Queens restaurant loses liquor license for ignoring governor’s COVID-19 orders
The New Oriental Guyana Restaurant in South Richmond Hill got its liquor license suspended on Friday by the State Liquor Authority for failing to comply with New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order on eateries due to COVID-19.
Cuomo announced last week that all non-essential operations, such as restaurants, bars and gyms, will close starting March 16. Places that serve food, like New Oriental Guyana, are allowed to do take out and delivery orders only.
The Liberty Avenue restaurant disregarded this, however, and, after shutting its front doors, allowed customers in through the side door.
When members of the New York Police Department arrived at the restaurant, there had been around 40 patrons eating and drinking inside, not adhering to the new standard of social distancing that has arisen from the virus.
“These directives are not helpful hints, they are not suggestions, they are mandatory and SLA will not hesitate to take immediate action to protect the public health and safety against the spread of the coronavirus,” SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley said in a statement.
The NYPD has been checking restaurants and bars to make sure that they’re either closed or only open for take out or delivery. When the agents arrived and told the restaurant to disperse the crowd, the owners refused to do so.
They have been charged with failure to comply with a state executive order and failing to supervise their premises. Bradley said New Oriental Guyana was “operating in flagrant violation of the Governor’s Executive Order to cease on-premises sales of food and alcoholic beverages to combat the spread of the coronavirus.”
The SLA immediately suspended the store’s liquor license and may permanently revoke it.
Another Queens hospital opens up COVID-19 testing site
Queens General Hospital, now called NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, has opened up a new COVID-19 testing site just as Elmhurst Hospital Center, now NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, did recently.
The site is housed outdoors in blue tents set up right outside the hospital and is run by the Health + Hospitals Corporation. It is by appointment only, so those who would like to get tested are encouraged to call and make an appointment in advance.
This is especially true for patients who are experiencing and symptoms of the virus, whether moderate or severe, and for the elderly or people with pre-existing conditions. The phone number to make an appointment is 1-844-NYC-4NYC.
According to an article from Queens Courier, “Those Queens residents with mild illnesses, who are not above the age of 50 or have underlying health conditions, should continue to stay home, practice social distancing, and consult their healthcare provider if their symptoms do not subside in 3 to 4 days.”
Once a patient comes in for their appointment, they will first have a consultation with a primary care physician to establish their medical history and then will be able to take their test.
The testing sites at Queens General and Elmhurst are just two of the 21 new coronavirus testing sites across New York City.
Queens Chamber of Commerce opens up new take-out and delivery website
The Queens Chamber of Commerce started up a new website, QueensBest.org, on Friday that tracks all restaurants, pizzerias, cafes, bars and ice cream shops in the borough to make ordering in a little easier.
During a time when people are being told that they can’t leave their houses and restaurants are being forced to close down except for delivery and take-out, QueensBest is aimed at simplifying the process of finding a place to eat.
“There are many great things about Queens, but the cuisine is probably the best,” Queens Tourism Council director Rob MacKay said. “This publication is fantastic. It provides tremendous information at a time when people need to dine out and restaurants need the business.”
The site lists restaurants by neighborhood — so far it includes Bayside, Sunnyside, Jamaica, Jackson Heights, Astoria and Flushing — and gives the phone number and hours of operation for each listing.
The chamber created the site as a way to help the local eatery businesses of the borough hold on to income during the COVID-19 pandemic, since many local businesses are being harmed by the situation.
“Queens has the most vibrant restaurant scene in the world, and we don’t yet know the true extent to which the coronavirus outbreak will impact them. What we do know is that you can continue to support small businesses and enjoy a great meal in the comfort of your home by ordering takeout or delivery,” Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Grech said. “QueensBest.org will make it easy for you to find the best food that our borough has to offer, and support our hard-working neighbors during a challenging time.”
Queens elementary school confirmed to have at least one student case of COVID-19
Jackson Heights elementary school P.S. 212 School of CyberScience and Literacy has just announced its first confirmed case of coronavirus among students on Friday.
“P.S. 212 received notification about a self-confirmed case of a student yesterday afternoon, and notified teachers, called every member of the child’s class, and sent a letter to the school community,” the Department of Education said in a statement. “The city’s Health Department is now urging everyone to act as if we are all exposed, and all of our school buildings are being deep cleaned and disinfected daily.”
The student had not been in the school building for a week before his or her parent contacted the school on Thursday. School officials said that the building is undergoing sanitization daily.
P.S. 212, which offers classes for grades pre-kindergarten through fifth and special education, has 767 children enrolled, some of which may have come into contact with the sick student.
The school is no longer participating in the free grab and go meals program that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced would commence in public schools for the beginning of the remote learning period. P.S. 212’s website lists other local schools that students can get their lunches at.
“Please note that according to the NYC Department of Health, there is now a widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in New York City, meaning the sources of new infections are unknown. Everyone in New York City should act as if they have been exposed to COVID-19. That means monitoring your health closely and staying home if you are sick. New Yorkers who are not sick should also stay home as much as possible and avoid all unnecessary social interactions,” Carin Ellis, the school’s principal said in an announcement on the website. “Nothing matters more than the health and safety of our staff and students and we are committed to keeping our school community fully informed.”