32 THE QUEENS COURIER • HEALTH • NOVEMBER 18, 2021 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Two schools close in Queens after signifi cant spread of COVID-19
BY JULIA MORO
A public elementary school in
Astoria shut down Wednesday,
Nov. 10, aft er a COVID-19 outbreak.
Another school in Far
Rockaway has also closed due to
a COVID-19 outbreak, making
it the city’s third closure since the
school year started.
P.S. 166 Henry Gradstein
School in Astoria will be entirely
remote for 10 days aft er an
investigation found evidence of
transmission within the school,
Gothamist fi rst reported. Th e
school was closed on Tuesday,
Nov. 9, and will reopen Monday,
All students have been
equipped with devices to participate
in remote learning.
According to data by the
city’s Department of Education
(DOE), as of Wednesday, Nov.
10, 176 staff and students tested
positive for the coronavirus.
“New York City schools have
the gold standard for health and
safety — with all school staff
vaccinated, and an incredibly
low positivity rate of 0.19%,” a
DOE spokesperson said. “Th is
is the fi rst school closure since
September, but we stand ready
to support. Every student at P.S.
166 has a device so they can
engage in live remote learning,
and we are working closely with
the school community.”
Village Academy in Far
Rockaway announced it would
also close its doors on Th ursday,
Nov. 11, due to signifi cant
COVID transmission, Chalkbeat
fi rst reported.
“We do not hesitate to take
action to keep school communities
safe, and our multi-layered
approach to safety has kept
our positivity rate extremely low
at 0.19%,” a DOE spokesperson
said. “All staff at DOE are vaccinated,
and all students at Village
Academy have access to a device
to ensure live, continuous learning.”
In the last school year, New
York City public schools closed
when two or more unlinked
COVID-19 cases were found
within a building. Th e two-case
rule was later dropped in April,
with offi cials announcing at the
beginning of the fall that schools
would only close if widespread
transmission of the virus was
found in a building.
Currently, 140 classrooms out
of 65,000 citywide are quarantining,
according to the DOE.
Vaccines became available to
kids ages 5 to 11 earlier this
month aft er the FDA determined
the benefi ts outweighed
any potential side eff ects.
Last week, the city set up temporary
vaccine sites at schools
serving students between the
ages of 5 to 11 across the fi ve
boroughs. Th ousands of kids
have already received their fi rst
dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
at a school-based vaccination
site, according to amNew York
According to the city’s data,
only about 21% of eligible kids
are fully vaccinated.
Elder Law Minute TM
Safeguarding your important documents
BY RONALD A. FATOULLAH, ESQ.
AND STACEY MESHNICK, ESQ.
Most individuals and families have taken precautions
to protect themselves with regard to emergency
or natural disaster preparedness. Stocking up on
nonperishable food, water, medicine, and ensuring
one has batteries, fl ashlights, a weather band radio
and a fi rst-aid kit ready are most likely some of the
fi rst important items that come to mind. However,
when people think about planning for the future or
possible emergency situations, they often don’t consider
how to store their important documents safely.
One very important document is the Power of
Attorney. When you execute a Power of Attorney,
you are appointing someone to act on your behalf in
the event that you become incapacitated. In addition
to providing the document to your agent, it is
wise to provide the document to all of your fi nancial
institutions so that they have the name of your
agent on record.
The Power of Attorney should be kept in a safe
place. The named agent(s) often retain the original
document(s) since they are the ones who will need
to use it if you become incapacitated. However, it is
advisable to retain photocopies as well, should the
original be misplaced.
Another document you should keep in a safe
location is the Health Care Proxy. You can make as
many copies of that document as you wish and provide
them to your health care providers. Your health
care agent doesn’t necessarily need an original. In
addition to having the proxy document, your health
care agent and successor agent(s) should have a
list of prescription medications, doctors’ names and
numbers, and health insurance information to better
Since the Power of Attorney and Health Care
Proxy are such important documents, it is best to
keep them in a fl ood proof/fi reproof box to prevent
them from being damaged or destroyed.
A Last Will and Testament diff ers from the Power
of Attorney and Health Care Proxy in that an original
Will is necessary for the probate process. As such,
clients often leave the original Will with the attorney,
who keeps it in a fi reproof and fl ood proof location.
You can retain photocopies of the Will, but your
Executor will need the original.
Other documents that one should retain include
deeds to properties (though they can often be
obtained from the local county clerk), tax returns,
and insurance policies. Be sure to let loved ones
know where all of these documents can be found.
Finally, it is important to have a list of your
assets, e.g., bank accounts, stocks, bonds, fi nancial
accounts, etc., as well as account numbers, login
information and passwords for the accounts. It will
make it much easier for your representative to handle
your aff airs in the event that you become incapacitated
or pass away.
Since your attorney will likely have copies of your
documents in addition to other information, you
should provide your agents and loved ones with
your attorney’s contact information.
Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. is the founder of Ronald
Fatoullah & Associates, a law fi rm that concentrates in
elder law, estate planning, Medicaid planning, guardianships,
estate administration, trusts, wills, and real
estate. Stacey Meshnick, Esq. is a senior staff attorney
at the fi rm who has chaired the fi rm’s Medicaid
department for over 15 years. The law fi rm can be
reached at 718-261-1700, 516-466-4422, or toll free at
1-877-ELDER-LAW or 1-877-ESTATES. Mr. Fatoullah is
also a partner with Brightside Advisors, a wealth management
fi rm with offi ces in New York and Los Angeles.
This summary is not legal advice and does not create
any attorney-client relationship. This summary does
not provide a defi nitive legal opinion for any factual situation.
Before the fi rm can provide legal advice or opinion
to any person or entity, the specifi c facts at issue
must be reviewed by the fi rm. Before an attorney-client
relationship is formed, the fi rm must have a signed
engagement letter with a client setting forth the Firm’s
scope and terms of representation.
Photo by Jeenah Moon/Pool via REUTERS