Hoboken Reports 12 New Coronavirus Cases

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HOBOKEN, NJ — Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in an update on Tuesday afternoon that the mile-square city’s Health Department reported 12 new coronavirus cases from this past Friday through Sunday (four each day), and then none this past Monday and Tuesday. Hoboken, with 53,000 residents across the river from […]

HOBOKEN, NJ — Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in an update on Tuesday afternoon that the mile-square city’s Health Department reported 12 new coronavirus cases from this past Friday through Sunday (four each day), and then none this past Monday and Tuesday. Hoboken, with 53,000 residents across the river from New York City, has had a total of 634 confirmed cases since March, and 29 deaths.

Bhalla said, “The majority of new COVID-19 cases reflect the trend across the rest of the country, with most under the age of 35. As always, the Health Department continues with diligent contact tracing on every confirmed case.”

He said, “In addition to the Health Department’s contact tracing, I ask all residents who test positive to follow up with your own contact tracing and urge anyone who may have been in contact with you to self-quarantine for a full 14 days and get tested at least five to seven days after exposure to you. In addition, I also ask all residents who receive a call from our Health Department to return any message and speak to our health officers without delay.”

Bhalla did not indicate what could have caused the increase in cases, after the city went several days without a new case, but in recent weeks, Bhalla has said that out-of-state travel was one reason.

Many New Jersey cities went a week or two in June without new cases, before reopenings and travel increased.

On Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy added four states to the list of 18 states that New Jersey residents must quarantine after visiting, and removed Delaware. (More here.)

Bhalla said, “Please take note that other communities have recently had COVID-19 outbreaks related to both graduation parties and other types of gatherings. As an example, Westfield went two weeks without a COVID-19 case but had a spike when a cluster of new cases was confirmed of residents between the ages of 18-25 who attend local parties.”

He added “I know it’s the summer, but going to a party or any large social gathering simply isn’t worth getting infected and spreading it to a parent or grandparent, who could have their lives at risk.”

“I urge all residents to avoid large gatherings whenever possible, and remember that staying outdoors when interacting with others is much safer than indoors. The best precautions, as always, remain to wear a mask and socially distance at all practical times.”

Bhalla said that if returning from a state that is on New Jersey’s quarantine list, or “if you were in another social setting where social distancing wasn’t possible and think an exposure could have occurred,” get a test at least 5-7 days after the day of potential infection and quarantine for a full 14 days.

Last week, Gov. Phil Murphy ordered residents to wear face masks outdoors in public places where distancing wasn’t possible.

Before the July 4 holiday weekend, on Wednesday, July 1, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said there had been 423 new cases of the virus statewide in the previous 24 hours, and 45 more deaths confirmed. That meant that the number of cases statewide had risen to 171,928, and 13,244 deaths.

A week later, this Wednesday, July 8, Murphy reported 335 new cases in 24 hours and 53 more deaths confirmed, bringing the death toll to 13, 476. But this rate is down from New Jersey’s peak: a high of 460 deaths in 24 hours on April 30, or one person every three minutes.

To read more of Bhalla’s alerts, click here.

See these recent updates on coronavirus testing, reopening, and more:

TESTING

  • To get a rapid, 15-minute test through the city’s partnership with Riverside Medical, call the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) at 201-420-5621 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. If you don’t have health insurance, the city will pay the cost.

  • There are other medical offices in Hoboken with coronavirus and antibody tests; if in doubt about what to do, call your physician, then check with your insurance. Many insurances are waiving fees and copays for these tests.

SCHOOLS

  • The Hoboken public schools are slated to reopen Tuesday, Sept. 8, but whether it will be in person will be determined by the state. The state is presently considering in-person schooling, virtual schooling, and a “blended option” involving both. There will be restrictions, such as kids wearing masks and maintaining a 6-foot distance. Superintendent Christine Johnson gave information about the local planning process recently.

  • The governor’s school reopening guidance was published on June 26.

  • The summer camp run by the Hoboken schools has been canceled. Limited recreational options have been scheduled. The mayor made reference to them here.

  • Day cares were able to reopen June 15, with certain rules in place, and recreational camps can reopen in July. READ MORE.

LIBRARY

  • Residents can return library books and other materials by placing them in the library book/media dropbox in front of the library (500 Park Ave.) from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The library will begin no contact “curbside pickup” service. Library patrons will be able to reserve the materials online, place their orders via email to hobkcirc@bccls.org, or call (201) 4202346, ext. 5102. For additional details, visit hobokenlibrary.org.

PARKS

GYMS

  • Bhalla said recently, “According to Governor Murphy, the following activities are permitted at indoor gyms starting July 2, as provided by his office: ‘individualized indoor instruction by appointment only where an instructor is offering training to an individual, and the individual’s immediate family members, household members, caretakers, or romantic partners. If a gym or fitness center is offering multiple simultaneous instructions at the same facility, these instructions must take place in separate rooms or, if they take place in the same room, must be separated by a floor-to-ceiling barrier that complies with all fire code requirements.’ “

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

  • More than 50 of the city’s restaurants opened two weeks ago for outdoor dining. READ MORE.

  • Kings supermarkets updated residents on their sanitizing procedures and on an employee who tested positive last month. READ MORE.

  • Two of the city’s weekly farmers’ markets reopened in June. READ MORE.

  • The city and Patch both have directories of businesses that are open and closed. Check it out and add your listing. READ MORE.

  • The city will be closing off certain blocks for businesses to expand and draw foot traffic. READ MORE.

  • Here’s what you need to know about applying for unemployment and other benefits during coronavirus. MORE.

  • Read more about unemployment, small business, and other coronavirus regulations and benefits in New Jersey here.

  • States around the country have had to pull back on their reopenings, such as Texas, which closed bars and has seen a record number of hospitalizations and deaths.

NURSING HOMES

  • New Jersey residents have become alarmed at the high number of residents who have passed away in nursing homes, rehabs, and similar facilities, and have charged that the facilities are undercounting the numbers and not adequately protecting residents and staff. The state has faced questions for weeks from the press about how they will address the problems. They announced plans last month to increase testing at some long term care facilities and to bring in the National Guard to help make changes.

  • The state has begun releasing death toll statistics for long-term care facilities like rehabs and nursing homes. See the list here.

  • You can report problems with long term care facilities here, or if you suspect coronavirus related misconduct, here.

  • Some nursing homes reopened for limited visits, with precautions, in July.

Here are statewide coronavirus resources:

  • NJ COVID-19 Information Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/

  • General COVID-19 questions: 2-1-1

  • NJ COVID-19 hotline: (800) 222-1222

Got news? Email caren.lissner@patch.com. To keep up with breaking news in your town and statewide when it happens, and get a free local newsletter each morning, sign up for Patch breaking news alerts and daily newsletters.

This article originally appeared on the Hoboken Patch

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