Hoboken Adds COVID Testing Through Bespoke Health

The City of Hoboken has partnered with Bespoke Health to add COVID-19 testing for the next two weeks. The City and Bespoke will add 1,000 PCR tests per day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to keep up with the increased demand for testing. Anyone who lives, works or goes to school in Hoboken will be eligible for testing. The cost of testing will be covered for anyone without health insurance. Testing will take place through Bespoke at the Multi-Service Center gymnasium (124 Grand Street) from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm on Tuesday and Thursday, and 12 pm – 8 pm on Wednesday.

To sign-up for testing through Bespoke, visit https://www.bespokehealthco.com/hoboken.
.
Proof of residency, employment, or attendance at a Hoboken school will be required at the time of testing. Anyone seeking a test is reminded that 5-7 days should pass from the date of a COVID-19 exposure, with the exception if symptoms are developed, before getting tested.

Additional testing through Bespoke will be added the week of December 27 as well, which will be announced later this week.

Meanwhile, here is the latest COVID information and statistics provide by the Hoboken Health Department and Mayor Ravi Bhalla:

The Hoboken Health Department reports the following new COVID-19 cases:

December 11: 18
December 12: 10
December 13: 23
December 14: 30
December 15: 27
December 16: 66
December 17: 35

A large number of cases reported over the past few days were cases that were from several weeks ago, based on a delay in reporting from one of the laboratories utilized by the City’s testing providers. Nonetheless, cases remain on the rise, mirroring trends from across New Jersey and the rest of the tri-state area.

Since the pandemic’s onset, the City of Hoboken has had 6,611 known, confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 56 fatalities. Currently, there are eight people hospitalized with COVID-19 at Hoboken University Medical Center. Seven are unvaccinated, which include four Hoboken residents.

Hoboken Health Department update

The Hoboken Health Department reports the following update:

  • Recent increase of positive COVID-19 cases over the past week
  • Cases are community widespread and associated with schools, daycares, social gatherings, travel, and work
  • The regional CALI score was upgraded from Moderate risk to High risk.

Ages of recent cases

Below is the breakdown of recent positive COVID-19 cases by age group since the last update:

0-11: 23
12-19: 5
20-29: 100
30-39: 92
40-49: 23
50-59: 12
60-69: 7
70+: 7

Vaccination rate update

Below is the vaccination rate for Hoboken:

All ages: 79% (first dose)
12 and over: 91% (first dose)
18 and over: 88% (first dose)
30 and over: 98% (first dose)
65 and over: nearly 100% (first dose)

All ages: 70% (second dose)
12 and over: 80% (second dose)
18 and over: 77% (second dose)
30 and over: 87% (second dose)
65 and over: 99% (second dose)

We’re in a better place than we were a year ago

I know it can be difficult to view the recent surge in cases in the region and across the country on television, bringing back memories of what happened at various stages last year. It’s more than likely that the Omicron variant is leading to more infections than we would have all hoped, which may continue over the next several winter weeks.

However, this time around, we have the necessary tools to keep our community as safe as we can, which starts with vaccinations and boosters. I’m proud that among one of our most vulnerable population – our seniors – we have close to a 100% full vaccination rate, and what we know are high booster rates as well. For those vaccinated individuals who test positive, the vast majority do not experience severe illness, and we have had only a very small handful of vaccinated hospitalizations. The best way to continue this trend is to ensure that you get your booster if you’re eligible, and to do so as soon as practically possible.

One understandable misconception that is common are the circumstances regarding breakthrough infections. Some associate the increase in breakthrough cases with a perception that vaccines and boosters are not working. Nothing could be further from the truth. The amount and percentage of those who are vaccinated are substantially higher than those who are unvaccinated in Hoboken. It’s inevitable based on that ratio, that more vaccinated individuals will end up testing positive for COVID-19. The actual percentage of vaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID-19 compared to the overall vaccinated population, and end up getting hospitalized, is drastically lower than the percentage of those who are unvaccinated.

Holiday guidelines

If you are gathering with family and friends for the holidays, the CDC has issued a number of holiday guidelines and recommendations. These include:

  • Get vaccinated and get your COVID-19 booster before the holidays if you are eligible.
  • Wear a mask when in crowded, indoor settings or you do not know the vaccination status of others.
  • Celebrate outside if practically possible, or in well-ventilated areas.
  • If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and do not host or attend gatherings.
  • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
  • Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated.
  • If traveling over the holiday season, be sure to visit the new NJDOH Traveler’s Health page for travel-related guidance. Remember that masks are required on all modes of public transportation and in transportation hubs.

Health experts recommend that to keep friends and family safe during holiday gatherings, is to ensure all participants are vaccinated, and having all participants get a rapid or self-test before gathering, if possible.

If you attend a large holiday gathering or party where the vaccination status of participants is unknown or with several unvaccinated individuals, consider getting tested 5-7 days after the gathering.

Reminder on timing to receive testing

One common mistake that we are seeing is that individuals who have had a close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, are getting tested too soon after the exposure. After a close contact, the individual should wait approximately 5-7 days after the exposure to get tested, unless you have symptoms. Please note that getting a test too soon after the exposure could leave to an inaccurate result.

