Update Wednesday, March 11: Saying “New Rochelle is a particular problem. It is what they call a cluster,” Governor Cuomo says his goal is to limit the spread of the coronavirus by stopping large gatherings during the two week period that begins Thursday. Westchester has 108 cases as of this writing, and New York State 173.
That means closing schools, houses of worship are some of the facilities to be closed within a one-mile radius of Young Israel Temple, where the first confirmed case in Westchester is believed to have begun to spread.
The National Guard will assist with food, supplies and sanitizing public areas.
New Rochelle High School, Albert Leonard Middle School and William B. Ward Elementary School are located in the “containment area” and will be closed through March 25. Also in the zone are Tuckahoe High School, Tuckahoe Middle School and William E Cottle School.
Private schools, some outside the zone, include Ursuline School, Hudson Country Montessori School, Thornton Donovan School, Westchester Day, Westchester Torah Academy and SAR Academy and High School.
Update Tuesday March 10, 12:50 pm: Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a slate of sweeping new directives Tuesday for New Rochelle, which he described as the “most significant cluster in the country.”
Update Tuesday March 10 am: LoHud reports Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that the New Rochelle school district may have to close for weeks at the recommendation of the CDC as coronavirus spreads through the community, but the city’s schools superintendent said she doesn’t know the state’s plans and opposes an extended closure. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Laura Feijoo, superintendent of the New Rochelle schools, said at her own news conference that she is not in favor of an extended closure.
Update March 9, pm: Keio Academy of New York in Purchase has closed its campus for remainder of the school year over concerns of the COVID 19. The Japanese bi-lingual school primarily serves as a boarding school. A message on the website indicates that students will finish out the school year through online classes.
Update Monday, March 9, 8:30 am: With 105 total cases of coronavirus now reported in New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to authorize the use of private labs to do automated testing for the virus in New York, because the State lab needs back-up, according to reports.
Update Sunday, March 8, 3:00 pm: Adina Garbuz, wife and law partner of the New Rochelle man who was the first confirmed case in Westchester, posted this message on Facebook, March 6, saying, in part, “We all together pray and hope for the safety and good health of everyone. My family has continued to provide all information requested to best assist in curtailing this epidemic.”
Update March 7, 3:30 pm : Governor Andrew Cuomo declares a state of emergency in New York after the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state increases to 76. This allows the counties affected to to speed up the purchasing of supplies and the hiring of workers to assist local health departments.
Update March 7, 12:20 pm: The Mamaroneck School District confirms a parent with children in two of the schools is diagnosed with the coronavirus.
“We have been informed by the NY State Department of Health (DOH) that the diagnosed individual is a parent of children at Chatsworth Ave. School and Mamaroneck High School.
“The parent has not been on school grounds and self-quarantined prior to receiving a lab confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. The DOH has indicated that family members were directed to quarantine, pending the parent’s lab results. These family members are not showing any symptoms and will remain under quarantine in accordance with the DOH guidelines until March 17th. The DOH does not test children unless they are showing symptoms.
Update March 7, 11 am: The Village of Larchmont confirms our first local case of the novel Coronavirus. In a statement to the Larchmont Community, Mayor Lorraine Walsh says:
“We have been made aware of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Larchmont resident. The family is quarantined. We have been advised by the County that the NYS Health Department is handling the situation. At this time the NYS Health Department is not providing any further information on this matter. We will keep you informed of any updates we receive.”
“This is a serious matter which deserves our attention, but we should continue to follow the practical advice given by health professionals. Preventative measures are still the key to slowing the spread of the coronavirus.”
March 6, 8:10 pm The Mamaroneck School system confirms the Coronavirus has officially arrived, but classes will be held on Monday.
In an e-mail Friday evening, the District notified parents, staff and students, “one of our school community members has tested positive for the novel Coronavirus Covid-19.”
The District says it was notified of the positive test results by the New York State Department of Health and that “consistent with DOH’s regulations the family members are quarantined.” The District had previously scheduled a system-wide building disinfection program for this weekend and says it has clearance from DOH to resume normal school operations on Monday morning.
Mamaroneck Schools also recently imposed a new nightly cleaning regimen, ordering all school buildings closed at 6:30 each evening “to continue our heightened level of cleaning measures to keep our school facilities as sanitized and germ-free as possible.”
The new cleaning rules have impacted after-school activities including The Center for Continuing Education evening classes.
Local institutions are reacting in various ways. The Larchmont Library reports it has noticed a drop-off in foot traffic, and has postponed its annual Spelling Bee which had originally been scheduled for March 29th.
The YMCA in Rye also sent out a straightforward request Friday evening telling members “If your child or another member of your household attends a school or organization that has closed due to possible exposure to the coronavirus, please have all family members refrain from visiting the Y until that organization re-opens.”