COVID-19 Update 04/23/2020

Brooklyn to get two new free coronavirus testing sites for NYCHA residents

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced yesterday that the city will be opening up two more COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, testing sites for New York City Housing Authority Association residents in Brooklyn.

Members from the city’s public hospital system, NYC Health + Hospitals, Inc., will perform free walk-in tests at the Cumberland Health Center in Fort Greene beginning tomorrow and at the Jonathan William Houses in Williamsburg sometime next week.

The goal is to target low-income members of the community, expressly those living on a NYCHA facility, and get them tested. This population of the city has been hard hit by the virus.

“One of the groups of New Yorkers who we’re most concerned [with] right now, who are bearing a lot of the brunt and have borne the brunt even before this crisis, is our public housing residents,” de Blasio said yesterday at his daily press briefing. “We need to go there and help people more because it’s the morally right thing. It’s also crucial to any strategy to drive back this disease overall, to go where it’s having the biggest impact and cut it off in every way we can.”

Additionally, the city will be opening up more walk-in coronavirus testing sites across the five boroughs, including in the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens.

Read more about this in this article: Brooklyn Paper

Coney Island Hospital staff member dies of coronavirus

Coney Island Hospital:
credit: Jim Henderson, Wikimedia Commons

A Coney Island Hospital physician’s assistant died of coronavirus on April 10 after a two-week long battle with the virus.

Alex Bass was 52 years old and died after seeking treatment at a Staten Island hospital. He had a fever for several days and eventually was put on a ventilator while at the hospital.

At one point he had seemed to be showing signs of improvement, only to decline in health once again before ultimately dying.

Known as a funny and kind man, Bass moved to the United States in 1993 from his home country of Ukraine and attended New York City’s public university system, going to both Hunter College and Touro College.

“If you ever called Coney Island Hospital and asked for Alex Bass, everyone knew who he was,” Bass’ close friend Lenny Gets said. “He was a 100-percent positive person.”

His friends and coworkers described him as a generous person, well-known and overall a very agreeable and happy person.

“He had this amazing, open, cheerful personality,” said Alex Beylinson, a close friend of Bass. “He was always laughing and smiling and had a million jokes to tell … Everyone loved him.”

Bass is survived by his wife of 20 years, his 19-year-old daughter and his 17-year-old son.

Read more about this in this article: Brooklyn Paper

Queens doctor makes house visits free of charge to help overcrowded hospitals

Doctor: credit: Pxhere

A queens doctor is taking it upon himself to help the people in his community outside of his work time by making house calls to sick community members.

Dr. Ferdous Khandker has been visiting patients at home because the hospitals have been so overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The emergency rooms cannot handle it,” he said. “I did my part to keep one more patient in their home so [the] emergency room is not bombarded.”

So far, he has made around 60 of these home visits — which he does not request payment for. The doctor said that he works about 18 hours a day, seven days a week.

“This is a humanitarian call,” he said.

On top of all this, he is beginning to provide undocumented members of his community with groceries and gift cards, all at his own expense.

Read more about this in this article: Pix11 News

Queens Trader Joe’s employee calls out store for poor management in wake of coronavirus

Trader Joe’s: credit: Krista, Flickr

A Queens Trader Joe’s is said to be poorly handling the coronavirus pandemic for its workers, according to an employee.

The employee, who requested anonymity from AM New York for the sake of not losing their job, said that the staff’s “captain” sent them a vague email on April 15 about the existence of a positive case among their staff.

According to this employee, there are around five staff members who are confirmed to have the virus, and yet the email did not indicate exact dates that each of the sick employees had last been in the building, nor did it say that they were going to close the store for sanitation.

“They’re just not giving a real time frame for these cases,” the employee said. “They should have told us these things when they happened. We’re all adults. If things are bad, we all have thick skin and we’ll deal with it. If someone’s sick, tell us they’re sick.”

Additionally, the store was not clear on when it would be closing for its “full cleaning” prior to the April 15 email, with workers finding out that their store would be closed from Google in one instance.

“It’s unfortunate to hear. [Trader] Joe’s hasn’t been proactive; they’ve been reactive,” the employe said. “It’s dangerous for everyone who works there and for our customers. They’re putting people’s lives at risk.”

Read more about this in this article: AM New York

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