New York State established the yellow COVID zone in parts of New Rochelle and in several other Westchester County communities. New Rochelle's zone covers about half of the 10801 zip code and a portion of the 10805 zip code.
Within the yellow zone, restaurant dining is limited to four people per table, houses of worship are limited to 50% capacity, and non-residential gatherings are restricted to a maximum of 25 people.
Gatherings at private homes are already limited to a maximum of 10 people state-wide.
Related: New York adds micro-cluster zones, but COVID positivity rate drops
New Rochelle schools stopped in-person instruction and will go fully remote effective Friday until at least December 3.
"New Rochelle has faced this challenge before," Mayor Noam Bramson said. "We will face it again with determination, calm, and respect for all of our neighbors."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that the overall positivity rate in the Mid-Hudson region is 3.8%, but there are some higher areas within the region.
The state's micro-cluster zone strategy is meant to implement targeted restrictions to minimize the overall impact on the economy, and Cuomo said it also serves as a warning sign for communities.
"New Rochelle is a yellow zone" he said. "To the people in New Rochelle, I'm not saying there's a problem in Essex, I'm not saying there's a problem in Suffolk, I'm saying there's a problem in your backyard in New Rochelle. So I hope that gets your attention because it's your community, it's your block, and this is personal to you. And I think that helps get people's attention."
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Despite these concerning developments, the state overall moved in a positive direction in terms of its COVID-19 positivity rate.
Cuomo said the statewide daily positivity rate was 2.7%, down from 3.4% the day before.
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