5 Things That Happened While You Were Out: June 22, 2020

Happy Monday, CivMixers. So, as of Saturday, we are officially in summer – and boy, are we feeling it here in the Capital District.

Today was 93 degrees, according to the Weather Channel, and the low tonight is expected to 69.

This heat wave is supposed to continue for the next 10 days, at least, with the most moderate-high predicted to be 83. There should be some stormy weather over the next several days as well, so be sure to keep an ear out for any alerts.

As states around the country are seeing their COVID cases rise, New York continues its downward trend. We have the best numbers in terms of confirmed new infections that we have had since the outbreak began in March.

As the numbers improve, more businesses are allowed to re-open and resume some semblance of normal operations. Just remember to keep your face covered in public, maintain a safe social distance from others and wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap, and we should all be good to go.

Shall we get to it?

1) This morning there was an unplanned block party sprang up in North Carolina. Shortly thereafter, two people are dead, and 12 others are injured after multiple shooters fired many times into the crowd.

According to reports, there were hundreds of people in the streets for the block party, which was extension of an earlier Juneteenth celebration. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Johhny Jennings said that officers responded to a call of a pedestrian struck by a car at 12:30 a.m.

As they arrived on the scene, officers heard many reports of gunfire. They found one woman with a gunshot wound lying in the road; she died at the scene. Eight others were injured and transferred to the hospital, where another individual also died.

Five additional people were hit by automobiles and were subsequently treated for non-life-threatening injuries at the Clemmons Medical Center – Novant Health facility.

Jennings stated that it seems that the celebration simply got out of hand, and investigation is ongoing.

2) Today, a group of 10 plaintiffs comprised of both LGBTQ organizations and medical professionals joined to sue to in an effort to block a Trump administration rule that aims to strip “sex discrimination” protections for transgender people from laws that govern health care.

The plaintiffs contend the new regulations were made “with next-to-no legal, medical, or reasoned policy foundation, and contrary to the opinions of professional medical and public health organizations.”

The plaintiffs also cited the landmark June 15 .S. Supreme Court decision that bars discrimination against LGBTQ people in the workplace.

Lambda Legal is one of the organizations involved in the lawsuit. Senior attorney/health care strategist Omar Gonzalez-Pagan said that this recent change in the law has created confusion for the LGBTQ community, writ large, but especially for its trans* members. The belief that health care should be a discrimination-free zone is at the heart of the case.

Another critical point: During the district caused by the ongoing COVID global pandemic, the administration tried to remove protections from a specific group and allow discrimination.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said it decided to return to using the definition of sex as a male or female as determined at birth by biology. In response to the backlash, on June 17, Roger Severino, the HHS Office for Civil Rights director, pointed to a 2016 federal injunction that blocked the law because it was seen as favoring transgender patient protections.

3) Though his daily briefings are over, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is still making news. He continues to consider a quarantine period for out-of-state visitors – an idea he first broached last week.

During a round of cable TV interviews, Cuomo said he is talking to the governors of both New Jersey and Connecticut about possibly coordinating isolation or quarantine rules for out-of-state visitors.

Cuomo said this effort would be effective if the region collaborates, which is something that he also insisted upon throughout the pandemic.

In March, both Florida and Rhode Island singled out New Yorkers – back when the state was the epicenter of the virus in the country – for quarantines or allowing all cars with NY plates to be stopped.

4) As we continue to move forward into the summer 2020 season, a popular tourist destination in Old Forge has released opening plans.

Enchanted Forest Water Safari (where the fun never stops…you know you all read that in its cadence, don’t judge me…) has announced its reopening will begin on Saturday, June 27.

All park guests are going to have to wear face masks when they are anywhere in the park except for when in pools or on water slides. Social distancing will also have to be maintained throughout the park at all times.

All employees are required to wear face masks, too. The park will also be screening all employees when they arrive in the morning to ensure they are free of any COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone showing signs will be sent home instead of being permitted to work.

Due to a delay in construction during the shutdown, some rides will not be prepared to open until later in July.

Anyone who would like to be admitted to the park will need to make reservations. All guidelines and the link to make reservations can be found on the park’s website.

5) According to the Albany Police Department, yet another shooting is under investigation. It occurred early this morning on Woodlawn Avenue.

APD responded to a call at Woodlawn Ave by Grove Avenue at approximately 1:40 a.m., where officers discovered a male, 33, with a gunshot wound to his leg. He was treated at the scene by first responders and taken to Albany Medical Center.

This was yet another in 17 shootings that are known to have taken place over the past week in Albany, two of which, so far, have resulted in deaths.

The latest homicide took place on Saturday night with APD responding to North Lake Avenue to find a young man, 24, who had multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. He was transported to the hospital but passed away from his injuries. The case is now being treated as a homicide.

Within hours of that call on Saturday, the APD responded to another shooting on Clinton Avenue and Quail Street, where a male, 30, was shot in the arm. He was treated on scene and transported to the hospital for further treatment.

So far, six people have fallen victim to gun violence in Albany in 2020.

If you have any information on any of the shooting over the past week, please call (518) 462-8039 or click here to submit an anonymous tip to the Albany Detective Division.

That is all for today. Stay steady, stay strong, stay safe.

Stay woke.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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