COVID-19: NYC Quote of the Day 2020-05-27

Wednesday, May 27, 2020, NYC Mayor de Blasio - Help You Separate, All of This is Free

To take care of people who are found to either be symptomatic or who test positive, we help them to get well. We also help them to not spread the disease. Anyone who's symptomatic, there are things you have to do, and that's not easy, because we're New Yorkers. We have close knit families, people live close together. But the goal here is to safely separate for a very limited period of time. And I want to emphasize that. The period of time that people need to safely separate is only up to 14 days, in some cases less. It's not forever by any stretch of imagination. But if you do it right, you make sure that the people in your life are safe, and that the disease doesn't spread more throughout the city.

We want to take care of you and all the people in your life. If you're able to safely separate and be at home, you still need help, right? You need to be able to check in with medical personnel as you're progressing or if there's a problem to address it. You need food, you need all the basics to get to you. You might need prescriptions. How do you do all that? Well, we are setting up an apparatus that will allow us to support you. If you have to be in a hotel, we'll be able to help you as well. There'll be regular contact with our test and trace team, phone calls, in person visits, text messages, you name it. These are the folks we call resource navigators.

All of this is free. If you end up knowing you need to separate from people at home but you need that support, the last thing you should have to worry about is how am I going to pay for it in the middle of the biggest economic crisis since the great depression, we don't want you to have to worry about that. 200 resource navigators are being brought on citywide. They will be your point person for anything and everything you need when you're in that period of separation. They're going to be familiar with all the neighborhoods of the city. They’re going to speak the languages of all the neighborhoods of the city. Those navigators will be on the ground next week starting their work as the contact tracing starts to grow, and ramping up so that we'll have plenty of capacity to reach anyone who needs that help.

What if a hotel is a better option? That's going to be true of folks who live in smaller apartments where you just don't have any space to separate from the people in your life, from all your loved ones. That is true if you have a multigenerational home where there's just lots of people in the same space. We have 1,200 hotel rooms right now. The hotel rooms are free. All the services that go with them are free. 1,200 rooms now, we'll be going more than double that number to over 3000 rooms in the course of the next few months. As many rooms as we need, we're going to have. This is how we protect people. Daily medical check-ins, meals, laundry, making sure you get any medicines delivered that you need, mental health support as well as physical health support.

How do you get to a room? People involved in the contact tracing will be able to refer you to a hotel room, make all the components come together, get you the transportation you need, et cetera. But what if you go in to a doctor's office, and this doctor says you're symptomatic or the doctor did the test and the test is positive? Well, the doctors of this city, any doctor, any nurse, any physician's assistant in private practice, in a hospital, anywhere, they can arrange for you to get one of these free hotel rooms, and the support that goes with it, they simply email

You don't have a doctor, you call 3-1-1 and get connected to a health care provider, to an Health + Hospitals clinician. If you know you're symptomatic already, in a living situation that you can't safely separate from others, you can call directly to our COVID hotline to get connected to the hotel program, and that number is 844-692-4692. People need to know that they'll be taken care of, they need to know the support will be there.

We're forming a community advisory board. We want eyes and ears, we want people to help us always think about if we're doing this the best way, the right way, are we reaching everyone we should reach? Are there problems? Are there hesitations? Are there reasons people don't want to participate? We need to always understand that and address it. So, we're getting members from 60 great organizations around the city, they'll be meeting twice a week with our team and they'll be guides helping us think through how to keep making this the very best effort it can be.
Edited for redundancy, grammar, and emphasis
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