Hoboken Councilman Cohen’s Newsletter: Everything From COVID To Securing More Bike Parking

Hoboken 5th Ward Councilman released his latest newsletter this morning:

COVID-19 Updates 

The transmission rate for NJ had been below 1.0 for several months, reflecting that for each person who gets COVID, it is spread to less than one other person. Then, with the spike of the Delta variant, New Jersey’s transmission rate had been at or above 1.0 for some time before dipping back below 1.0 once more. After jumping above 1.0 due to the Omicron variant, New Jersey’s transmission rate now has fallen back below 1.0 and presently is at .69

Over 6.7 million New Jerseyans have been fully vaccinated with over 14.1 million doses administered in New Jersey, as of February 24th. As of February 20th, Hoboken’s positive test results total 9,737 cases confirmed since the start of the pandemic. Two weeks ago, there were 9,512 positive cases. Please stay vigilant, practice social distancing when necessary, wash your hands, and stay safe. 

Last July, we celebrated an extended stretch of 60 days of having no COVID patients at Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC). However, HUMC is now hospitalizing 4 people with COVID. Two are Hoboken Residents. The 2 Hoboken residents who are COVID patients at HUMC have not received a booster shot. If you have any reason to believe you have been exposed to COVID, please quarantine and then schedule an appointment for a COVID test 5-7 days for those fully vaccinated and immediately for those unvaccinated after potential exposure. To find out when you should get tested, click here.

Sadly, in the past two weeks, two more COVID-19 related deaths were announced in our community, a man in his 60s and a woman in her 90s, increasing Hoboken’s COVID death toll to 63 since the start of the pandemic. I want to offer my heartfelt condolences to each Hoboken family that has endured this terrible pain and loss.    

Monarch Site Redesign Meeting — Now Available Online

On February 15th, Hoboken hosted a community meeting to address the next phase of development of the Monarch site. The City has entered into a settlement agreement with Ironstate, wherein the City acquired the 15th Street pier area and committed to relocating the DPW garage from its present location at Newark and Observer — a site that will be developed by Ironstate into a mixed-use residential tower — and then build a new DPW garage on a location north of 15th Street—a critical piece of the Monarch settlement. 

You can learn about the planned short-term improvements for the Monarch site by checking out the recorded February 15th community meeting here

Expanding Secure Bike Parking

I ran into my friends from the innovative company Oonee last week during my lunch break from work, when Oonee was preparing for its press conference with the MTA to announce a partnership creating free, secure bike parking near Grand Central Station. I am looking forward to Hoboken’s issuing an RFP to engage with secure bike parking providers to create more secure bike storage options in our community.

“Daylighting” Intersections 

Thanks to Hoboken Transportation and Parking Director Ryan Sharp andMayor Bhalla for responding to constituent concerns and making improvements at Garden and 8th Streets in order to “daylight” the intersection, improving sight lines for drivers to see pedestrians and for pedestrians to see drivers and improving pedestrian safety. 

I am presently working with the City on “daylighting” the intersection at Grand and 13th Streets. Please contact me at HobokenPhil@gmail.com if you have any requests or concerns pertaining to pedestrian safety. I would love to hear your ideas for keeping our streets safe.  Hoboken was recently recognized for its Vision Zero program by US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg for its 4-year track record with zero pedestrian deaths. But, we can always do better and I would love to hear your ideas.

Hoboken Board of Education Releases Survey for High School Project Feedback

The Hoboken Board of Education (BOE) released a survey seeking public input on its plans for a new high school, after its previous plan was decisively rejected by the community-at-large by a 2:1 margin in a single-question special referendum January 25th. 

The BOE has requested that folks complete this survey by March 15th. Please go to this link, complete your survey, and share your feedback with the BOE 🏼 https://bit.ly/3JhsFLa.

$15 Million in Small Business Improvement Grants are Available

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority Small Business Improvement Grant Program is accepting applications for reimbursement of small businesses’ building improvements, or the purchase of new furniture, fixtures, and equipment. These small business grants will be funded up to $15 million from Main Street Recovery Finance Program funds.  Applications will be accepted until the funds run out. You can click here to apply.

Funding Assistance with Your Electric and Gas Bills is Available

The State of New Jersey is offering assistance with your electricity or gas bills. The State-wide moratorium on utility shut-offs ends on March 15th. Don’t wait to apply for help with your heating and electric bills, if you are concerned about losing power this winter. If you need help or know folks who do, act now and visit:bit.ly/DCAIDportal or call 1-800-510-3102.

You Can Pick This Year’s Movies Under the Stars! 🍿📽🍿

Hoboken residents are invited to help select films for the annual Movies Under the Stars series at Pier A Park and the 7th & Jackson Resiliency Park. You can vote for up to 5 movies, from classic films to family favorites.

Visit the survey and pick your favorites athttps://arcg.is/1uWP0q0.

️🥎Registration for Baseball and Softball is Open ️🥎   

Residents can now register for spring baseball and softball through the City of Hoboken’s Recreation Division. Children aged 4-18 are welcome to register.   

The City is also pleased to announce the return of the Opening Day Parade, which is scheduled to take place on April 9. Registration will close on March 4 at 5 p.m.    

To register for baseball, click here. To register for softball, click here. For questions, please email recreation@hobokennj.gov.  

