New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a two-week quarantine in a county north of New York City Tuesday. New Rochelle, a city in Westchester County, will be the center of the quarantine after authorities confirmed 108 cases of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, in the county. This number of cases is the largest COVID-19 cluster recorded in the US.
The governor accepted New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker’s quarantine recommendation. In his announcement, Cuomo said:
The Doctor’s plan is March. The period would be from March 12 this Thursday, a two-week period where facilities within that area and schools within that area would be closed for two weeks. We’ll go in, we’ll clean the schools, and assess the situation. This will be a period of disruption for the local community. I understand that. Local shop owners don’t like the disruption. Nobody does. Local politicians don’t like the disruption. I get it. This can’t be a political decision this is a public health decision. It’s not a decision that I am making. I’m making, accepting the recommendation of Dr. Zucker. In a situation like this, whether you’re president, mayor, governor, let the experts decide and let the science drive the decision. When you politically interfere in science, that’s when you tend to make a mistake.
The quarantine will close schools, religious centers and other large gathering places for a two-week period beginning on March 12. The governor will deploy the National Guard to assist in the quarantine efforts. Additionally, Northwell Health has partnered with authorities to set up satellite COVID-19 testing centers in New Rochelle.
This quarantine follows after Cuomo ordered health insurers to waive the cost of COVID-19 testing last week. New York’s COVID-19 containment efforts are among many developing throughout the country after the president declared a public health emergency in February.