Mayor and Governor squabble over NYC schools Closure Issue
At his Saturday press conference, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he will be keeping all New York City public schools closed for the remainder of the school year due to COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, and that they will reopen in September.
Schools were planned to open again on April 20 in the city and April 15 in the rest of the state, but as those dates have been approaching and the number of cases and deaths in the state are still so high, people have been wondering if the closures would be extended.
“It’s not an easy decision but it’s the right decision,” he said. “It clearly will help us save lives.”
However, not even three full hours after de Blasio made this announcement, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said that that is not the mayor’s decision to make.
“He didn’t close them, and he can’t reopen,” Cuomo said.
The governor said that he wants to coordinate the decision on reopening or keeping closed schools with neighboring states and school districts before doing anything.
“The Governor’s reaction to us keeping schools closed is reminiscent of how he reacted when the Mayor called for a shelter in place. We were right then and we’re right now,” said Mayoral Press Secretary Freddi Goldstein about the conflict. “Schools will remain closed, just like how we eventually — days later — moved to a shelter in place model.”
Read more about this in this article: NBC News
DSNY suffers first loss of a sanitation worker in Queens
Queens’ Raymond Copeland is the first New York Department of Sanitation worker to die of COVID-19 at the age of 46 on April 5.
“We mourn the passing of Sanitation Worker Raymond Copeland of Queens 12, who passed away of complications from COVID-19,” New York City Sanitation wrote in a Tweet. “He is our first employee to lose his life to this disease that has taken so many of our fellow New Yorkers. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Copeland — who is survived by his girlfriend, three children and two grandchildren — had first joined the department in 2014 and worked in the agency’s Queens East 12 Division, which is in the southeast of the borough.
“We are all mourning his passing, but please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers,” Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said. “I look forward to a time when we can come together to mourn and remember him.”
Members of the DSNY, led by Copeland’s coworker Salvatore Gomez, put together a GoFundMe page for the deceased’s family, and it has raised around $7,000 so far.
“He was part of our dysfunctional but loving family, from cracking jokes, to partying or even, the occasional heartfelt discussions about family or the job,” Gomez wrote in the page’s description.
Queens mother of twins dies in the hospital she worked at
A worker from Long Island Jewish Hospital in Forest Hills and mother of eight-year-old twins has died of coronavirus at the hospital for which she worked.
Prea Nankieshore, 34, registered patients for the hospital’s emergency department and, according to her finance Marcus Khan, she insisted in continuing to work even as the situation with the virus worsened.
“She said, “I can’t leave the hospital understaffed. They’re already flooded with patients. Doctors are working hard, and I can’t leave them like that. I have to do my part,’” he said.
The 34-year old worked the night shift at the Queens’ hospital, but became sick with the virus sometime last week and soon died from it.
“We lost a dedicated mother with a heart of gold. We lost a sister. We lost a friend. I lost the love of my life,” Khan said. “I just want everyone to take this seriously. This pain, this pain that me and her family are feeling right now, you don’t want your loved ones to feel this pain.”
Hospital staff used sidewalk chalk to create a temporary memorial for Nankieshore outside of the medical center.
“Our team at LIJ Forest Hills is a family that now mourns the loss of one of its own,” the hospital said in a statement. “But as we grieve, we will also persevere in caring for our patients with the grace and strength that Prea displayed day in and day out.”
Read more about this in this article: Eyewitness News
Brooklyn churches come up with alternative to traditional Easter services
As the city’s and state’s stay at home orders have been extended and fines have been increased, some Brooklyn churches found ways to still provide Easter Sunday services without breaking social distancing rules.
Several churches across the borough hosted online religious services for their prisoners to join in on from home.
These congregations include Downtown’s The Brooklyn Tabernacle, Marine Park’s Good Shepherd Church, Sunset Park’s Trinity Lutheran Church, Park Slope’s Greenwood Baptist Church and Brooklyn Heights’ St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church.
The churches live-streamed their services starting anywhere from 9 a.m. through 11 a.m. depending on the congregation.
The Brooklyn Tabernacle’s “Hope is Alive! An Easter Weekend Online Celebration” included a performance by the Collingsworth Family, in addition to the holiday sermon.
Read more about this in this article: Brooklyn Paper