New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that his state will lock down part of a New York City suburb, including deploying National Guard troops to the area, to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

The state has established a "containment area" with a roughly 1.6-kilometer radius where schools, churches and other facilities for large gatherings will be closed from Thursday through March 25. Public gatherings are to be suspended, though locals not under quarantine will reportedly be free to travel outside the area.


"New Rochelle at this point is probably the largest cluster in the United States of these cases," Cuomo said at a press conference. "The numbers are going up unabated, and we do need a special public health strategy" for the area.

The governor, who has already declared a state of emergency for New York amid growing fear over the coronavirus, confirmed 31 new infections, bringing the state's total to 173. There are 108 cases in Westchester County, which includes New Rochelle.

Fourteen of the people in New York who have tested positive are currently hospitalized, while the remainder are recovering from flu-like symptoms at home, Cuomo said.

As part of the extraordinary measures to contain the virus in the affected region, National Guard troops will help deliver food to homes and sanitize public spaces.

The city of New Rochelle is a New York suburb where many Japanese families live and commute to Manhattan.

According to CNN, there are around 850 reported cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, resulting in at least 29 deaths.