “When you’re dealing with mitigation, you have to deal with the issues of social distancing and how people gather together and to try to minimize that.”

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