MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Mar. 10, 2020

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De Blasio Provides Update on COVID-19 Situation

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: William Alatriste)
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Last Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) made a pubic update providing additional guidance on COVID-19.

Earlier that day, the City confirmed that the virus had reached the Bronx, bringing the overall infection rate to 13 people citywide. In light of the news, De Blasio advised New Yorkers – particularly those with compromised immune systems – to adjust their routines to cull the virus’s spread.

“As we continue to see community transmission between people who have no direct connection to travel to one of the affected countries, we are asking New Yorkers to adjust their routines to stem the spread of the virus where they can,” said de Blasio. “I cannot reiterate enough that if you feel sick, stay home; we need every New Yorker to do their part to keep their neighbors safe.”

Velázquez, Meng Lead Congressional Delegation in Calling for Feds to Combat Coronavirus

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Yesterday, a delegation of New York representatives, lead by U.S. Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) and Grace Meng (D-Queens), penned a letter to the CDC and FDA urging them to expand resources to combat the coronavirus.

In the letter, the representatives call on the agencies to expedite the approval of privately developed testing kits and authorize automated COVID-19 testing. The letter also asks how the CDC is coordinating with the CBP to to screen travelers arriving through New York airports.

“We write to express our concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 and urge for the expedited approval of expanding local testing to New York City,” reads the letter. “As our nation enters the next phase of its collective response to the COVID-19 outbreak, all levels of government must collaborate seamlessly to ensure that quick and expansive testing is readily available.”

Jackson, Biaggi Introduce Bill to Create Model School Wellness Policy

State Senator Robert Jackson
State Senator Robert Jackson

Yesterday, State Senators Robert Jackson (D-Washington Heights, Fort George, Inwood) and Alessandra Biaggi (D-Brooklyn) introduced a bill to create a first-of-its-kind model school wellness policy.

The WELL Campaign, a statewide coalition to prioritize New York students’ health, recently released research showing that most New York schools have wellness policies that fail to abide by federal guidelines. Jackson and Biaggi’s bill would create a universal standard for all of the State’s schools to follow.

“We have a duty to ensure a bright future for our young people, and we must do more so every school district has strong, comprehensive wellness policies and resources for its students,” said Jackson. “As a long-time parent advocate and as a state legislator, I believe supporting the health and well-being of our students in New York State is vital, especially in a time of federal cuts to SNAP benefits and a rising crisis of physical and mental health among our students. I’m excited to be a co-sponsor on legislation to make that a reality in New York,”

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