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N.Y. Gov. Cuomo establishes a ‘containment zone’ and sends in the National Guard

New York Governor Cuomo has established a ‘containment zone’ within a one-mile radius of the Young Israel synagogue in New Rochelle. Gov. Cuomo said in a news briefing Tuesday, that starting on Thursday, March 12, 2020, the designated ‘containment zone’ will close for two weeks in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus. Schools and synagogues will be closed and large gatherings will be prohibited within the ‘containment zone’ until March 25th.

The ‘Containment Zone’

The Young Israel synagogue is the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak in New Rochelle. According to the latest statistics provided by Gov. Cuomo, the cluster of cases within the ‘containment zone’ accounts for 108 of the 173 coronavirus cases in New York state.

Gov. Cuomo said that “it is a dramatic action, but it is largest cluster in the country.” Gov. Cuomo also stated that “the numbers have been going up, the numbers continue to go up, the numbers are going up unabated – and we do need a special public health strategy of New Rochelle.”

Gov. Cuomo sends in the National Guard

Gov. Cuomo is sending the National Guard to the ‘containment zone’, but according to Cuomo and local officials they will not be enforcing a ‘quarantine.’ Gov. Cuomo and New Rochelle Mayor Bramson both said that people in the ‘containment zone’ would be able to come and go as they please.

According to Gov. Cuomo, the National Guard will be used as a cleaning crew “to sanitize the area,” and Mayor Bramson said the National Guard would also be serving meals to students that qualify for free or reduced school lunches who are under quarantine or subject to school cancellations.

Will Gov. Cuomo’s ‘containment zone’ plan work?

It is unclear at this point whether Gov. Cuomo’s establishment of a ‘containment zone’ will be successful in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Gov. Cuomo’s establishment of a ‘containment zone’ raises more questions than it answers.

Why establish a ‘containment zone’ if people are allowed to move about and come and go as they please? It seems rather counter-productive.

If Gov. Cuomo’s intent was to prevent large gatherings of people to slow the spread of the coronavirus, why not just close the schools in the area and tell people who are infected or have been exposed to ‘self-quarantine’ for a couple of weeks and not gather in large crowds?

Was it necessary to send in the National Guard?

Why is Gov. Cuomo using the National Guard as meal servers and a cleaning crew? Is this really an appropriate use for the National Guard?

To be fair, we do not know what National Guard unit(s) will be deployed to Cuomo’s ‘containment zone’. It could be that the National Guard units being deployed are specialized in areas of food delivery and sanitation. If the National Guard units being deployed are not specialized to provide those services, Gov. Cuomo could have just contracted private businesses that are specialized in food delivery and sanitation services.

Related News Stories

Fox News. “Coronavirus ‘containment zone’ in New York County to shut down for 2 weeks, undergo cleaning.” March 11, 2020.

NPR. “Coronavirus: New York Creates ‘Containment Area’ Around Cluster in New Rochelle“. March 10, 2020.

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