Advisory: Update from Mayor Bhalla on COVID-19 (12/15)
With heavy snow expected to start falling in Hoboken by mid-to-late afternoon, Mayor Ravi Bhalla issued the following update last night on changes to the COVID testing schedule this week.
The Hoboken Health Department has reported the following, new COVID-19 cases:
December 11: 25
December 12: 19
December 13: 16
December 14: 11
December 15: 14
As of last night, there have been 1,747 known, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hoboken. An updated recovery count will be provided by the end of the week. Sadly, an additional resident in his early 60s lost his life after contracting COVID-19. I extend my best wishes to his family and loved ones through what I know must be an extremely difficult time.
The Hoboken University Medical Center is currently treating 30 patients with COVID-19, which includes seven Hoboken residents.
Contact tracing update from the Hoboken Health Department
The Hoboken Health Department has reported the following trends from contact tracing, reflecting previous patterns:
- Small gatherings beyond household members
- Infections of children from recreation sports outside of Hoboken
- Travel to high-risk regions
- Household contacts
New, recent trends include some infections associated with:
- Senior populations
- Certain cases traced to gyms
- Travel on mass transit
The Hoboken Health Department also reports residents experiencing COVID-19 symptoms later in the incubation process, after 5 days. It’s all the more reason to ensure that when getting a COVID-19 test after a possible exposure, to wait at least the 5-7 days from the exposure date to get a test. Getting a test prior to the 5-7 days could lead to an inaccurate result. If you have symptoms, you do not need to wait to get a test.
We are unfortunately experiencing a greater rate of non compliance in recent weeks with contact tracing. I ask all residents to please cooperate as much as possible with our Hoboken Health Department when they reach out to you for information. Their work has been invaluable in keeping our residents safe, but they can only continue to do so if everyone lends their assistance when asked. Please know that all information is kept confidential in our Health Department.
As a result of the predicted snowstorm, Prompt MD has made the decision to cancel COVID-19 testing on Thursday due to the weather. They have reached out to those scheduled for testing in an effort to reschedule. Testing through ivee (Multi-Service Center) and Riverside Medical Group (Bijou Properties site) remain on schedule for Thursday.
To help keep up with the demand, Medicine Man Pharmacy has added additional hours this weekend to the Saturday and Sunday appointments they originally offered, and will add testing on Tuesday, December 22 and Wednesday, December 23. Appointments for next Tuesday and Wednesday will be available in the coming days at http://www.hobokennj.gov/medicineman.
Riverside Medical Group will be releasing COVID-19 testing appointments today, for next Monday through Thursday. Riverside has also increased testing appoints to be able to test 800 Hoboken residents next week. Appointments will be available starting today for testing next week, for residents at http://www.hobokennj.gov/riverside.
As a reminder, the New Jersey Department of Health is providing COVID-19 testing this Friday between 1 pm and 7 pm at 221 Jackson Street (community room), with no appointment needed for residents of Hudson County and New Jersey. I thank Governor Murphy and his staff for helping provide this pop-up testing opportunity for our community.
For the most up-to-date testing information, please visit the City of Hoboken’s dedicated testing website that is regularly updated at http://www.hobokennj.gov/testing.
Hoboken Food Pantry’s food distribution
The Hoboken Food Pantry continues to provide food to any resident who needs it, and I’m greatly appreciative to all of the volunteers for all the critical work they are doing for our community.
The next Hoboken Food Pantry distribution is today- Wednesday, December 16th from 10am to 2pm at the following locations:
– 1301 Washington Street (Hoboken Community Center)
– 124 Grand Street (Multi Service Center, ground floor)
– 601 Jackson Street (Jubilee Center)
While inclement weather is expected beginning this afternoon, if you plan to come by, we encourage coming early to avoid snow.
Please email email@example.com if you are in need of food or would like to volunteer.
Hoboken prepares for snow storm
Emergency snow routes will be in effect on Wednesday. For additional updates, please see the announcement from yesterday: https://local.nixle.com/alert/8417044/.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Yesterday, New Jersey’s first healthcare worker received a COVID-19 vaccine at University Hospital in Newark. This was a great moment for our state, and a reminder that despite our current circumstances, there is light at the end of the tunnel. My administration continues to work with the State of New Jersey and Hudson County to create a fair process for healthcare and frontline workers to receive the initial doses of the vaccine, which will be followed by the broader populations. We will continue to keep the public updated on this process.
With the FDA giving emergency approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, with more approvals anticipated to come, I urge residents in the strongest terms to take it when it becomes available to them. A large majority of residents getting vaccinated will be critical to the health of our region.
I certainly plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to the general public, but only after our frontline workers and healthcare professionals receive it. They’re the reason we have been able to confront the challenges of COVID-19 and protect our community, and should be prioritized.
Until then, please take the precautions science has demonstrated will continue to keep our community safe – wear a mask, avoid indoor gatherings beyond the household, social distance, and wash your hands.
Thank you, and stay safe Hoboken.
Ravi S. Bhalla
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