Below is an update from Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla on COVID-19:
Impact of COVID-19 in Hoboken
The Hoboken Health Department reported the following, new COVID-19 cases:
August 10: 2 new cases
August 11: 2 new cases
Hoboken has a total of 684 known, confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic with fatalities remaining unchanged at 29.
Increase in testing
Due to the increase in demand for COVID-19 testing, we have expanded our testing this month thanks to Riverside Medical and Prompt MD.
Prompt MD is adding COVID-19 testing times at the pop-up center at 605 Jackson Street next Monday and Tuesday from 8 pm until 3 pm (updated times), with appointments now open for both days at www.hobokennj.gov/promptmd on a first-come, first-serve basis. Results of the test are provided within 2-3 days. The first two days of the testing with Prompt MD at the pop-up center were a success, with over 375 residents tested. Riverside has also increased hours and capacity for testing and tested 242 residents under the Viaduct in the same two-day span. Over 1% of the Hoboken population was tested at the two testing sites in two days.
Over the previous 11 days of testing, Riverside increased daily testing to an average of 107 tests per day, with 1,183 tested in that 11-day span (which does not include business employees or Riverside patients).
Overall, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the staff from both Riverside and Prompt MD for going above and beyond to expand testing for Hoboken residents. Dr. Brahmbhatt, Dr. Islam and their teams, in partnership with the Hoboken Health Department and Office of Emergency Management, are doing an incredible job at keeping our community safe from the spread of COVID-19, and we are thankful for their assistance.
Riverside testing logistics
While Riverside continues to test residents, some may continue to inadvertently get sent bills related to the rapid COVID-19 testing. Hoboken residents do not need to pay for the cost of a test, or a co-pay associated with the Riverside test, and can disregard the bill. Any bill will not be sent to collections. We continue to work with Riverside to resolve this logistics and apologize for any confusion.
When calling the CERT hotline for a rapid COVID-19 test with Riverside, a common and understandable interpretation is that the scheduling of a test is rapid. Please note that due to high demand, for asymptomatic residents it could take a few days for a test to be scheduled. When receiving the test, the result is rapid and received within 15 minutes. If you know you need a test before a certain date, please call CERT at least seven days in advance if possible at 201-420-5621.
To clarify a policy, the City will pay for the cost of a test for any resident without insurance that takes a test either at the Riverside site or pop-up site with Prompt MD. If a resident gets a test at another facility and receives a bill, he or she is responsible for the cost of the test.
Update to New Jersey 14-day quarantine list
Governor Murphy has updated the list of states from which residents must quarantine for a full 14 days after returning. Five states were removed (Alaska, Ohio, Rhode Island, New Mexico and Washington) while three regions were added (Hawaii, South Dakota and Virgin Islands).
The updated list of 31 states include Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
If you have plans to travel internationally, some airlines are requiring a negative COVID-19 test before a trip. If you are unable to avoid an international trip, please be sure to initiate the process for booking your test well in advance. If you are returning from international travel, please follow the same protocol as above: quarantine for a full 14 days, and get a COVID-19 test at least 5-7 days after returning (while still quarantining for the 14 days even after a negative test).
Working with Hudson County on rental assistance
Hoboken is working with Hudson County and County Executive Tom DeGise on relief for renters impacted by COVID-19, and will soon provide rental assistance for Hoboken residents who qualify. I encourage residents to fill out a survey initiated by Hudson County, which will help determine the criteria for the program. Click here for the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HCCOVIDRentalAssistanceSurvey.
$34,000 for the Hoboken Housing Authority
Thank you to Senator Menendez, Senator Booker and Congressman Sires for securing $34,000 in CARES Act funding for our Hoboken Housing Authority. This federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be used to help create a safer and healthier environment in HHA buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ravi S. Bhalla