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'Athletes For Relief' raising money for COVID-19 response efforts

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Athletes for Relief participant Simone Biles (AthletesRelief.org)
Urban News Staff Reports

In response to the developing COVID-19 situation across the globe, leaders from throughout the sports industry have partnered with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to launch AthletesRelief.org, a global fundraising tool designed to generate financial support for those impacted by the COVID-19 virus.

Unlike a typical auction, all fans who donate a minimum of $25 for an item will be entered into a raffle at the end of the campaign. 100% of the proceeds will go to Center for Disaster Philanthropy's COVID-19 Response Fund, which is supporting frontline healthcare workers and clinics, food security, and distribution of needed products, with a focus on assistance to vulnerable communities.

Items up for auction include:
  • Stephen Curry signed jersey
  • Jack Nicklaus signed Golden Bear hat and glove
  • Simone Biles signed leotard
  • Tony Hawk signed skateboard
  • Rose Lavelle signed Team USA jersey
  • Mike Eruzione signed Team USA jersey
  • Mark Cuban signed $1 Bill
"I'm very pleased to join many athletes, including friends and fellow golfers like Rory McIlroy and Nick Faldo, as well as other athletes, like Steph Curry and Michael Phelps, to raise funds for COVID-19 relief," said Jack Nicklaus. "We're all in this together, and together we will get through this. But we need to raise money, and I am honored and proud to be part of a unified effort such as this."

"Athletes from around the world asked for a way to do something together in addition to their personal donations in their local communities," said David Schwab, Executive Vice President, Octagon. "This affects all of us. The more participation. The more money. The more relief."

Athletes for Relief is an industry-wide initiative, which includes support from all athletes and leaders throughout the global sports community.

To donate to the Athletes for Relief campaign, click here.

North Jersey mayors join forces to combat spread of coronavirus

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(Top) Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Orange Dwayne D. Warren, (bottom) East Orange Mayor Tony Vauss and Irvington Mayor  Ted Green
By Bradford Mason

The cities of Newark, Irvington, East Orange, Orange are coming together to slow down the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

With New Jersey being the U.S. state with the second highest number of cases and North Jersey with the highest number of cases, the municipalities are combining their resources to keep fewer people for getting sick. This week, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Tony Vauss of Irvington, Dwayne Warren of Orange, and Ted Green of East Orange pushed out the message in a video released on the City of Newark social media platforms. Click here to see the video.

“We’ve come together today because COVID-19 is continuing to devastate our communities collectively,” Mayor Baraka said. “We can only beat this if we do it as a collective. God speed! Stay safe! Stay well!”  

Green said in a statement last month that not following the rules of staying home and taking precautions could make the difference between life and death.

"We are now experiencing what it’s like to live in a world well beyond our control with restrictions we never imagined would be put in place," Green said. "But the threat to our public health is a real one and we cannot take this crisis lightly. As the number of new positive cases in East Orange increase daily, we must come together and do what it takes to fight the spread of this virus."

Warren said that coming together with the other cites was necessary because of the proximity of the communities and leaders could be a stronger force against COVID-19.

Given the ease of transport between our towns, given our cultural, commercial and industrial touch points at touch all of our towns, this is necessary and it's going to take a collective effort," he said.

Vauss said that wellness checks will be done in each municipality. Police will be doing rolling patrols making sure that people are practicing social distancing.

"This virus we have is serious," he said. "The virus doesn't know the difference between Irvington, Newark, East Orange and Orange. Its affecting all of our people, all of our relatives friends and family. Everybody has families in other communities. We decided to come together so you could hear a united message on how we intend to deal with this crisis.

The mayors announced four "Operations" that are being implemented in all four of their towns:

Operation Lockdown

• Starting today, the four municipalities will jointly enforce complete lockdowns on their communities for seven days. 
• On April 7, the cities will re-evaluate the situation. 
• Until then, non-essential and non-emergency travel is barred on the streets of these communities. 
• Joint police units will patrol borders and other points. 
• Violators will face summonses and other legal action. 

Operation Clean Business

• Essential businesses that are allowed to remain open must clean their premises.
• To do so, they must frequently wipe down high touch points including doors and counters. 
• Employees and customers must practice social distancing. 
• At the close of the business day, owners are encouraged to sanitize their businesses. 
• Health inspectors will see that this is carried out.

