Queens College sociology professor Samuel Heilman used the term to describe his quarantine experience--which is expected to last until March 14th--during an interview on “America's Newsroom” on Wednesday, the day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the “containment zone” had a radius of one mile surrounding a so-called “hot spot” of COVID-19 cases.
“They call itself quarantine, but it really is a kind of house arrest because we were told not to go out of the house,” Heilman said.
The “containment zone” in New Rochelle, which is north of Manhattan, will be closed for two weeks beginning Thursday in an effort to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.
Schools and facilities, including some businesses such as “large gathering places” or those that “bring large quantities of people together,” will close for two weeks as officials work to sanitize the area, officials said. Cuomo added that the National Guard would be assisting the sanitation efforts and Northwell Health was setting up a satellite testing facility in the area.
People living there, however, would be able to come and go as needed, Cuomo said.
“New Rochelle at this point is probably the largest cluster in the U.S. of these cases,” he said on Tuesday, while announcing 10 new cases in the area, bringing the total to 108. “It’s a significant issue for us.”
Heilman said on Wednesday that the decision to quarantine was imposed upon him.
“We can't really leave,” he said. “The idea of leaving is just not in the cards for us. We know we're not supposed to leave.”
Heilman, who is over 70 years old, added that he is staying at home until he is tested and is waiting to hear back from the Health Department as to when that test will take place.
He said so far he thinks he is “pretty healthy.”
When asked if he has enough food to last the next couple of weeks, Heilman said, “We did have some provisions at home.”
“We’ve had some friends from outside the community who are not quarantined drop things off for us,” he continued. “The worst of all the things that happened is that yesterday our hot water tank broke and even though the health department told me that it was possible to have a plumber come in for the emergency, no plumber wants to come anywhere near our house as long as we're in this kind of a quarantine.”
Fox News’ Alexandria Hein and Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.