Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, Apr. 28, 2020

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

Rosenthal, Kallos Spar with Levine over Reopening Beaches

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

Though City Council Health Committee Chair Mark Levine (D-Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights) has previously expressed his desire to open up city beaches for the summer with social distancing regulations, not all of his colleagues agree, the West Side Spirit reported Saturday.

Councilmember Helen Rosenthal (D-Upper West Side, Hell’s Kitchen, Central Park) feels that beaches should only open if public health officials give the green light.

“Safely opening the beaches depend on several variables, which are all tied to our general ability to manage the pandemic – among them are the status of treatment options for COVID-19, our ability to contact trace and isolate confirmed cases and even the availability of a vaccine,” she said.

Meanwhile, Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island, East Harlem) prefers deferring to Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) on the matter.

“We should stand with Governor Cuomo and the governors of six other states in the northeast in a coordinated re-opening as part of a unified plan,” he said. “I will continue to work responsibly towards re-opening in a way that is safe and doesn’t make things worse with overcrowding.”

Chin Condemns Reopening of LES Soccer Fields

Council Member Margaret Chin
Council Member Margaret Chin

Sara D. Roosevelt Park’s Nike Field and Lions Gate Park soccer fields will reopen this week under special hours after closing due to the lockdown, the Bowery Boogie reported Tuesday. 

The reopening comes amid community opposition to their closure during the lockdown. A spokesperson for Councilmember Margaret Chin (Chinatown, Financial District, Lower East Side) criticized the reopening.

“Unfortunately, during this health crisis, the issue of closing specific areas and courts in certain parks centered around more than just a few bad actors with a total disregard of social distancing,” they told the Boogie. “As a result, playgrounds, dog runs, handball courts, soccer and track fields, skate parks and many other basketball and tennis courts have been closed.”

Stringer to Educate Workers of Unclaimed Earnings

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) initiated a research campaign Monday to locate workers who are owed wages and help such workers get them through a phone bank, the Daily News reported Monday. 

According to Stringer, his campaign will help workers, many foreign-born, claim $2.5 million in unclaimed wages at a time when they may have difficulty accepting their checks. 

“It’s a phone call that I hope will fundamentally change the living conditions of so many hardworking New Yorkers,” said Stringer. “People who were fleeced, they were scammed and quite frankly they’re not expecting a call from us saying, ‘We got you, we got your back.’”