De Blasio announces plan to combat COVID-19 at NYCHA buildings

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NEW YORK — New York City is deepening its efforts to ensure residents are safe and supported during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday the plan, which will support the New York City Housing Authority’s 400,000 residents.

“NYCHA residents are the backbone of New York City, but for decades they have not received the support they deserved from all levels of government,” said de Blasio.

“We refuse to continue this pattern, and this new plan will provide residents with the support they need to protect themselves and their families during this crisis. My promise to the New Yorkers who call NYCHA home: we will have your back, no matter what.”

Services to residents include increasing access to free testing for NYCHA residents, but opening six additional sites near housing complexes. Testing at the Cumberland Health Center, Belvis Health Center and Gouverneur Health Center will open Friday, while testing sites at the Jonathan Williams Houses, Woodside Houses and St. Nicholas Houses will be open next week.

The city will also distribute face coverings and gloves to all residents as well as distribute personal hand sanitizers to NYCHA senior buildings.

De Blasio highlighted the need to take care of seniors at NYCHA complexes, adding that the city will expand free door-to-door meal distribution to all NYCHA senior buildings and conduct wellness checks through live phone calls to all seniors and vulnerable residents.

It was also announced that NYC is investing $5 million to provide free tablets and internet service to 10,000 senior residents to help them stay connected with loved ones.

In addition to the additional services, common areas at NYCHA family developments and are being sanitized three times a week while senior developments are being sanitized five times a week.

The plan comes days after Cuomo announced a pilot program to expand health care and COVID-19 testing to NYCHA residents.

Over 250,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in New York state, with over 134,000 in New York City alone as of Tuesday, according to the state health department.

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