Gounardes, Kim Renew Their Call to Pass Life-saving Nursing Home Legislation
State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D- Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park) and Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens), in advance of state legislative hearings to be held this month on tragic deaths of thousands of New Yorkers in nursing homes, renewed their call to pass life-saving state nursing home legislation which would mandate a significantly more active role in nursing home oversight from the State Department of Health (DOH.
1) Must maintain adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and daily record-keeping of their usage
2) Give timely and consistent communication with residents and their loved ones about any suspected or confirmed infections
3) Inform residents of alternative care options, such as home care, that they may pursue; if they opt for such alternatives, the DOH will allocate the appropriations needed to secure them
4) Ensure residents and loved ones can communicate at least three times daily
5) To transfer, with DOH support, any COVID-19 patients and find alternative options for those residents and their family members.
Furthermore, the bill requires all facilities to provide detailed daily reports to the state and local health departments on potential disease spread on their premises. For facilities that remain non-compliant, the State DOH Commissioner could appoint temporary operators, who would assume operational control and responsibility.
“Now is the time to pass true accountability measures for nursing homes and our state, so that no family ever again has to experience the horrors that countless families in New York experienced. My heart is with the families in southern Brooklyn who experienced losing a loved one in this terrible way. I look forward to hearings on what happened at nursing homes across the state, and believe that this legislation is a vital step forward to ensure that we protect nursing home residents in the future.” said Gounardes.
PA Williams: Cops & Community Groups Need to Work Together in Addressing Crime
Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, an outspoken advocate for police reform, yesterday issued the following statement after another spike in gun violence in the city this weekend, including the killing of a one-year-old child in Brooklyn.
“The violence and loss that our city has seen in the last several weeks, in the last several hours, is devastating and can leave us at a loss ourselves for how to respond and advance peace. I pray for the victims of this epidemic of gun violence, and for the families facing unimaginable pain in this moment, but I know that prayers alone are not sufficient without action,” said Williams.
“We cannot grow numb to the headlines on our screens or the violence in our streets. This cannot be considered normal, in our city or anywhere. It must shock us, and shock us into action that stems both the supply of guns into our communities and the many factors that lead to violence. To the people who say law enforcement is the only solution – you are wrong. To the people who say law enforcement has no role – you are wrong. We need to come together with increased commitment to the community-driven strategies we know can work and are essential to ending this senseless violence and heartbreaking loss,” he added.
Gillibrand Cosponsors Legislation Providing Resources For Senior Housing Facilities
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a member of the Senate Aging Committee, yesterday announced she cosponsored legislation to ensure senior housing facilities have the resources needed to keep older adults safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Emergency Housing Assistance for Older Adults Act would provide $1.2 billion for two critical Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing assistance programs for older adults to ensure that federally-assisted senior housing facilities can keep vulnerable older adults safely housed and protected during the pandemic.
“This pandemic has caused steep and unique barriers for older Americans, especially those living in federally-assisted housing,” said Gillibrand. “It is our job as public servants to protect our most vulnerable and we must ensure that low-income seniors are safely housed during this crisis. We must do more to protect our older adults, and that includes providing funding and resources to senior housing facilities that have struggled to access the desperately needed resources to combat COVID-19.”
The Emergency Housing Assistance for Older Adults Act of 2020 would provide $1.2 billion to the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly and Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance programs to ensure providers have the resources to keep senior residents in HUD-assisted housing safe. That includes $845 million for obtaining PPE, cleaning and disinfecting properties, hiring additional staff and providing rental assistance. The bill also includes:
- $50 million to install Wi-Fi services in senior housing communities
- $7 million to extend the Integrated Wellness in Supportive Housing (IWISH) program for one year
- $300 million to expand service coordination
Myrie Gives COVID Updates and Resources
State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) yesterday gave the following COVID-19 updates and related resources in his regular e-newsletter.
- NEW MILESTONES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE VIRUS: Our base rate of infections has continued to hover around 1 percent (specifically 1.08). In another good sign of progress, this past Saturday, hospitalizations fell below 800 patients in New York for the first time since March 18. We also saw the lowest death toll since March 16 yesterday, with seven losses. Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones over the past day and throughout this crisis.
- NEW YORK CITY SEES FIRST DAY WITHOUT A CORONAVIRUS DEATH: In another encouraging milestone this past Sunday, New York City marked its first day since March 11 without a single death of someone who had contracted COVID-19. The city’s first fatality following the virus occurred on March 11.
- STATE WILL REQUIRE CONTACT INFO FROM OUT-OF-STATE TRAVELERS: The governor issued an executive order requiring travelers to provide contact information to the state upon entry. Out-of-state visitors will be required to fill out forms upon arrival at airports to help crackdown on those who violate the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine.
- MAJORITY OF NEW YORKERS BELIEVE NY WILL SEE A SECOND WAVE — STAY VIGILANT! In a new Siena Poll, 62 percent of New Yorkers said they expected the worst of the pandemic is yet to come. We want to remind people that a resurgence of the virus is not inevitable. Many regions around the world have shown that it is possible to slow the spread of the virus through the widespread use of masks and precautions. If we continue to stay vigilant and take precautions, we will keep the spread down and save lives.
- CITY RELEASES NEW OUTREACH CAMPAIGN FOR YOUNG NEW YORKERS: Due to an increase in cases among New Yorkers ages 20-29, the mayor today announced a public outreach campaign geared towards younger New Yorkers, including additional mobile testing sites.
- LIVE IN SUNSET PARK? HELP GATHER DATA ON CLIMATE AND HEALTH: We encourage constituents to take the Climate & Community Health Vulnerability Assessment, a survey developed by UPROSE and members of the community which will help gather data on the intersection between climate and health. There are several existing underlying chronic health conditions in Sunset Park, a community which is made up of predominantly working class people of color. As sea level rises, the survey will collect data regarding experiences of residents when it comes to extreme weather events, heat, emergency preparedness, and other types of vulnerabilities especially under COVID-19. The results from the survey will help UPROSE advocate for the community and direct resources to vulnerable populations. The survey is confidential and about 10 minutes long. The survey is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic.