National Guard Sent to NY Virus 'Containment Zone'

'This is literally a matter of life and death'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2020 6:33 AM CDT
Updated Mar 11, 2020 6:58 AM CDT
Troops Deployed to NY Virus 'Containment Zone'
Kirkland Fire and Rescue ambulance workers walk back to a vehicle after a patient was loaded into an ambulance, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash., near Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

National Guard troops are being deployed to a "containment zone" around the New York's most severe coronavirus outbreak—but authorities stress that no travel restrictions are being enforced in New Rochelle. Instead, authorities say the troops will help clean public spaces and deliver food to infected individuals, the BBC reports. The Westchester County community is believed to have more than 70 cases of coronavirus, around double the number in New York City. Schools, synagogues, and churches in the containment zone will be closed and large gatherings banned. "It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster in the country," says Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "And this is literally a matter of life and death." In other developments:

  • TSA screeners test positive. The Transportation Security Agency confirmed late Tuesday that three screeners in northern California have tested positive for the coronavirus, NPR reports. The TSA says the screeners, who all worked at San Jose International Airport, are receiving medial care and colleagues they came in contact with are in quarantine at home.

  • Health minister is sick. Authorities in Britain say junior health minister Nadine Dorries is in self-quarantine after being diagnosed with the virus, the Financial Times reports. Dorries, who says she is now "over the worst," has met numerous lawmakers in recent weeks, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • Washington state to restrict gatherings. Sources tell the Seattle Times that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee plans to announce restrictions on gatherings of more than 250 people, including concerts and sports events, in three Seattle-area counties.
  • Grim warning from Merkel. German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Wednesday that the virus could affect more than 70% of the population, the AP report. The country currently has more than 1,300 infections. She said the biggest priority is to slow down the spread of the virus, "so all the measures we are taking are of the greatest significance because they are giving us time—it does matter what we do, it is not in vain."
(More coronavirus stories.)

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