Friday, March 20, 2020

Brooklyn Hatzola issues dire coronavirus warning: ‘This is a crisis’

As the number of people infected with coronavirus continued to soar in the Orthodox Jewish community Thursday, Hatzola leaders warned that things must change before it’s too late. 
Borough Park’s Hatzola, an emergency ambulance service catering to the Jewish community, sent an urgent robocall across the neighborhood Thursday afternoon, a day after two urgent cares in the area reported an alarming spike in positive coronavirus cases. 
“It seems that in our community of Borough Park, life is continuing as normal, business as usual. People are going about their daily lives as if nothing is happening,” the recording says. 
“Many, many, many of our friends and family have contracted this virus and are not doing as well as we had hoped. This is a crisis… We need to do what’s right. And to the current moment, we have not done [that], we have not stepped up to the plate.” 
On Thursday morning, Asisa Urgent Care said they had around 400 positive cases come out of their two Borough Park facilities and Williamsburg location, accounting for nearly half of Brooklyn’s 1,030 infections reported by City Hall. That’s up from about 150 from the day before. 
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The health care facility’s rep said about 99 percent of those tested were from the Jewish Orthodox community. 
The Hatzola call to action implored members of the community to heed the advice of doctors and “stop mingling.” 
“We must be more mindful of what’s happening and how we can stop the spread of this virus. We need to do more. We have done very little currently. We need to keep away from each other. We can’t stand next to each other. We have to protect each other as if we’re all fighting for our lives. This is no laughing matter,” the recording says. 
“If we are not going to be taking this seriously, who knows who will be there to help us?” 
During a press briefing late Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted again there is “no cluster” of COVID-19 in Borough Park and said “that part of Brooklyn is not any more endangered than anywhere else.” 

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