Hoboken Mayor Bhalla Updates on COVID-19 & Parking Meters

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla provided several updates last night on COVID-19 and the suspension of parking meters on Washington Street on Tuesday, as the city prepares for the impact of Isaias:

Advisory: Update from Mayor Bhalla on COVID-19 (8/3), meters suspended on Washington Street on Tuesday

Below is an update from Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla:

While we are preparing for the impact of Hurricane Isaias and urging residents to take precautions, below is an additional update regarding parking on Washington Street during the storm, as well as new COVID-19 information in Hoboken:

Meters suspended on Washington Street on Tuesday

To provide additional parking options for residents on higher elevation, we are suspending meters on Washington Street on Tuesday (meters are in effect on other streets except for Washington Street). Municipal garages reached capacity this evening.

As a reminder, street sweeping is suspended city-wide on Tuesday and currently scheduled to resume on Wednesday.

Impact of COVID-19 in Hoboken

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

7/31: 5 new cases
8/1: 0
8/2: 3
8/3: 0

Hoboken currently has a total of 666 known, confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with fatalities remaining unchanged at 29. As of Friday, 533 of the known cases have fully recovered. Over the past five weeks, 57% of the new cases were between the ages of 17 and 30. Last week, one additional child under the age of 16 tested positive for COVID-19.

Transmission rates rising in New Jersey

Unfortunately, the rate of COVID-19 transmission in the State of New Jersey has climbed to 1.48, a rate higher than in mid-April, and more than double the rate of a few weeks ago. In other words, each new case is leading to more than one additional case, which indicates that the virus is spreading in our state. The Governor has stated that any additional re-openings will be dependent on the transmission rate consistently dropping over a period of time.

COVID-19 cases rising in part due to indoor gatherings

According to Governor Murphy, cases are rising and the virus is spreading at rates higher than they should in part because of an increase in large, indoor gatherings. A number of our new COVID-19 cases in Hoboken can also be traced to social gatherings, many of them indoors, that have taken place in our mile square and other parts of New Jersey.

Large gatherings without the necessary precautions, especially those indoors, are the perfect place for COVID-19 to spread. Attending an indoor gathering or crowded outdoor gathering could not just infect you with COVID-19, but could mean you spread it (unknowingly, if asymptomatic) to your friends and family in Hoboken, and cause harm to our community. And, it could result in the spread of COVID-19 to someone who may not survive the virus. Please help keep our community safe – avoid indoor gatherings, wear a face mask, and socially distance at all practical times.

Large gatherings with children are strongly discouraged

My office has received reports of gatherings with large groups of children, many without face masks. Unfortunately, there is some misperception on whether or not children can get COVID-19. While cases and symptoms may not always be as severe, not only can children catch COVID-19, but they can spread it to parents and grandparents. I ask all parents to please take important precautions with children, which reflect guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for residents of any age: wear a face mask (for children 2 years and older), avoid playdates and large gatherings like indoor birthday parties with children from other households, and ensure social distancing to the greatest extent possible. If contact with other children is unavoidable during non-school hours, please take the precaution to ensure your child is wearing a face mask around others.

Hoboken Food Pantry continues to provide food to those in need

To end on a positive note, I want to again express my sincere thanks to Toni Tomarazzo for continuing to coordinate meal distribution within the City of Hoboken to those in need, especially in senior buildings and in the Hoboken Housing authority. On days where the volunteers at the Hoboken Food Pantry distribute food, they feed over 600 residents, which is no small accomplishment. The next food distribution day for the Hoboken Food Pantry is scheduled for Thursday, August 6 from 10 am – 2 pm at the following locations:

1301 Washington Street (Hoboken Community Center)
122 Adams Street (Knights of Columbus)
311 Harrison Street (Housing authority Main Campus)

If you’d like to volunteer to help distribute meals with the Hoboken Food Pantry, or are in need of food, please email hobokenfoodpantry@gmail.com.

Thank you, Hoboken.

Sincerely,

Ravi S. Bhalla
Mayor

===========================================

Do you have a news-tip or want to share a story with us? Please Fill out the following form. Anonymous tips are also welcome.