One of the nation's original COVID-19 hot spots could be a model for the rest of the U.S.

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Richard Wolff wanted to get his oven fixed as he and his family stayed in quarantine in New Rochelle after two of them tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month.

He couldn't get the supply company do it, saying they can't come because the city is part of the containment area due to a surge in positive cases there in early March.

"At this time we are not servicing the New Rochelle area due to the COVID-19 virus," the appliance company wrote him.

"This decision was based on the health and safety of our technicians. If you would like to be added to the list of customers who we will call once your area is cleared, we would be happy to add you."

The containment area requirement — which banned large gathering and closed schools and houses of worship before a statewide edict took similar measures last week — started March 12 and ended Wednesday.

During that span, New Rochelle had to address the stigma of being one of the original hot spots in the nation for coronavirus after a congregant at a local synagogue was infected and spread it at least 100 fellow members.

But city officials and residents don't expect that reputation to last now that locations throughout the country, most notably New York City, are battling to slow down COVID-19.

In fact, the city might be a model for the rest of the nation.

Residents adhered to the restrictions and most have gotten better, and there have been no deaths there. Even the local attorney who was gravely ill after being the first resident to contract the virus is getting better after weeks in the hospital.

Some residents who tested positive are now part of a state effort to determine if the antibodies in their blood can help others who contracted the virus or help in efforts to find a vaccine.

"New Rochelle is probably the safest place to be right now," Wolff said.

Most of New Rochelle, about 20 miles north of midtown Manhattan with a population of 79,000, had been on lockdown before the virus spread to most other parts of the state and is a week or two ahead of other areas in limiting the number of cases.

What Wolff dealt with has been the predicament of many other residents, Mayor Noam Bramson said. He encouraged residents to contact Westchester County consumer affairs to lodge a report if they are unfairly treated.

Bramson said the only distinction New Rochelle holds is its fight against the coronavirus came earlier than other cities around the country. Now the entire state is basically on lockdown as all non-essential businesses have closed, as have all schools.

"I think the story out of New Rochelle is we proved ourselves to be a strong and resilient city capable of meeting and overcoming difficult challenges,"' Bramson said.

When the containment zone was set up, many people didn't understand what it meant.

Bramson said small businesses in the region and national companies had the wrong impression that the zone was excluding people from coming into it, even as schools were closed.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo conceded in a news conference last week he could've articulated the plan for part of the city better.

"My containment plan in New Rochelle didn't contain anyone, it was a bad word," Cuomo said on March 19. "It meant to contain the virus. You could come and go in New Rochelle."

On Wednesday, though, Cuomo said the effort slowed the growth of the virus in the area — even as the number of cases grow in the state and in Westchester as more testing is underway.

New Rochelle had about 180 positive cases after quarantining about 1,000 people in early March.

The number of positive cases statewide hit more than 30,000 on Wednesday, including nearly 4,700 in Westchester.

"Relatively in Westchester, we have slowed what was an exponential increase," Cuomo said Wednesday.

"That was the hottest cluster in the United States of America. We closed the schools, we closed gatherings, we brought in testing, and we have dramatically slowed the increase.”

When the containment zone was first implemented on March 12, residents were split on the action was appropriate.

Rabbi Howard Goldsmith, a New Rochelle resident, said the containment zone was ill advised because it was “arbitrarily based on geography” rather than focused on the community that was impacted.

He said he was thrilled when a comprehensive plan was put in place that focused on the entire city only a couple days later.

“We’re going to gain the reputation for working very well together as a community to address an emergency situation,” he said.