UPDATE FROM MAYOR BHALLA ON COVID-19
Below is an update from Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla for Hoboken residents:
So many residents and community groups have donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to our first responders, and for that I’m very thankful. One of those residents is James Sanford, who reached out to his friends in Hong Kong to help ship over 10,000 face masks and PPE to Hoboken. James provided over 2,500 masks to the Hoboken Housing Authority, 7,500 masks to our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in City Hall and donated additional masks and gloves to the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Thanks to James and all those who have continued to provide much needed PPE and face masks during this crisis.
Quick note about water main break in Jersey City
Thank you to our Office of Emergency Management for helping coordinate the emergency response with SUEZ on the water main break this late afternoon in Jersey City that has impacted Hoboken residents, and for delivering bottled water to senior buildings with low water pressure. As a reminder, SUEZ has issued a boil water advisory which is still in effect. Residents may continue to see lower than normal water pressure, as well as discolored water. Regular updates will continue to be posted on SUEZ’s facebook page at facebook.com/SUEZwaterNJ.
Impact of COVID-19 in Hoboken
After manually inputting all of the backlogged data from the rapid, 15-minute test results, the Health Department amended the total to 466 cases as of Sunday night, after initially reporting 473 cases, due to the counting of some non-Hoboken residents as positive. Yesterday, the Hoboken Health Department reported an additional 7 confirmed cases, bringing Hoboken’s new total back to 473 cases as of this morning.
Riverside testing facility now open to all residents with and without symptoms
As has been stated by medical professionals across the country, an increase in testing is critical to our region in order to re-open the local economy. This is especially important as many individuals may have COVID-19 but are unaware because they do not exhibit any symptoms. To that end, I’m extremely pleased to share that Riverside Medical will now open up rapid, 15-minute testing to all Hoboken residents and frontline workers in Hoboken, with or without symptoms of COVID-19. The Riverside facility is now one of the first testing facilities in New Jersey to offer tests to individuals without symptoms.
The process to receive a test remains the same, as an appointment is required. Hoboken residents and essential workers in Hoboken that want to be tested should continue to call the Hoboken City Hall Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) hotline at 201-420-5621 to schedule an appointment. Thank you again to Dr. Brahmbhatt and the Riverside staff for providing this significant expansion of testing in Hoboken. Priority will be given to first responders and employees of all essential businesses, those that have frequent contact with the public, and those with symptoms.
Regional approach to a gradual re-opening of municipal parks
As mentioned in previous communication, I’ve heard from a number of residents who are asking for parks to be re-opened. I completely understand and look forward to the day when I can throw a baseball around with my son in Columbus Park. One of my large concerns is opening up municipal parks without other cities doing the same, which could result in unintentionally attracting additional residents of surrounding municipalities. It was already reported today that residents of other municipalities traveled to another park in Hudson County, because it was the only park in the region that was open.
To that end, and out of an abundance of caution, the neighboring Mayors of Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken, West New York, North Bergen, and Guttenberg have agreed to a collaborative, regional approach to a gradual re-opening of municipal parks. Below is a joint statement we put out earlier today:
“As we consider an eventual re-opening of our municipal parks, we do so knowing that north Hudson County is perhaps the most densely populated region in the nation,” said the collection of Mayors. “With this in mind, it is absolutely critical for us, as mayors, to work together to ensure that any reopening of parks is driven by science and data and protects the health and safety of our residents. Acting as one collaborative group in our approach ensures that no park is unintentionally attracting additional residents of surrounding municipalities due to conflicting rules and regulations. This will allow our cities to take a cautious and deliberative approach that prevents the unintended spread of COVID-19, while promoting social distancing to the greatest extent possible. We know how difficult it has been without access to our parks and recognize the importance of getting fresh air as the weather gets nicer. While our parks remain closed until further notice, we look forward to working together to imp
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