Operation Wipedown 

• Owners of senior citizen centers and complexes must sanitize public areas, including high touch points such as: mailboxes, elevators, doorknobs, and countertops three times a day with disinfectant. 
• Owners must sign compliance statements, saying that they have adhered to the order. 
• Inspectors will ensure that owners adhere to these policies, collecting compliance statements. 
• If inspectors find the owners have not taken required sanitization measures, the inspectors will cite the owners for appropriate legal action. 

Operation Mobile Wellness Checks 

• Police departments will conduct mobile patrols, making sure that people are practicing social distancing and enforcing Governor Murphy’s Executive Order.
• Violators will be ticketed and face legal action. 

“Even though we have to social distance as people, we can come together as a community to fight this dreaded disease," said Congressman Donald Payne Jr. "I want to praise Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Tony Vauss of Irvington, Dwayne Warren of Orange, and Ted Green of East Orange for recognizing that they will have more success in a unified effort to battle this crisis than individual actions."

New Jersey expands access to care during COVID-19 pandemic

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Image by Silas Camargo Silão from Pixabay
Urban News Staff Reports

New Jersey is among the five states suspending state regulatory barriers that limit nurse practitioners (NP) from combatting the growing COVID-19 crisis.

The other states are Kentucky, Louisiana, New York and Wisconsin. The actions taken by these governors enable their states to surge the number of frontline care providers, treat patients with underlying health conditions and meet vital primary care needs. American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is calling on the remaining governors to take immediate action to waive restrictive barriers that undermine patients' access to NP-provided care.

"We're encouraged that the governors of Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin have taken action to fully utilize our highly-trained NP workforce to respond to this unprecedented pandemic. With the worst of the crisis yet to unfold and personal protective equipment shortages exacting a heavy toll on the health of frontline health care providers, we need the rest of the nation's governors to lift barriers now. We cannot afford to sideline qualified NPs from providing care or hinder them from providing telehealth across state lines," said AANP President Sophia Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP, FNAP, FAANP. "We have been hearing from frontline NPs in states with outdated regulations that it's often easier to volunteer in other states than to serve in their own communities. In fact, some are being recruited away from the states they currently reside and practice in, to more inclusive practice environments, leaving patients at risk of little to no access to care. It's more urgent than ever that the remaining governors act decisively to eliminate these needless barriers to care and unleash the potential of their state's NP workforce to combat this pandemic."

In 22 states, the District of Columbia, two U.S. territories, the Veterans Health Administration and the Indian Health Service, NPs were already permanently authorized to provide direct patient care before the pandemic. In the remaining jurisdictions, outdated regulations make it illegal for NPs to provide care unless they maintain a collaborative or supervisory contract with a physician. This requirement needlessly restricts the number of NPs who could otherwise evaluate, diagnose and treat patients, especially in times of crisis. Further, it creates unnecessary geographic access challenges and delays in care.

NPs evaluate patients; make diagnoses; order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests; and initiate and manage treatments ― including prescribing medications and non-pharmacologic treatments. Additionally, NPs coordinate care and provide counseling and education to patients, families and communities.

In 2012, the National Governors Association recommended that states consider easing these restrictions as a way to improve access to care. Waiving these requirements is a safe and reliable way to remove a significant roadblock toward ensuring states have the necessary health care workforce capacity our nation needs at this critical moment.

States should also expand emergency health care workforce declarations authorizing out-of-state health care licensees to include clinicians with retired or inactive status to resume work, provided their inactive or expired license was in good standing. Addressing our nation's needs will require all available hands on deck. Given the nationwide scale of COVID-19 cases, states will not be able to rely on neighboring states to send health care providers to meet the demand. Authorizing recent licensees to return to the workforce offers a way to bolster our reserves and utilize the qualified clinicians already in our communities. A growing number of states are taking at least one of these actions, and AANP is urging all governors to adopt similar measures. To view a map of the states' emergency licensure COVID-19 responses, visit https://bit.ly/3bHRQFI.

NPs are practicing in every setting and geographic area impacted by COVID-19. Removing barriers to care across the health care system will ensure that they can bring their knowledge and skill to treat patients and help the nation fight back during this crisis.