COVID-19 Update 05/13/2020

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Cuomo says that nursing home staff who refuse coronavirus tests “shouldn’t work” there

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his daily press briefing yesterday that nursing home workers who refuse COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, tests “shouldn’t work” there.

Cuomo announced on Sunday that he would be signing an executive order that would require nursing homes to test all of their staff members twice a week for the coronavirus.

“Oh, that’s a problem. If the nursing home agrees, and the local government agrees and we do have the tests and the nursing home staff person just doesn’t want to take the test? Even though it’s available? Uh, I’d have to check with the lawyers,” Cuomo said. “But I would say, with counsel’s opinion: then a person shouldn’t work in a nursing home. We can’t make you take a test, but you don’t have a right to work in a nursing home either and if the test is available, and you can take the test and there’s no cost to you to take the test, why wouldn’t you take the test?”

Additionally, staff members who test positive for the virus have to go on a 14-day quarantine before being able to return to work at the home, after it came out that the state was allowing asymptomatic but positive testing staff members to work at the nursing homes.

“If you don’t want to take a test, why would we let you work in a nursing home and possibly endanger a very vulnerable population?” Cuomo said.

Read more about this in this article: The New York Post

De Blasio Supports bill capping food delivery fees 

Delivery. Credit: Wallpaper Flare

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he is in support of the City Council’s proposed bill to set a cap on delivery fees for restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic yesterday at his daily press briefing.

This would make it so that third party delivery services, like Seamless and Grubhub, wouldn’t be able to charge restaurants extremely high fees for delivery during a time when delivery is pretty much their only business option.

“I do support that legislation,” de Blasio said. “We want to make sure people are treated fairly and [NYC City Council] saw something that wasn’t fair to everyday people going through so much. I think it’s smart legislation so I will support it.”

The City Council virtually discussed their proposed bill back on April 29, and if passed it would limit the companies to charging up to 5 percent for orders submitted through the platforms, and up to 15 percent for delivery fulfillment.

They would receive a $1,000 fine for each restaurant for each day that they’re overcharging fees.

Read more about this in this article: Eater New York.

Brooklyn family to sue two funeral homes that mishandled their loved one

Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home jn Flatlands, Brooklyn. Credit Screenshot from a Video

A Brooklyn family plans to sue two funeral homes in the borough after the body of their dead loved one who died of coronavirus was stacked up with around 99 other bodies at a funeral home they weren’t even using.

The family of Angela Rodriguez said that her body was found stacked in a pile of 100 bodies at the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home last month.

Possibly more confusing than the mishandling of the bodies — the family doesn’t even know how Rodriguez ended up there.

They had made arrangements with the Dekalb Funeral Services to have her cremated back in March, so it is unclear how their loved one ended up in a different place.

The lawsuit says that both of the funeral homes engaged in a breach of duty and deceptive trade practices.

“What we want are answers, who did what, when, why,”  Kathryn Barnett, the family’s attorney, said. “Angela Rodriguez was a living, breathing human, she wasn’t just some piece of trash that could be discarded because she had passed away.”

Read more about this in this article: Eyewitness News

Queens Boulevard’s years-long redesign stalled, yet again, due to coronavirus

Queens Boulevard and Yellowstone Boulevard: credit: DoomDan515, Wikimedia Commons

The final phase of the Queens Boulevard redesign has been stalled yet again due to the coronavirus crisis, New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said yesterday.

The project, which would redesign the 1.2-mile stretch of the boulevard between Yellowstone Boulevard and Union Turnpike in Forest Hills to increase street safety, has been delayed before.

Work on the project was set to resume this summer, but Trottenberg explained that this will not be possible due to the virus, as it would require sign-offs from the Federal Highway Administration and the state’s Department of Transportation.

“There were some things we were trying to wrap up with that project before corona’ hit with a design firm and state overseers,” Trottenberg said.

The project has been going on for a few years now and is meant to increase safety on the “boulevard of death,” as it came to be called because of all of the crashes that have happened there.

“DOT remains committed to the Queens Boulevard redesign, and hopes to be able to implement the project starting later this year,” an agency spokesperson wrote in a statement.

Read more about this in this article: Patch.

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