Coronavirus News: Frontline workers hold vigil to honor victims of COVID-19

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Frontline workers came together on Wednesday night for a special tribute to remember the victims of COVID-19.

Hundreds of health care workers at Lenox Hill marched as they held virtual candles high in silent tribute to all they have lost.

They gathered in front of the hospital for a solemn, painful moment of silence. Only they know how it was inside for themselves and all the soldiers who paid the ultimate price in a devastating and harrowing war.

"Say their name, say their name out loud, feel the loss, because it's OK," Dr. Jill Kalman said.

It's a harrowing time to be involved in medicine and can be exhausting and painful most days just to walk through the hospital doors -- but for many, it has been the time that has defined and revealed who they are.

"We all went into this for a reason, this is one of the most mission-driven times in our lives, so if this is why you went into medicine, we dive in, we don't step back," Kalman said.

The hospital is seeing fewer COVID patients now, but they are still coming in.

"We did the research, we have the data, we know what's happening -- now what do we do about it," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "We're gonna develop targeted strategies to these highly impacted communities."

Cuomo said that an even greater percentage of cases is coming in now from minority neighborhoods in the city.

Nearly half of the people who live in the Morrisania section of the Bronx have tested positive for either the virus or the antibodies that come from having it.

"The spread is continuing in those communities and that's where the new cases are coming from," Cuomo said.

It doesn't surprise Rev. Roberto Lopez, the pastor at the Union Grove Baptist Church.

"If you walk around our community today, you'll see there are certain parts and certain places where they are not respecting the social distance, and I don't know if it's just due to lack of information or I'm not too sure what the reason is," Lopez said.

The governor isn't either so he's increasing testing sights and doing more community outreach for education.

Back on the front lines, they won't forget those they lost or the time they've been through.

"It's been harrowing, traumatic, elating, exhilarating, bonding -- the best time to be in health care but probably the hardest thing anybody's done," Kalman said.


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