COVID and Travel 

The CDC has issued travel recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. All travelers leaving the State should check with the travel destination and transportation carrier (i.e., airline, cruise ship) to see if there are additional health and safety protocols or requirements, such as proof of a negative COVID-19 test within days of departure. Travelers should also check with their employers, schools, and other entities that may have quarantine policies

The CDC recommends delaying your travel until you are fully vaccinated.

Domestic Travel 

The CDC advises that unvaccinated individuals should get tested 1-3 days before their trip, 3-5 days after travel, and stay home and self-quarantine for 5 days after domestic travel. Vaccinated New Jersey residents are no longer required to quarantine when traveling domestically outside the stateFor more information, click here for the CDC’s guidance for domestic travel.

International Travel 

The CDC requires all air passengers arriving in the US from a foreign country to get tested for COVID-19 no more than 1 day before their flight departs and present their negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 before boarding the flight. For more details on international travel from the CDC click here.

COVID Testing Updates

To get the current Hoboken COVID testing and hours click here

Free Testing for Hoboken Residents and Business Employees:

601/605 Jackson Street (Administered by Medicine Man)

Date: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday

Time: 8am – 2pm Tuesday, 4 – 7pm Wed, 8am – 1pm Friday

Location: 601/605 Jackson Street 

Type of testing: PCR

Who: Hoboken residents, Hoboken business employees

Link for appointments: http://www.hobokennj.gov/testing

601 Jackson Street (Administered by Riverside)

Date: Saturday

Time: 9 am – 2 pm 

Location: 601 Jackson Street 

Type of testing: Rapid (15 Minute), PCR

Who: Hoboken residents, Hoboken business employees

Link for appointments: https://www.hobokennj.gov/testing

City MD

City MD at 231 Washington Street also offers COVID-19 tests. You can walk in without an appointment and get tested during regular hours. 

At-home testing 

The NJ Department of Health and Vault Medical Services is offering free, at-home COVID-19 saliva test kits. To order your kit go to learn.vaulthealth.com/nj. I ordered four free test kits from the federal government for my family, and you can order yours at https://www.covidtests.gov/.

COVID Vaccination News 

As of February 24th, nearly 100% of our seniors (65 and older) have received their first dose, and nearly 100% of our seniors are fully vaccinated. Thanks to our seniors for stepping up and protecting themselves and our community!

98% of Hoboken residents 12 and older have been provided with at least one dose, and 83% are fully vaccinated

94% of Hoboken residents 18 and older have been provided with at least one dose, and 80% are fully vaccinated

Nearly 100% of Hoboken residents 30 and older have been provided with at least one dose, and 89% are fully vaccinated.

85% of all Hoboken residents have been provided with at least one dose, and 73% are fully vaccinated.

Mayor Bhalla and the Hoboken Health Department continue collaborating with local providers to offer a free COVID-19 vaccine and booster clinic this week for Hoboken residents and employees of Hoboken businesses at the following location and times:

Walk-in Vaccination Clinics

Where: 601 Jackson Street 

Who: Hoboken residents, Hoboken business employees, Hoboken students

Day: Tuesday

Time: 4 pm – 7 pm (Tuesday)

Vaccine Offered: Pediatric Pfizer, and Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J boosters

Ages: 5-11 (Pfizer Pediatric), 18+ (booster) 

Administered By: Medicine Man Pharmacy and Compounding

Link for Appointment: https://www.hobokennj.gov/vaccine

 

To get current Hoboken information on the City’s vaccination and clinic schedules click here as new information is posted daily. 

Better Life Pharmacy (1000 Washington Street), Hoboken Family Pharmacy (307 1st Street), and Medicine Man Pharmacy and Compounding (511 Washington Street) are also providing the vaccine at their locations during regular business hours. 

If you are a Hoboken resident and would like a copy of your vaccination record, please contact LMedeiros@hobokennj.gov. Vaccination records are also accessible for all New Jersey residents through the Docket app

CVS pharmacies in Hoboken Downtown, Midtown, and Uptown locations also supply the COVID-19 vaccine. Walgreens pharmacies in Hoboken Downtown and its two Uptown locations are also supplying the COVID-19 vaccine. You can also receive the vaccine at the County’s vaccination center in Kearny. Click here to make an appointment. 

Coffee with Cohen  . . .  the home edition

Last year, to practice social distancing, rather than eliminate my monthly Coffee with Cohen events, I turned to the internet.  For my 5️⃣0️⃣th Coffee with Cohen event on TuesdayI hosted special guest, James Runkle, President of the Hoboken Business Alliance and Trustee of the Hoboken Relief Fund.  We discussed the Hoboken Business Alliance’s initiatives in 2022, the state of Hoboken’s local economy and business climate, the Hoboken Relief Fund’s repurposing to help those affected by the tragic Chambord Fire, how can people step up and help those local businesses that have been affected by the Chambord Building Fire, and much, much more. Over 100 people have watched this event and you can check it out here.

My next Coffee with Cohen event will be in two weeks. I hope to see you there. Do you have any questions? Send them to HobokenPhil@gmail.com as I try to address each one. These events are hosted on my Facebook page Philcohenforcouncil and you can watch them here. 

You can always follow me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. If you have any questions or concerns, or if I can be of assistance to you or your family, please do not hesitate to contact me at HobokenPhil@gmail.com.  

Phil Cohen

Hoboken City Councilman

Hoboken, New Jersey

HobokenPhil@gmail.com

(862) 234-9053

P.S. You can learn more about me and my ideas for Hoboken (as well as read this newsletter and my prior newsletters) on my website philcohen.org.

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