Below is an update from Mayor Bhalla for Hoboken residents:
I love the new tradition of applauding our first responders, medical professionals, and essential workers every day at 7:00 pm. It’s a time many of us look forward to every day, and I’m glad this wasn’t just a one or two-day event. I thank the Hoboken Girl team for keeping this daily event going to support those who are keeping us safe and dedicating a song each night to play at 7 pm for the occasion. Thursday night’s song is “The Best” by Tina Turner, and Friday night’s song is “Wake me up” by Avichi. To find out the song of the day going forward, visit hobokengirl.com where the weekly lineup is posted.
Unfortunate losses for Hoboken
We sadly learned of four additional Hoboken residents that passed away today due to COVID-19 as two males in their early 60s, and a male and female in their 80s. Of the 10 individuals who unfortunately succumbed to the virus from Hoboken, all of them had a pre-existing medical condition. It’s never easy to report this news, as those individuals aren’t simply stats or numbers to report each day. They were valued members of our community, and several of the seniors lived their entire lives in Hoboken and loved our mile square. We must all commit ourselves to preventing the loss of additional lives, especially of our most vulnerable populations by staying indoors as much as possible.
16 new positive COVID-19 cases, 114 residents tested at Riverside
We had another 16 residents test positive for COVID-19 today, for a total of 255 in Hoboken. We’ve fortunately been able to test 114 residents through our partnership with Riverside Medical since Saturday, with 29 testing positive, 27 negative, and 58 pending results. If you are symptomatic and are a Hoboken resident, please call 201-420-5621 to the City Hall hotline to schedule an appointment.
Prompt MD offering COVID-19 testing
Prompt MD, located at 309 First Street, has informed my office that additional COVID-19 testing is available at their Hoboken location. If you are symptomatic, have been exposed, or have any other COVID-19 concerns, Prompt MD asks residents to schedule a tele-visit for a pre-COVID-19 test screening. To book a tele-visit, please visit https://www.solvhealth.com/book-online/gbNmxg.
Face cover requirement
I’m very glad to report that Governor Murphy mandated face covers for all employees and customers in essential businesses throughout the State of New Jersey. This is a positive development for the region, and combined with social distancing, will help save lives. We implemented this directive last week, and our Office of Emergency Management will continue to work with our essential businesses to ensure compliance. Essential businesses, including supermarkets, pharmacies and restaurants, are permitted to deny entry to anyone not wearing a face cover, and some have already begun to do so. I continue to strongly encourage face covers to be worn by residents at all times outdoors.
Governor Murphy’s executive order also prohibits non-essential construction, as of 8:00 pm on Friday. According to the Governor on Facebook, exceptions include “projects at our hospitals and schools, in our transportation and public utility sector, the building of affordable housing, other individual housing sites that can adhere to strict limits on the number of workers on-site, and other limited instances.”
Our corporation counsel will be reviewing the executive order and provide more clarification tomorrow about which construction projects may fall into the exemption category in Hoboken.
The Governor’s executive order now permits the City to enforce a 50% occupancy limit at all supermarkets, which was mandated earlier today. Hoboken’s Office of Emergency Management will be working with all supermarkets to ensure compliance with this order. I’m hopeful that this additional occupancy directive will help facilitate additional social distancing in our supermarkets. Thank you again to Trader Joe’s for implementing this measure over a week ago.
Primary election moved to July
Also announced today was a postponement of New Jersey’s Primary Election Day to from June 2 to July 7. Although it’s difficult to predict what we may be facing in July, I encourage everyone to plan ahead and consider requesting a Vote by Mail ballot (also known as an absentee ballot). This will avoid you having to go to the polls to vote and is a convenient way to vote ahead of time. To request a vote by mail ballot, visit https://www.hudsoncountyclerk.org/elections/vote-by-mail/ to print out a form and mail it to the Hudson County Clerk.
Please stay inside to protect our first responders
The Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps members have been working tirelessly to respond to medical emergencies and assist our residents during this critical time of need. Their tweet earlier today asks residents to “Please stay at home for us. Thank you.” Don’t take it from me, take it from those on our front lines, all of whom ask residents to stay home as much as possible as the best way to them safe. Help protect our first responders from more exposure to COVID-19 – please stay self-isolated at home.
Finally, I want to wish all those who are celebrating a very happy and healthy Passover. I know this year’s Seder may look a little different. I hope it is no less joyful and meaningful. Chag Sameach!
Ravi S. Bhalla