COVID-19 Brooklyn Update 03/30/2020

Interfaith Medical Center adapts to growing influx of patients and deaths

In a message from Interfaith Medical Center’s Director of Emergency Medical Services, Jack Finkelstein, the hospital announced two new outdoor additions to its facilities that it will be implementing to help handle the increase in patients due to COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus.

The hospital, 1545 Atlantic Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, has set up a red tent near the walk-in entrance for the emergency room, which borders Herkimer Street, where incoming patients will be screened and triaged.

In the past few days, the call volume for the 911 EMS has increased from 4,000 to over 6,500 calls for assistance. This forward screening/triage will help with the increased volume of patients seeking medical care,” Finkelstein wrote. “In addition, we have plans for a second larger tent to be placed on the Atlantic Avenue side of the Dental Clinic ‘E’ building when the surge of patients become even greater.”

Community Board 3 District Manager Henry Butler delivers groceries to seniors living in Bedford-Stuyvesant NYCHA developments. Contributed photo.

Coronavirus tests will not be conducted in this tent, but it will serve as an extra barrier for social distancing to keep people further apart and further from the already-admitted patients.

Both clinical and non-clinical staff will work in the tent, and it will have space heaters, lights and seats to make it slightly more comfortable.

This pandemic is forcing all hospitals to put in place measures that we would prefer not to do. As Jack said, we are doing everything we can do to reduce the impact on our neighbors,” Interfaith MC President Laray Brown wrote in the update. “Our neighbors must also be told that IMC staff are working heroically to safely serve all patients and save lives.”

In addition to the red tent for screening, the hospital is also setting up a trailer in the ambulance bay near the dental clinic to house the bodies of dead patients, sort of like as an extension to the morgue, which has already been filled to capacity.

It can hold up to 44 decedents and will be powered by electricity rather than diesel to reduce the amount of fumes and noise.

“During this global emergency, the staff at IMC are very dedicated to the patients they serve, and we are doing everything possible to accommodate everyone as best we can during this very trying time,” Finkelstein wrote in the close of his update.

Also in Bedford-Stuyvesant over the weekend Community Board 3 District Manager Henry Butler arranged and delivered free groceries to NYCHA Seniors and free boxed lunches to the Interfaith Hospital Staff. City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) provided the groceries and the local restaurant, Cheri’s Bed-Stuy, provided the boxed lunches. 

Elderly Williamsburg woman killed over failing to social distance

The Sunshine Community Garden. Credit: GrowNYC

An 86-year old woman died after being assaulted by another woman for not “social distancing” for coronavirus while both were patients at Woodhull Hospital in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Saturday.

Janie Marshall died around four hours after assailant Cassandra Lundy, 32, hit her hard in the head and she fell to the ground.

Marshall — who had been at the hospital for a bowel blockage — had apparently held onto a metal pole near the bed where Lundy — who was admitted for a seizure — was sitting and Lundy lashed out at her for getting too close.

No one saw the incident first hand, but it was picked up on the hallway’s security camera and Lundy has been issued a disorderly conduct summons.

Marshall had been a beloved member of the community and was one of the founders of the Sunshine Community Garden, one of her neighborhood’s first community gardens, according to Community Board One Chairperson Dealice Fuller.

“It’s sad,” Fuller told The New York Daily News. “Something like that happens and you’d like the world to know that somebody contributed something.”

Read more about this in this article: The New York Daily News

Diocese of Brooklyn priest dies of coronavirus

Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay. Uncredited photo.

Wyckoff Heights’ St. Brigid’s Church’s priest Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay has become the United States’ first Roman Catholic priest to die of coronavirus. 

Ortiz-Garay, 49, died Friday at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. He was originally born in Mexico City in 1970 and became a priest in 2004.

St. Brigid’s Church is a part of the Diocese of Brooklyn that represents a large number of Catholic churches in Brooklyn and Queens, many of which have had coronavirus cases and even deaths. He joined the diocese in 2009.

“We mourn the passing of our own father Jorge, we pray for the intercession of the lady of Guadalupe for him and for his family at this time and for all that we may surpass and conquer this terrible virus,” Bishop of Brooklyn Nicholas DiMarzio said.

He leaves behind parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, and a convent that will dearly miss him.

“I feel so sorry and I pray to god to receive him in his open arms. I have so much to say to him but unfortunately, we lost,” parishioner Blanca Pena said.

Read more about this in this article: New York 1

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