March 27, 2020, By Michael Dorgan
Council Member Robert Holden, whose district covers portions of Woodside, Maspeth and surrounding areas, is calling on the mayor to help essential workers who fear contracting COVID-19 and bringing it home and infecting their loved ones.
Holden has asked Mayor Bill de Blasio to provide hotel rooms for frontline workers and first responders as a way to protect them from spreading the virus to their family members.
The proposal would help alleviate thousands of workers’ fears as more of them are becoming infected with COVID-19, he said.
More than 300 members of the NYPD have tested positive with the virus, Commissioner Dermot Shea said Thursday. Meanwhile, 170 members of the FDNY have also contracted the coronavirus, according to the department yesterday.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout New York City, these people put their lives, and the lives of their families in jeopardy. They need your help now,” Holden said in a letter penned to De Blasio Thursday.
“These unsung heroes deserve more from their municipal government, and as the crisis only grows, we must start implementing policy to assist them,” he said.
Holden also warned that the city needs to do more to protect essential workers – and not just frontline hospital staff – from contracting the virus. He said that all essential city staff should have the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and access to testing or they will end up being hospitalized.
“Our city employees deserve more in the face of this growing threat, and I urge you to take every action necessary to help them and their families.”
Holden said that his proposal to provide hotel rooms for essential workers would also help boost the hotel industry and its employees who have been negatively affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus shutdown.
He suggested his proposal should extend to all frontline city employees including DOC correction officers, DSNY staff, NYCT bus operators and subway conductors, as well as Parks Department employees.