Added testing options

We recognize that over the past few days it has been difficult to get a test due to the major increase in demand, and have worked diligently to add testing for the upcoming week with multiple providers. We will also be utilizing a new testing service – Bespoke Health, which will be providing a link by Monday to sign-up for 1,500 appointments for this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Multi-Service Center (124 Grand Street).

I’m greatly appreciative to our local providers – Riverside Medical Group, Prompt MD, Medicine Man Pharmacy, and Hoboken Family Pharmacy, for continuing to work with us to distribute testing and vaccines to our residents. Their partnership throughout the pandemic has been invaluable and I thank all of their staff for continuing to work with us.

Clinic schedule

Appointments are required for all testing and vaccination clinics, and can be booked online at www.hobokennj.gov/vaccine or at www.hobokennj.gov/testing.

This week’s clinic schedule is as follows:

Vaccination Clinics:

Note: Appointments listed below may be filled based on demand

Medicine Man Pharmacy & Compounding 
Location: 605 Jackson Street
Who: Anyone who works, lives, or goes to school in Hoboken
Day: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Monday, boosters only), 4 – 7 p.m. (Tuesday, Wednesday)
Vaccine offered: Pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna (booster), Pfizer (booster), Johnson & Johnson (booster)
Ages: 5-11 (pediatric Pfizer vaccine), 18+ (Johnson &Johnson vaccine & booster, Moderna vaccine & booster), 12+ (Pfizer vaccine), 16+ (Pfizer booster)
Sign-up for an appointment (required): hobokennj.gov/medicinemanvaccine
** Children must be accompanied by a guardian **
**Those seeking a booster shot must bring their vaccine card**

Hoboken Family Pharmacy
Location: 605 Jackson Street
Who: Anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Hoboken
Day: Monday, Thursday
Time: 4 – 7 p.m.
Vaccine offered: Pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, first and second dose vaccines, Moderna (booster), Pfizer (booster), Johnson & Johnson (booster)
Ages: 5-11 (pediatric Pfizer vaccine), 18+ (Johnson &Johnson vaccine & booster, Moderna vaccine & booster), 12+ (Pfizer vaccine), 16+ (Pfizer booster)
Sign-up for an appointment (required): https://vaccine.resilhealth.com/hobokenfamilypharmacyrx
** Children must be accompanied by a guardian **
** Those seeking a booster shot must bring their vaccine card**

Testing Clinics:

Note: Appointments listed below may be filled based on demand; proof of residency or employment at a Hoboken business will be required at all testing sites

Riverside Medical Group
Date: Monday, Tuesday
Time: 9 am – 3 pm (Monday), 9 am – 2 pm (Tuesday)
Location: Multi-Service Center gymnasium/124 Grand St (Monday), 605 Jackson Street (Tuesday)
Type of testing: Rapid (15-minute); PCR
Who: Hoboken residents, Hoboken business employees
Link for appointments (required): http://www.hobokennj.gov/riverside

Prompt MD
Date: Wednesday, Thursday
Time: 8 am – 3 pm (Wednesday,) 8 am -1 pm (Thursday)
Location: 605 Jackson Street
Type of testing: PCR
Who: Hoboken residents, Hoboken business employees
Link for appointments (required)http://www.hobokennj.gov/promptmd

Medicine Man Pharmacy & Compounding 
Date: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Time: 9 am – 3 pm (Monday), 3-7 pm (Tuesday) 3 – 7 pm (Wednesday), 3-7 pm (Thursday), 9 am – 12 pm (Friday)
Location: 601 Jackson Street (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), 605 Jackson Street (Friday)
Type of testing: PCR
Who: Hoboken residents, Hoboken business employees
Link for appointments (required)http://www.hobokennj.gov/medicineman

New Jersey Department of Health
Date: Thursday
Time: 1 pm – 7 pm
Location: Monroe Gardens, 221 Jackson St. (Hoboken Housing Authority, community room)
Who: Hoboken and Hudson County residents, Hoboken business employees
Type of testing: PCR
No appointment needed through NJ Department of Health, testing provided on a first-come, first-served basis

Bespoke Health
Dates: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Time: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm (Tuesday, Thursday), 12 pm – 8 pm (Wednesday)
Location: 124 Grand Street/Multi-Service Center gymnasium
Who: Hoboken residents, Hoboken business employees
Link for appointments (required): To be provided by end of day Monday via Nixle

At-home testing through the New Jersey Department of Health

The NJ Department of Health and Vault Medical Services have partnered to offer a free, at-home COVID-19 saliva test kit that is available to every resident who thinks they need a test.

The kit will be shipped through UPS with next-day delivery. Once received, you will connect over Zoom with a Vault healthcare professional who will walk you through the test and answer your questions.

When complete, the test can be sent back in a prepaid package via UPS next-day shipping and you will receive your results 24 to 48 hours after your sample arrives at the lab.

To order your kit go to learn.vaulthealth.com/nj.

For more information, go to https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/testing-and-treatment/how-do-i-get-a-free-at-home-covid-19-saliva-test#direct-link.