The second wave of the coronavirus is upon us, with the trend in Hudson County moving in the wrong direction. According to the latest statistics, Hudson County has seen the second largest spike in COVID numbers in New Jersey over the past ten days, trailing only Essex County.
On Saturday, the Garden Stated reported 1,994 new COVID cases, the highest one day increase since last May. The number of new cases has been above 1,000 statewide for ten, consecutive days according to the New Jersey Department of Health, with Union City, Harrison and Kearny experiencing some of their highest coronavirus increases in several months.
The statistics prompted Governor Phil Murphy to sign an Executive Order over the weekend extending the public health emergency in New Jersey. As of yesterday, the rate of transmission in New Jersey stood at 1.23. According to health experts, any rate above 1.0 is an indication that the virus is continuing to spread. On October 22, five days ago, the positivity rate stood at 4.48 percent.
On Monday, there were 948 persons hospitalized across New Jersey due to COVID-19. 178 of those patients were in the intensive care units in hospitals across the state. 75 were on ventilators.
In Hoboken, 18 new coronavirus cases were reported from Saturday through Monday. Nationwide, our country reached the highest, daily number of COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic on Friday, with patient hospitalizations increasing in 38 states over the previous week.
With the numbers spiking, and all indications from medical experts predicting the trend to continue as the weather continues to get colder into the winter, local officials are taking steps they hope will slow the rise in numbers. Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, for instance, will sign an Executive Order on Thursday, October 29 shutting down all bars and restaurants at midnight, sevens days a week. Bhalla says, “the time is now to begin taking additional precautions against the threat of COVID-19 spreading indoors.”
Mayor Bhalla went on to say, “Some have asked whether or not the City can shut down bars and indoor dining completely and limit to take-out only, as we did for several months earlier in the pandemic. While we did have this authority in the beginning of the pandemic during mid-March as our shut-down orders pertaining to bars and restaurants came under the City’s emergency declaration powers, the State has since issued an Executive Order conferring this authority exclusively upon the states and away from municipalities. Notwithstanding, authority still remains with municipalities to amend hours of operations.”
The best advice remains, wear face masks, avoid large gatherings both indoors and outside, and maintain social distancing practices.