For Immediate Release
The images over the past week portraying the NYPD’s attempt to enforce social distancing are disturbing and threaten the progress that has been made in the community-policing relations within our communities.
New York City has always been a place where people from varying backgrounds and cultures can co-exist in an atmosphere of peace. At this crucial time in our battle against COVID-19, where the peace is challenged, we believe that the NYPD’s enforcement of social distancing only leads to a breakdown in unity and places us in a precarious position as we seek to build bridges to restoration.
Presently, tensions are rising across multiple dividing lines and our current cultural climate often seeks to magnify this division by highlighting the disparity and the seeming preference of other communities over black communities as all seek to re-establish social interactions.
From the genesis of the pandemic, we as faith leaders have believed that COVID-19 and social distancing is a health issue and it should remain as such. We therefore call for the immediate cancellation of law enforcement as the leading entity for imposing social distancing. We believe that such responsibility should be assigned to community groups from the Crisis Management System, Clergy Councils and other action groups who are better positioned to encourage our community to follow the rules regarding social distancing. These groups should also be equipped with the requisite resources to effectively execute this task which is designed to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.
We are in the midst of an economic crisis. Resources are limited in our communities and the summer is fast approaching. With all of these conditions, in conjunction with the rise of police harassment, we could be in for a major storm fueled by unemployment, poverty, crime and gun violence.
We must therefore act now to restore community relations. If we do not, then the advancements in the work carried out by all entities will have been in vain and the future of our communities, city and state will be jeopardized. We demand the senseless harassment to cease!
For New York State Residents
- Nonessential businesses will stay closed through May 15th.
- All K-12 schools and college facilities statewide will remain closed and continue to provide distance learning, meal delivery and childcare services for the remainder of the school year.
- Governor Cuomo issued executive orders 202.17 and 202.18 requiring all people in New York to wear masks or face coverings in public, including when taking public or private transportation or riding in for-hire vehicles.
- New York has issued first-in-the-nation criteria to healthcare professionals establishing an interim definition for COVID-related inflammatory illness in children.
- Central New York, North County, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley Regions have met all seven metrics required to begin phase one of the state’s regional phased reopening plan when NYS on PAUSE orders expire on May 15th.
- Governor Cuomo released a guide to the state’s “NY Forward Reopening” Plan, along with the state’s regional monitoring dashboard.
- The state Department of Health hosted a webinar for healthcare providers to discuss inflammatory disease in children related to COVID-19; view recording of webinar here.
- Certain low-risk business and recreational activities will be ready to reopen statewide on May 15th, including landscaping and gardening businesses; and recreational activities such as tennis and drive-in movie theaters.
- Governor Cuomo issues Executive Order mandating all nursing home staff be tested for COVID-19 twice per week.
- New Yorkers without health insurance can apply through NY State of Health through June 15, 2020; must apply within 60 days of losing coverage.
- A new contest asks New Yorkers to create and share a video explaining why wearing a mask in public is important. Interested applicants can go to wearamask.ny.gov.
- Health care workers can text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 to access 24/7 emotional support services.
- New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.
- Testing is free for all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider.
- Your local health department is your community contact for COVID-19 concerns.
Resources and Helpful links