Cuomo Orders Wee Hour Subway Shutdown, Announces New Contact Tracing System
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the New York City subway system will begin halting service every night from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. starting Wednesday, May 6 to disinfect the trains.
“It is a massive undertaking that we have never done before,” Cuomo said.
The city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is the largest transit system in the United States, and has always run 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week in the city that never sleeps, but Cuomo said the temporary shutdown is necessary to battle COVID.
The virus outbreak has decimated subway traffic with ridership down more than 90%, according to city officials. This includes a mere 11,000 riders who have been traveling the subway during the 1- 5 a.m.
During the shutdown, the MTA will be operating buses and there will be commuter vans, dollar vans for-fire vehicles to get people and essential workers, who will ride for free, where they need to go during these hours, said Cuomo.
Cuomo also announced at his daily news briefing that the state will begin a new system of contact tracing that in part requires hiring 17,000 tracers to help control the spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus.
As the state’s daily number of confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths declines each day and New York moves closer to reopening, Cuomo said that contact tracing is a must to find and isolate the virus.
Contact tracers track every person who is potentially infected with the virus by interviewing COVID-positive people about who they came in contact with in the 14 days preceding testing positive.
They then have to notify each of those people who came in contact with the sick person that they may have contracted the coronavirus and must self-isolate.
The system is being developed by the state, in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who donated $10 million to help with the effort.
The state will be hiring between 6,400 and 17,000 tracers, which, admittedly, is quite a wide range to look out for. New York City alone will be hiring 1,000 contact tracers who will have some form of background in medical science, according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Read more about this in this article: Forbes
Brooklyn funeral home found to be keeping its bodies in unrefrigerated trucks
A Flatlands funeral home was found yesterday to be storing its dead bodies in unrefridgerated U-Haul storage trucks.
The bodies were not in caskets or body bags, and this situation came to light after New York Police Department officers responded to a call from neighbors of the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Services home about a foul odor.
These neighbors said that they witnessed the bodies being loaded onto the trucks — which were parked outside of the funeral parlor — throughout the month.
There were two such trucks that each were holding 50 bodies. The city has since provided the funeral home with a refrigerated truck and officials helped transfer the corpses from the U-Hauls to the correct trucks.
“I have no idea how any funeral home could let this happen,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Why on earth did they not alert the state . . . go to their NYPD precinct and ask for help. Do something rather than leave the bodies there.”
Apparently, the owner of the funeral home had indicated to the city that its freezer had stopped working, but because funeral services are handled by the state, nothing came of the report.
Police have closed the street for crowd control and to reduce the risk of people being infected by the incorrectly handled bodies.
Read more about this in this article: Eyewitness News
Owner of popular Brooklyn restaurant Amarachi dies of coronavirus
Brooklyn restaurant owner and entrepreneur Jonathan Adewumi died recently of coronavirus at the age of 57.
He was the co-owner and founder of popular Afro-Caribbean restaurant Amarachi restaurant in Downtown Brooklyn.
Adewumi was born in Nigeria but moved to New York as a child, where he attended Utica College and was a member of the Kappa Alphia Psi fraternity.
He started the fashion company Nigerian Fabrics and Fashions that helped to bring African fabrics and patterns into popular culture during the 1980s and 1990s.
Additionally, he also ran the Nigerian Film Festival and created a travel-abroad program that was meant to introduce African Americans to Africa and Africans to America, for which he had been planning a trip to Liberia and Nigeria when he first started showing symptoms of the virus.
“He was a wonderful person. He treated people as he wanted to be treated. No matter how big. No matter how small. Jonathan took the time to make a connection with you,” Adebayo Adewumi, Jonathan Adewumi’s brother, said.
A GoFundMe page was set up to try to keep Adewumi’s restaurant and the Nigerian Film Festival alive.
Queens funeral home is filled to the brim with caskets awaiting services
An Elmhurst funeral home has been so overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic’s death toll that it has dozens of caskets crammed into every room of the building, waiting for cremation.
The Gerard J. Neufeld funeral home — located just five blocks from Elmhurst Hospital that quickly became known as the epicenter of the pandemic — has 10 coffins squished inside its small viewing room, allowing almost no room to walk through.
Another room has 25 caskets alone.
The funeral home had to stop offering funeral services because it was becoming so overwhelmed with all of the incoming bodies.
“We had no choice,” the home’s co-director Joe Neufeld told The New York Post. “I couldn’t bring people in because it could be dangerous.”
The home was getting calls from people in the area saying that they had no place to send their dead to because every place said they were filled up.
“I’ve had families call me telling me they can’t find anyone to take their loved one,” Neufeld said.
Read more about this in this article: The New York Post