At his Sunday coronavirus briefing, Mayor de Blasio confirmed the city has lost 260 public employees to COVID-19, and now he is extending health benefits to their families.
The mayor says it wasn’t just frontline workers who lost their lives, but teachers and other public employees whose families were facing the loss of health insurance. The mayor announced a 45-day extension of those benefits.
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De Blasio also spoke about a troubling illness associated with coronavirus they are seeing in children. Now called “Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome,” it’s symptoms are similar to the very rare Kawasaki Diseases, which is an inflammation of the blood vessels.
So far, there have been 38 confirmed cases.
“This is a real problem, but it’s a problem that can be addressed if it’s caught early,” de Blasio said. “We want to emphasize to parents, if you see these symptoms, report them to your doctor immediately, if you don’t have a doctor, call 311 to be connected to a doctor, a clinician at health and hospitals. We want to make sure everyone takes this seriously. If you see these symptoms, act immediately.”
The mayor also announced that the administration will be enlisting more city workers to act as “Social Distancing Ambassadors” who will help remind people outside in parks and on the streets to marina tank social distancing and wear face protection. There are currently 1,000 ambassadors, and that number will increase to 2,300.
The city is also treating COVID patients with the drug Remdesivir, which has shown some promise for people who are hospitalized with the virus. The FDA authorized the city to use it last week, but so far health officials only have 4,000 doses. The mayor says they need ten times that amount from the federal government.
Finally, as the trains get shut down each night for a thorough cleaning, city officials are confronting homeless New Yorkers who have been using the cars for shorter.
The mayor said that on Friday night they engaged 416 homeless people, and 212 agreed to accept services. On Saturday night, it was 384 people and 198 accepted services.