Coronavirus Update From Senator Stewart-Cousins

Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Dear Friend,

I continue to work closely with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office and receive updates from senior officials from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), New York State Office of Emergency Management, New York State Education Department (NYSED), and the Westchester County Department of Health regarding the spread of COVID-19 in Westchester County.

Here are updates regarding COVID-19:

The NYSDOH is currently reporting that there are 216 confirmed cases of coronavirus in NYS and 121 in Westchester County.

Last week, Governor Cuomo signed the bipartisan legislation that passed to provide $40 million to help state government address the coronavirus.

This past week, Governor Cuomo declared a State of Emergency. This will allow for increased hiring of personnel, expedited purchasing of cleaning supplies and testing equipment, and the power to address price gouging that many consumers have reported. If you know or suspect price gouging, you can report it by calling 1-800-697-1220.

On Tuesday, March 10, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a containment strategy for the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Westchester County by creating a containment zone of a 1-mile radius surrounding the epicenter of the spread of the virus for two weeks. Schools, community centers, houses of worship, daycare centers, and other large gathering facilities in the containment zone will be closed for two weeks and disinfected during that time. These entities are required to shut down between March 12 and March 25. There are no travel restrictions for residents or non-residents wishing to travel within or to the containment zone. The National Guard will be deployed to the containment zone to clean facilities and deliver food & supplies to quarantined residents.

The Governor’s office and NYSED have provided school districts with protocols regarding school closures and other coronavirus related guidelines. This information outlines when and how a school district should close and reopen, travel-related considerations, emergency plans, non-pharmaceutical interventions, how to provide for student needs during a closure, and more. More information can be found here. The NYSDOH also released guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting schools, available here.

The CDC has recently recommended that vulnerable populations, such as seniors and those with compromised immune systems, take special precautions to minimize their risks. Those recommendations can be found here.

We understand the uncertainty this is having on people who are forced to stay home and we will looking at way to address this uncertainty.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Westchester, and New York, I urge the public to stay informed and continue practicing preventative measures. I am working closely with Governor Cuomo, local government partners, school districts, and all others affected to ensure that the impact of the New Rochelle containment zone is as modest as possible to local community life. Be rest assured, my colleagues and I are staying on top of the situation, will continue taking aggressive action to work with health officials to stay up to date on new cases and keep the public informed.

To stay informed and updated you can visit the State Department of Health website or call 1-888-364-3065, a dedicated state hotline with information on travel and symptoms associated with COVID-19.


Andrea Stewart-Cousins
New York State Senator, 35 District
President Pro Tem, Majority Leader

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