New Rochelle, Ground Zero For Covid-19 In Westchester, Closes All Schools

All schools in New Rochelle, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the Hudson Valley, will be closed until Thursday, March 26, officials announced.

<p>All New Rochelle schools are closed amid the coronavirus outbreak.</p>

All New Rochelle schools are closed amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

New Rochelle has been at the center of the outbreak after a 50-year-old attorney who lives in the North end of the city became the second New Yorker to test positive for COVID-19.

The virus quickly spread thereafter the attorney attended a bar mitzvah and wedding at an area church, which then transmitted to members of the congregation.

As of Thursday, March 12, coronavirus cases had spread to:

  • Westchester: 148 cases (27 new);
  • New York City: 95 cases (43 new);
  • Nassau: 41 cases (13 new);
  • Suffolk: 20 cases (14 new);
  • Rockland: Seven cases (one new);
  • Ulster: Four (three new);
  • Saratoga: Three (one new);
  • Albany: Two (two new);
  • Monroe: Two (two new);
  • Orange: Two (two new);
  • Broome: One (one new);
  • Delaware: One (one new);
  • Dutchess: One (one new);
  • Herkimer: One (one new).

Earlier this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that there would be a one-mile “containment zone” around the temple in New Rochelle, which barred any large gatherings. Among the buildings closed were The New Rochelle High School, Albert Leonard Middle School, and Ward Elementary schools.

On Thursday, March 12, New Rochelle Schools Superintendent Laura Feijóo announced that all schools will be closing districtwide. They are set to reopen on Thursday, March 26, the same period as the schools in the containment zone.

“Today, we received additional guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Education Department and we have been in active dialogue with a broad spectrum of state and local officials,” she said. “We have toured all of our open schools today and have received considerable meaningful feedback from our staff and students. I have also considered the thoughtful input of the Board of Education members, our building leaders, and my administrative cabinet.

“After carefully considering all of these important factors I have determined that the closure of all of our schools is the best course of action at this time. I am convinced that this decision will provide the appropriate federal, state and local authorities the time to develop the best short- and long-term plan for the (district). It will also give us the opportunity to best treat the impact this closure will have from an educational and operational perspective.”

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