New variants are threatening economic recovery and prolonging the pandemic.
Bronx Assembly Candidate George Diaz Jr. Proposes 10 Point Plan of Action
It was not unforseeable that another surge in COVID 19 infections would again burden public health facilities at record levels. However, it seems that New York City has been caught off guard once again. Reminiscent of the critical shortage of personal protective equipment for the public and for health care workers early in the pandemic, we are currently experiencing a critical shortage of COVID testing facilities. Additionally, this is having a greater effect on communities like ours, where many have to commute on buses and trains to get to work. George Diaz, Jr. is running for State Assembly to represent the Bronx's 81st District and he shared his thoughts regarding the lack of contingency plans for future outbreaks and surges. Diaz explained that in his view, "the narrow focus on vaccination requirements and roll-out has put my community at a disadvantage once again. It's a major fail. In New York City, our leadership continues to over emphasize vaccination as an end to the pandemic and we relaxed social distancing measures too soon. Our leadership needs to take action to be more prepared and have a long-term vision for mitigating the effects of this pandemic." The candidate's initiatives are listed below.
1. Support indoor mask requirements.
2. Emphasize a multi-faceted approach to COVID Protocols: social distancing and sanitary measures to ensure that we don't return to a lock-down situation.
3. Provide more access to sanitary facilities (hand washing stations, public restrooms).
4. Create stronger contingency plans for A. In person learning that implements social distance B. hybrid learning and C. emergency remote learning situations D. Strengthen alternatives for students with special needs
5. Allocate funding for the development of community based child care centers and support for childcare facilities and workers’ COVID protocols.
6. Re-examine effectiveness of vaccine requirements in the workplace and prioritize minimizing the effect on workers. A. Employer sponsored COVID protocols- employer pays for testing and vaccination (Access to on-site testing, PTO for vaccination appointments and if necessary, aftercare). B. When the government institutes a mandate they must compensate government employees for the time and cost of testing, Access to on-site testing, PTO for vaccination appointments and if necessary, aftercare). C. When a employer makes a policy because of government mandates or rules, the governing body that instituted the policy must compensate the employers who in turn must compensate the employees: Access to on-site testing, PTO for vaccination appointments and if necessary, aftercare).
7. Extend unemployment benefits for displaced workers and expand support services for displaced workers.
8. Increased public access to testing.
9. City and state websites need to list all available testing and vaccination sites, not just the city’s Health and Hospital website (should also includes places where people can obtain take home rapid tests).
10.Providing support to small businesses to enforce COVID protocols. A. Create plan for outdoor heating options that are safe and sustainable. B. Support "to-go" alcohol policy for restaurants