Gounardes, Bruno weigh in COVID uptick in senate district

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As COVID hotspots are cropping up all over Brooklyn, KCP asked State Senator Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park) and Republican candidate in the 22nd senatorial race, Vito Bruno, to voice their opinions about the resurgent zip codes and surrounding neighborhoods that overlap with their district. 

Mayor Bill De Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have publicly gone back and forth on the issue of shutting down zip codes, nonessential businesses, and public and private schools since last week. 

Cuomo today called for stronger enforcement in which all religious institutions, non-essential businesses and schools in part of the senate district will be shuttered effective Friday to curb the uptick in positive cases in Southern Brooklyn. 

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes
Vito Bruno
Vito Bruno

Both candidates seemingly agreed that the city and state need to come together to battle the COVID crisis.

“Families and communities should be presented with a final plan, not a back-and-forth between the city and the state. That is needlessly confusing and frankly unacceptable,” said Gounardes.

“Mayor de Blasio is playing politics with the lives of thousands of families in South Brooklyn,” said Bruno. “New York City leads, not only the country but, the entire world in the length of school closures. 

Bruno emphasized that schools that don’t have COVID-19 cases should not be shut down at all.

Bruno said public officials need to put the best interests of children, parents, and teachers first, citing that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has reported on the importance of in person learning

“Denying these kids a proper education is terrible,” said Bruno. He quoted the AAP saying that “lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits.”

Gounardes also noted that any shutdowns should only take place in the hotspot areas. “We need to act decisively to contain the virus, while schools and businesses that may overlap by zip code but are not revealed to be in hotspot areas must remain open,” said Gounardes. 

“I’ve continued to do heavy outreach to encourage people to wear a mask, social distance and follow science, including handing out thousands of masks. I am also working with the Governor’s office to get more granular information on where these outbreaks are occurring as zip codes are not a precise measurement at all,” said Gounardes.