Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced today that Prompt MD has added this Thursday as an additional day for COVID-19 testing.  Details on the city’s coronavirus situation are updated in Mayor Bhalla’s community message:

Additional 250 COVID-19 tests available Thursday

I’m very appreciative to Prompt MD for adding COVID-19 testing this Thursday, at 605 Jackson Street between 8 am and 1 pm. An additional 250 testing appointments are now available for Hoboken residents and Hoboken business employees with sign-ups now available at http://www.hobokennj.gov/promptmd. As before, proof of residency or employment at a Hoboken business is required at the time of testing. Results are anticipated within 24-48 hours of testing.

Due to the recent high demand for testing, appointments have been booked with Riverside at the site under the 14th Street Viaduct through the end of the week. We are working with Riverside to maximize testing slots for Hoboken residents with the new online-sign up system, and thank the Riverside staff for their continued partnership.

Impact of COVID-19 in Hoboken

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

October 16: 6 new cases
October 17: 7
October 18: 2
October 19: 7

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hoboken has a total of 890 known, confirmed cases. As of Friday, 786 residents have been reported by the Health Department has having made a full recovery. Fatalities remain unchanged at 31.

Reasons for increase in cases

During contact tracing, the Hoboken Health Department is observing a pattern of increased cases associated with various indoor social gatherings and parties, a similar trend in New Jersey as well, which continues to have a transmission rate above 1 (indicating community spread of COVID-19). Additional cases in Hoboken have also been traced to members of the same household contracting the virus. There have not been any clusters associated with any one location such as a restaurant or gymnasium.

Entering the colder months, it’s so important to keep up the habits we’ve practiced during the summer months, when cases were at a minimum: wear a mask at all practical times, social distance, and wash your hands. As before, we ask residents to avoid any social gatherings indoors beyond members of the same household. If you are seeing friends or extended family, please try to stay outdoors as much as possible. This is especially critical now given the rise in cases in Hoboken and across the state.

Next City-sponsored blood drive on Wednesday

The next City-sponsored blood drive will take place Wednesday, October 21st at the Multi-Service Center (124 Grand Streetfrom 2-8 pm with Vitalant New Jersey. You must have an appointment to donate, and please be sure to wear a mask. Those who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID within the last 14 days will not be eligible to donate. To sign up for an appointment, please visit https://donor.cbsblood.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/52953.

Update on voting

I encourage residents to vote by mail this year, which is convenient and easy as all registered voters should have received a Vote By Mail (VBM) ballot. If for some reason you have not yet received your VBM, please call the Hudson County Clerk’s office at 201-369-3470 (extension 6) between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, or email the clerk’s office at hrosario@hcnj.us to request a new ballot. The deadline to request a VBM is Friday, October 23.

To submit your ballot, please do not hesitate to utilize the secure voting drop-box at City Hall, located on Newark Street between Washington Street and Bloomfield Street, as ballots are collected at the end of every day. You can also place your ballot in the mail, with no postage required. To track your ballot to ensure it has been counted, which is a new feature this year, please visit https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/auth/sign-up. Already, 11,000 Hoboken residents have voted by mail according to the Hudson County Board of Elections

Please note that on the ballot this year are elections for the Hoboken School Board (you have three votes), as well as three public questions regarding the topics below:

Constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana. More info: https://gis.hcnj.us/Images/2020election/2020-public-question-01-.pdf

Property tax deduction and exemption for peacetime veterans. More info: https://gis.hcnj.us/Images/2020election/2020-public-question-02-.pdf

Constitutional amendment to change the legislative redistricting schedule if census data is delayed: https://gis.hcnj.us/Images/2020election/2020-public-question-03-.pdf

Continuation of outdoor dining through 2021

As mentioned previously, we are continuing our expanded outdoor dining options, including parklets and streateries, through 2021. I’m glad to report that the State of New Jersey has extended special outdoor liquor license permits through March, 2021 to allow for alcohol to be served in parklets and streateries. We encourage businesses to officially extend existing parklets and streateries as soon as conveniently possible, which can be done on the Hoboken Business Recovery website at http://www.hobokennj.gov/businessrecovery.

Hoboken Food Pantry continuing to serve those in need

I’m very thankful to all of the volunteers who continue to assist the Hoboken Food Pantry, who served groceries and fresh fruits and vegetables to 850 people from 452 households at the last food distribution date on October 8. The food pantry’s next distribution day will be this Thursday, October 22nd from 4pm-7pm at the following locations:

1301 Washington St (Hoboken Community Center)
311 Harrison St (Main Campus Housing Authority)
2nd St, between Grand + Adams (Multi Service Center)

If you’re interested in volunteering, please sign up at www.signup.com/go/FOuThPW or download the Hoboken Charity Quest app.

HoBOOken 5K & Scary Scurry Kids run

As a reminder, the Hoboken Shelter is hosting a virtual costume race, as well as a scavenger hunt for kids this year due to COVID-19, in place of the traditional HoBOOken 5k. 100% of the proceeds go to the Hoboken Shelter, which helps provide for those in need, especially during these difficult times, with 530 meals served daily, 1000 showers weekly, and sheltering 50 people nightly. For more information and to sign-up, please visit https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/AnyCityAnyState/HoBOOken5K.

Thank you,

Ravi S. Bhalla