COVID-19 update: Frontline meals: Restaurant owner makes deliveries to hospitals and senior living facilities
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.
Restaurant owner Barbara Sibley of La Palapa is delivering meals to frontline workers and those in need. Sibley’s La Palapa has already donated over 3,100 meals and now is following an ambitious Monday-Thursday schedule of daily donations, including deliveries to The Brooklyn Hospital Center and the senior living facilities Redwood Senior Living and The Domenech in East New York and Brownsville. These meals are purchased by the Gotham Organization and then donated to the aforementioned organizations, as well as to health workers at Manhattan hospitals, police officers and doormen.
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Lorelei Salas on Tuesday announced that the agency is now offering remote, free tax prep services with NYC Free Tax Prep. New Yorkers who earned $64,000 or less in 2019 are eligible for virtual free tax preparation with a certified preparer, and New Yorkers who earned $69,000 or less in 2019 are eligible for free assisted self-preparation. “With many New Yorkers experiencing significant financial hardships due to COVID-19, we want to help ease that stress and frustration by offering our trusted and professional tax prep services virtually so that all eligible New Yorkers can continue to file safely and for free—and to claim their vital stimulus payments,” said Salas.
U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez has introduced legislation that would make the $600 weekly benefit provided in the CARES Act tax free. In April, Congress created the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit, which provides an extra $600 a week for any worker who is eligible for state or federal unemployment compensation benefits. Under Velázquez’s Excluding Pandemic Unemployment Compensation from Income Act, laid off workers would not count the $600 payments as taxable income. “This legislation will protect New York’s working families from paying tax on this assistance or facing an additional tax burden if the economy picks back up and they are able to return to work,” Velázquez said.
The MTA on Monday detailed its unprecedented 24/7 cleaning operation and new MTA Essential Plan Night Service during the upcoming subway closure from 1:00-5:00 am, which began on Wednesday. The new cleaning and disinfecting regimen marks the most aggressive in the MTA’s history. “Overnight closure of the subway will allow us to take our cleaning operation to a never-before-seen level, said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. “We will more aggressively and efficiently disinfect our full fleet of rolling stock every single day.”
United University Professions, America’s largest higher education union, delivered 25,000 medical isolation gowns and 5,000 pairs of disposable medical gloves to UUP’s frontline providers at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University on Tuesday. The personal protective equipment, which is necessary to protect doctors, nurses, and other essential medical professionals from exposure to the coronavirus, was delivered to UUP members at the hospital’s main entrance.
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