--------------Coronavirus Aid for Rockaway---------- by Rockaway Women for Progress

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Dear Rockaway Representatives,

Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, Rockaway needs medical support now. Rockaway is in a uniquely precarious position as we brace for the coming days, weeks and months.  Coronavirus is already within our community, and we have sadly lost a FDNY hero from it.  Our community has been dealt many unbearable blows through the years (9/11, Flight 587 Plane Crash, Hurricane Sandy).  We know, first hand, the benefits of and need for early decisive government intervention.

This plea is for aggressive action now.  We need local, state and federal officials to prioritize and take action on the Rockaway peninsula's needs for increased Corona virus testing, treatment facilities, equipment, personnel and all other needs that emerge as a result of this continued crisis.

There are THREE key reasons we are in dire trouble if the above needs are not met immediately.

ONE - ACCESSIBILITY
We are a peninsula, which limits accessibility to hospitals on the "mainland".  

TWO - MEDICAL CAPACITY
We lack medical capacity on a good day.  Years ago we lost one of two small hospitals yet our population has grown.  We now have one small hospital with less than 300 hundred beds, most of which are filled and not ready for the medical needs of a this large scale Coronavirus outbreak. 

THREE - VULNERABLE POPULATION
We have an exceedingly vulnerable population.  We have 9/11 First Responders struggling with many complicated pulmonary issues.  We have one of the highest (if not THE highest) number of  elder care facilities (12 adult homes and 16 nursing homes) in one town.  How on earth will one small local hospital save us?  It won't.

Rockaway has many vacant facilities not in use, and we are desperate for a new hospital on a good day.  We need to see trucks and beds and people today.  We are very grateful for your efforts as we know you are working round the clock to help your constituents everywhere.  Our local needs highlight the human right to health and the government's obligation to provide access to health care and prevent a major health crisis.  Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato wrote a strong plea to Governor Cuomo, highlighting everything in this petition.  We need all of you to continue this fight.  There is no time.  There is no time.  This has to happen today.

With urgency and solidarity,
Rockaway