Excluded Workers Fund debit card thefts have been reported by over 70 beneficiaries, which has left some of their accounts with losses of up to $6,000, Documented reports.
At least 50 people being held in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody at New York’s Orange County Correctional Facility are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, according to lawyers representing those detained at the site.
U.S. residents can sign up to receive four free COVID tests delivered to their home address. But the program limits one order per household, proving to be a problem for people staying in group homeless shelters or hotels.
A coalition of groups representing undocumented immigrant workers, cash earners and others excluded from traditional worker benefits are campaigning for a stronger social safety net for these employees, who they say were essential to keeping New York running throughout the pandemic.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards is calling for the city to streamline its pandemic response into one new office that would report to the mayor, and address things like long testing lines and equitable distribution of vaccine sites.
New Yorkers who owe back rent can once again apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) after judge ordered the state to reopen applications, citing what could be a substantial second round of funding in March. But the federal government has yet to approve a new round of cash for the tapped-out fund, and eviction protections end Saturday.
The 7-day positivity rate for those in the jail system who’ve been tested for the virus was more than 29 percent on Thursday, compared to 23 percent of city residents overall. But those in custody are much less likely to be vaccinated: just 38.4 percent have received both shots, compared to 72.3 percent of all New Yorkers.
Those who’ve tried to use the service in recent weeks say there haven’t been enough hotel rooms to meet demand. They report delays in obtaining a room, sometimes three days or more, even as the CDC recently cut its recommended isolation time down to five days.
Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed the Health Equity Assessment Act, which advocates say will help address the impact of decades of hospital closures and consolidations across the state, which left certain communities—primarily low-income and neighborhoods of color—underserved when it comes to health facilities.
“People who do this work love it. You have to love working with people,” says State Assemblymember Karines Reyes, who is a nurse. But she adds, “If you can get a job doing work that’s not as heavy and not as demanding and make more money, why wouldn’t you?”