Brooklyn Boro

COVID-19 update: Public-private for PPE: Groups team up to produce 400,000 hospital gowns for front line workers

April 24, 2020 Editorial Staff

On the front lines of the war on COVID-19, there are many civilian heroes going out of their way, as volunteers and contributors. Also, many who are elected to serve are going the extra mile. In this column the Eagle hopes to give our readers an ongoing update on those fighting in the front lines.

As New York City’s health care heroes fight COVID-19 despite a shortage of personal protective equipment, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a public-private partnership with the White House, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and Owens-Minor, a healthcare logistics company, to provide New York City with one million square yards of American-made medical gown fabric. This supply will allow local New York City manufacturers to produce up to 400,000 hospital gowns for frontline health care workers. “Our healthcare workers are heroes on the front line – we must use every tool we’ve got to ensure their safety,” said de Blasio. “That means relying on New Yorkers’ resilience, ingenuity, and manufacturing prowess to create a self-sufficient supply of the resources they need to get through this crisis.”

Councilmember Farah N. Louis and Councilmember Mark Gjonaj have introduced a food safety bill that would require third-party food delivery services and food service establishments to display their sanitary inspection letter grades online. “With more customers ordering online or through mobile apps, food safety must always remain a top priority,” said Councilmember Farah N. Louis. “We cannot continue this two-tier system that creates a loophole for eateries, endangers public health, while depriving paying customers of critical safety information to protect themselves.”

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Global street band festival and arts organization HONK NYC! has teamed up with Frank London of The Klezmatics and Hajnal Pivnick and Dorian Wallace of Tenth Intervention for a citywide musical outburst called “For Our Courageous Workers.” The interactive event will take place on Wednesday, April 29 as an elevated addition to the now-familiar 7:00 pm cheer honoring front line workers. London, Pivnick and Wallace have composed a new symphonic fanfare designed to be both elegant, carry sonically across long distances and yet remain simple enough that musicians of all ages are able to join in. “Our goal is to have over a thousand participants joining in from the safety of their homes, rooftops and windows,” said London. The schedule and sheet music for the event can be found here.

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens will host a pop-up food distribution event in East New York at St. Michael – St. Malachy Parish on Friday, April 24th from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for neighbors in need impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The group will provide families and individuals with bags of food and will also provide access to additional assistance, information, and resources, including outreach material encouraging an already undercounted neighborhood to participate and self-respond to the 2020 Census. Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens is currently providing over 100,000 meals at its food pantries.

A number of reports indicate that staffers lack the necessary personal protective equipment to do their jobs in a safe and effective manner, endangering both themselves and nursing home residents. Borough President Eric Adams joined Councilmember Robert Cornegy and family members of nursing home residents to deliver 1,000 pieces of emergency supplies, including face coverings and protective gear, to the Crown Heights Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation as part of a broader initiative to distribute personal protective equipment to nursing homes throughout Brooklyn.

Amid the ongoing pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced the State Department of Health is partnering with Attorney General Letitia James to investigate nursing homes who violate Executive Orders requiring these facilities to communicate COVID-19 test results and deaths to residents’ families. DOH will inspect facilities that have not complied with these directives, and if DOH determines that the facilities failed to comply with the directives and guidance, DOH will immediately require the facility to submit an action plan.


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