Mayor Ravi Bhalla released the following COVID update for the city of Hoboken last night. Unfortunately, the Mile Square City suffered two additional deaths of residents last week.
The Hoboken Health Department has reported the following, new COVID-19 cases:
February 20: 12
February 21: 44
February 22: 15
February 23: 31
February 24: 56
February 25: 18
February 26: 42
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hoboken has had 3,411 known, confirmed cases of COVID-19. I’m saddened to report we were notified earlier in the week of two additional COVID-19 related deaths, a male in his early 50s and another male in his late 60s, bringing Hoboken’s total to 43. Hoboken University Medical Center is currently treating 19 patients with COVID-19, which includes five Hoboken residents.
COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day
With the support of the City Council at Wednesday’s Council meeting, we passed a resolution naming the first Monday in March as COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day in Hoboken. We are joining nearly 150 other cities in designating the day where we can pay our respects to residents who have sadly passed away from the virus, along with their family and friends. At 7:00 pm on Monday, I ask all residents to consider taking a brief moment of silence to pause and reflect on those who we’ve lost over the past year, and those who continue to be affected by the virus. I’ll also be directing City staff to fly all municipal flags at half-staff on Monday, and for the week in recognition of COVID-19 Memorial Day. My deepest sympathies are with all those who have lost a loved one.
For anyone who would like to share a picture and note remembering the life of a Hoboken resident, or loved one lost due to COVID-19, please feel free to email the picture and note to COVID19@hobokennj.gov this weekend and we will share it on social media on Monday or during the week.
Additionally, All Saints, Hoboken will be hosting a virtual Service of Remembrance and Hope in honor of those lost to COVID-19, which will be broadcasted on their YouTube channel on March 7 at 4:00 pm. If you would like the name of a family member who passed away from COVID-19 to be read in the ceremony, please email Rev. Elaine Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact tracing and safety precautions
As indicated in the last update, the Hoboken Health Department has detected travel outside of New Jersey, both within the United States and internationally as contributing to additional COVID-19 cases in Hoboken. Travel, combined with indoor, social gatherings beyond household members as well as spread from household contacts remain the primary sources of recent infections.
Given the increase in recent cases in Hoboken, and the rise of coronavirus variants in various parts of the country, I ask all residents to please continue with safety precautions science has proven will keep us safe: wear a (double) mask, social distance, limit out-of-state travel, and wash your hands. With the weather improving, please consider also prioritizing outdoor as opposed to indoor activities.
Update on vaccines
The Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC) hit a milestone on Friday, administering 5,000 total vaccinations at their facility to both Hoboken residents, as well as their own staff and patients. HUMC staff has been invaluable in partnering with the City as our central vaccine provider, and I thank all of the nurses, doctors and administrators for their assistance.
Hoboken was provided with another 300 first-dose vaccines by the State, in addition to approximately 150 remaining first doses we plan to administer through the Hoboken Health Department and HUMC next week. On a positive note, we’ve provided first doses to the majority of seniors on our pre-registration list, as we continue to do everything we can to help protect our elder generation.
Overall, 2,047 first doses and 995 second doses have been administered to residents through the Hoboken Health Department and HUMC. 1,600 residents have also been provided at least a first dose through Hudson County’s vaccination site in Kearny.
Riverside Medical Group is continuing to partner with the Hoboken Health Department, and will be providing second doses to Hoboken seniors this weekend. Dr. Brahmbhatt and his team will also utilize our pre-registration list to schedule first-dose vaccines for residents with chronic, high-risk medical conditions next weekend as well. As before, Riverside will continue to utilize our pre-registration lists to schedule appointments when they have available vaccines, and is not taking appointments over the phone or in person.
Johnson & Johnson vaccine
I’m encouraged that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, which includes only one dose, was unanimously endorsed by an FDA panel yesterday. Formal FDA authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is anticipated to occur in the coming days. Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey could receive approximately 70,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses in the coming week after the FDA grants approval. This is great news, and I’m hopeful it will soon lead to an even greater supply here in Hoboken, along with additional distribution for pharmacies and other providers.
Continued COVID-19 testing
Hoboken’s medical partners continue to have significant capacity to test our residents and business owners on a weekly basis. If you need a test, one is available to you with same day appointments frequently available, and PCR results often times within 24 hours. For the City’s updated testing options, please visit http://www.hobokennj.gov/testing.
Thank you Hoboken, and please stay safe.
Ravi S. Bhalla