Today’s Brooklyn Briefing: Coronavirus, Elections & Schools

Today’s Brooklyn Briefing: Coronavirus, Elections & Schools
(Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

It’s a very anxious time in our country, in our borough, in our districts. Let’s begin with coronavirus numbers.  For the newly reported cases, seven-day average, the threshold is 550; today we are at 633 cases. “Some of that because of more testing, for sure, but we need to see that number start to go down,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his press conference this morning. “Even with more testing, we want to see that number go down.”

For the daily number of people admitted to NYC hospitals for suspected COVID-19, the threshold is 200; today’s report is 95 patients. The percentage of people testing citywide for COVID-19 is 1.43% today. The threshold for that is 5%.

As for the election, NYC will begin counting its absentee ballots next week. Looking at the results now, it seems Southern Brooklyn came out strong for President Trump and the candidates who support him. Trump already has 24% more Brooklynites voting for him than he did last time. While only 77% of the estimated votes cast have been tallied, according to the New York Times, early numbers show that in Brooklyn, 74.1 % (514,133) voted for Joe Biden, whereas 25.2% went for Donald Trump (174,731).

In Congressional District 11, Nicole Malliotakis (R) announced her win last night, and while the incumbent Max Rose (D) did not concede, it is unlikely he can make up the vote difference in the mail-in ballots. With 85% of estimated votes counted, Malliotakis is in the lead with 136,382 or 57.9% against Rose’s 99,224 (42.1%) – a lead of over 37,000 votes. In her speech, she thanked the support of President Trump, we reported. As for the other winners and potential winners in the borough, we have that list for you here. But remember, absentee ballots won’t be counted until next week, so things are subject to change.

Speaking of elections, we spoke to several Brooklnyies on what issues mean the most to them this election. Want to know what they said? Check out this photo essay here. “The most important issue in this election is who’s going to address this nation’s crumbling infrastructure,” one Brooklynite said.”It’s one of the issues that literally benefits everyone. The jobs that are involved in are good-paying jobs. The investments made are put back into the economy, whether it’s steel for bridges or asphalts for roads. The bottom line is, when you buy American and hire American, it benefits everyone.”

What is happening with public schools, you wonder? Well, the final window 9for now) to opt-in to blended learning – a mix of remote and in-person classes is from Nov. 2nd to Nov. 15th. Borough President Eric Adams wrote a letter to the Mayor telling him the deadline is an “unnecessary constraint among parents and education professionals.” He noted that a quarterly opt-in option is the best solution for students and families as everyone continues to fight this pandemic.

This morning, State Senator Andrew Gounardes released a statement on the public school closures. “Last week, the Governor’s office released a set of criteria for schools in the red zone to be able to re-open,” he said. (Governor said last Friday that all schools, including those in Red zones, could open with testing as long as infection numbers remain low among those tested in the school community).

“While many private and parochial schools sprang into action, the NYC Department of Education has not taken steps to open and has remained typically uncommunicative. I am calling on the DOE to take steps to comply with the state’s plan and immediately re-open. Families are sick and tired of the discrepancies between the city and state being hashed out in public, with our kids stuck in the middle. Many of these students are those most in need of in-person services, and to leave them stuck at home when there is a safe alternative is just plain wrong. I am calling for the DOE to act now and relieve these families who are at the breaking point.”