Brooklyn Boro

COVID-19 update: Cash for local care: Local hospitals to receive 99.8M from CARES act, says Velázquez

May 14, 2020 Editorial Staff
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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.

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez has announced that two local hospitals within New York’s 7th Congressional District are receiving federal funding from the CARES Act. The two local hospital groups, NYC Health and Hospitals Woodhull and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, will receive an aggregate of $99,779,000 to directly combat the COVID-19 pandemic. “These targeted grants, appropriated under the CARES Act, focus on specific hotspots of activity, servicing the areas that need it most,” said Velázquez, “I’m pleased to see these funds allocated for our hospitals to supply our doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals with the tools they need.”

A ban on pre-employment testing for marijuana usage took effect in New York City beginning this week, thanks to sponsorship by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. New York City employers will no longer be able to require a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of any tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the active ingredients in marijuana, as a condition of employment. “Particularly now, as we are grappling with how to recover from the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the worst levels of unemployment in a century, we need to be creating more access points for employment, not less- and if prospective employers aren’t testing for past alcohol usage, marijuana should be no different,” said Williams.

Brooklyn Arts Council launched two surveys in April 2020 to gain specific insight into how COVID-19 is impacting the local artists and creative organizations that support New York City’s $8.8 billion cultural sector. Now, the surveys’ results, which were compiled from the responses of 159 Brooklyn-based artists and 26 Brooklyn-based organizations, are available. The results show that city closures have resulted in a dire loss in revenue for these low-income, primarily gig workers. “This healthcare crisis transpired so quickly, yet Brooklyn’s artists have met the call to service with trademark swiftness and loyalty to the communities they enhance and enliven,” said Desirée Gordon, programs and strategy director at Brooklyn Arts Council.

Renowned actor and Brooklynite Jeffrey Wright’s Brooklyn for Life initiative has received its first corporate donation, which gives the initiative new life to expand its support for local restaurants, announcing meals to be purchased from places like Peppa’s, Putnam Pub and Yemen Café for hospital workers and first responders. The newly announced donation comes from AT&T and its sister company WarnerMedia. Brooklyn for Life currently provides 2,500 meals per day through a rotating partnership of over 50 restaurants to ten medical facilities and 11 FDNY EMS stations across the borough.

DeSales Media Group, the communications and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn, announced on Monday a NET-TV broadcast schedule of live weekday Masses. The schedule has expanded to include eight Masses, with the addition of Mass in Igbo, one of the major languages of Nigeria. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, NET-TV offered Masses in English, Italian, Spanish, Creole, Korean, Polish, and Mandarin. All Masses are broadcast from the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights. “We continue to pray for those who have fallen ill and who have perished from the Coronavirus, and for the brave doctors, nurses, law enforcement personnel, and caregivers on the front lines,” said Reverend Monsignor Kieran E. Harrington, president and chairman of DeSales Media Group and vicar of communications.

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