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Staten Island borough pres. talks hospitalization spike, schools reopening, bar defying COVID rules

Posted at 8:16 AM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 08:16:15-05

STATEN ISLAND — Staten Island’s hospitals are taking on an influx of patients, and staffing those facilities has become problematic.

Borough President James Oddo tweeted Tuesday night, “The chase for staffing help for Staten Island's hospitals is on again, albeit right now not at the level of those horrific days earlier in the Covid pandemic in April.”

Oddo discussed the recent spike in hospitalizations and said there are nearly 200 COVID-related hospitalizations, and they are still waiting for the post-Thanksgiving surge.

As some elementary schools in the borough’s orange zones reopen Wednesday, Oddo said he lets “science guide the policy,” and the school’s positivity rate is much lower than what is happening outside in the community.

Their goal is to keep schools open and safe as students have lost a lot in recent months.

The borough president also acknowledged the “incredible divide” among those who wear masks and abide by COVID restrictions and those who don’t, particularly the news surrounding Mac’s Public House.

Oddo said he understands the frustration among business owners, but the actions seen in recent days “does not help anyone,” but rather, it is “hurting Staten Island in the eyes of the rest of New York City.”

“There’s no such thing” as an autonomous zone, he said.

Oddo also said legitimate arguments are made on behalf of the bar and other businesses, but “you can’t go out and engage in behavior we saw”