Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, Apr. 20, 2020

COVID-19 molecule
COVID-19 (Credit: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS)

Levine Wants to Reopen Beaches

Council Member Mark D. Levine
Council Member Mark D. Levine

City Council Health Chairman Mark Levine (D-Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights) expressed a desire to open city beaches during the summer Saturday, Patch reported. 

Levine proposed the idea fearing that the restrictions on many common summer activities amid the coronavirus pandemic would compel New Yorkers to beat the heat illegally.

“New Yorkers will likely have no access to summer camps, street fairs, and possibly even playgrounds,” said Levine.  “I am concerned that we are setting ourselves up for unsafe levels of lack of compliance with social distancing measures. We need to give New Yorkers a safety valve to get outside in the hot summer months. Beaches are the best place to do that.”

Stringer Calls for School Bus Funding Cuts

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) wrote to Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza Friday regarding the Department of Education’s (DOE) funding of school bus extensions after schools closed due to the coronavirus, the New York Post reported. 

Despite hefty cuts to the city’s education budget, the DOE could pay the bus companies as much as $700 million if they continue to fund them through June. 

“Given the extreme budgetary pressures faced by the City amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it would seem contrary to all sense of fiscal prudence that the City would continue to pay for services that can no longer be rendered for the remainder of the school year,” Stringer wrote. “Every dollar must be leveraged to respond to our current public health crisis and to offset other proposed cuts to city schools.”