Below is an update from Mayor Bhalla for Hoboken residents:
I’m so appreciative to all of our first responders, medical professionals, and front-line workers that continue to inspire us each and every day. We read about and see their life-saving work thanks to the coverage in the media through newspapers, television, online publications, and more. I want to extend my gratitude to each and every journalist who has been covering the news in person (and virtually!), often times traveling across the state so we know about these heroic deeds taking place in hospitals and on front lines. To each and every journalist and member of the media showing up to work every day, who aren’t able to self-isolate as they cover press conferences and interview our heroes in person – thank you.
14 new COVID-19 cases today
We received notice of an additional 14 positive COVID-19 cases in Hoboken today, with an overall total of 239. Unfortunately, another Hoboken resident passed away today, a male in his mid 50s. I extend my sympathies to his family and all those who lost their life due to COVID-19.
91 residents tested for COVID-19 through Riverside Medical
The Riverside Medical Center has been serving as an important resource for residents needing testing, with 91 COVID-19 tests administered since we announced the new option last week. 17 of those residents tested positive, 12 tested negative, and we are awaiting results for another 62 tests that were conducted in the past day or two.
As we did last week, we’ll be putting out a more comprehensive breakdown of our COVID-19 cases by the end of the week.
Keeping our seniors safe and indoors
I recognize that these are extremely challenging times for our seniors, who are understandably concerned for their health and safety. To help reduce the amount of times they need to leave their homes and to assist those in need, I’m glad to share we are initiating a new meal delivery initiative for two weeks for seniors at the Hoboken Housing Authority. Seniors at 221 Jackson Street, 221 Adams Street, and 311 13th Street will now have meals delivered directly to their buildings, to help prevent additional outside food trips and potential exposure to COVID-19. The funding for these meals utilizes new Community Development Block Grant resources, which we received through the federal stimulus package thanks to the advocacy of Senator Menendez, Senator Booker, and Congressman Sires. We are one of the only municipalities in the State to now provide these additional meals to nearly 500 seniors for two full weeks during the peak of the crisis, which is well worth it to help keep them indoors.
Thank you to Director Pellegrini for working on this plan with the Housing Authority to coordinate these meals, as well as Toni Tamarazzo, Councilmembers Ramos, Falco and Fisher for their assistance in providing additional meals to those in need. Any senior in need of food delivery or meals should call 201-420-5625 as assistance is available through the Hoboken Food Pantry and deliveries coordinated by our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Thank you to Stevens for accommodating Hoboken first responders and HUMC medical professionals
In anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases and to protect first responders, Stevens Institute of Technology is opening their doors to provide additional rooms to our Hoboken Fire Department. This will allow our fire fighters to have less first responders in one room at once and allow for greater social distancing. With emergency responders across New Jersey and the region having high COVID-19 rates, this is a practical and proactive measure to keep everyone safe. Stevens is also providing room for medical professionals at Hoboken University Medical Center. I’m greatly appreciative to President Nariman Farvardin and his Chief of Staff, Beth McGrath for arranging to assist our first responders and medical professionals during this time of need.
Faith Leaders Town Hall on Wednesday, 12:30 pm
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Spring Holiday season for many of our neighbors here in Hoboken and around the world. Everyone’s celebrations and family gatherings have been altered due to this challenging time, but this does not mean that our holiday spirit is not alive and well. Tomorrow at 12:30pm, I am hosting another virtual townhall on Facebook Live to discuss creative ways to celebrate our holidays while maintaining social distance, and also to discuss ways to uplift our spirits during these difficult times. Being far away from family, and physically away from almost all people in our lives may feel a bit lonely and our faith leaders can help us remain connected to one another. I will be joined by Reverend Elaine Ellis Thomas from All Saints Episcopal, Rabbi Rob Scheinberg from United Synagogue of Hoboken, and Monsignor Michael Andreano from Sts. Peter and Paul and I hope you can join me. Tune in at http://www.facebook.com/RaviBhallaHoboken.
Wipe down reusable bags and groceries
I’ve heard from several residents requesting a postponement of our ban on plastic bags, the full ban of which went into effect earlier this year and complied with at virtually all of our businesses. Halting the plastic bag ban is not something I’m willing to consider at this time, as I don’t believe it would yield a benefit to our efforts to combat COVID-19. Reusable bags seem to be the issue for some people. What I would suggest to all residents using reusable bags is to thoroughly wipe down and disinfect the outside and inside of the bag each time you come back into your home, which you should do along with all of your groceries and purchased goods.
I understandably am receiving more questions about why construction is continuing in Hoboken. The State has allowed construction for both essential and non-essential activities to continue, and as a City we do not have the authority to contradict that order.
Closure of State Parks
Governor Murphy today ordered the closure of all New Jersey State and County parks, which includes Liberty State Park in Jersey City. All Hoboken parks remain closed.
I thank the many residents and employees who have complied with our new face cover requirement in all essential businesses. There was a higher rate of compliance today, and I’m glad to report that the majority of our supermarkets, including Kings and ShopRite, are on board with our regulations with signs posted at the entrances. I was out myself at our major supermarkets today (while social distancing, of course!), providing face covers to those who needed them and also providing additional face covers to the supermarkets and their employees. I’m fully confident that this new regulation, at the end of the day, will save lives of Hoboken residents. As a reminder, while not required, I’m asking residents to wear face covers at all times when outdoors.
Community Development Block Grant deadline tomorrow
The deadline for accepting Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program applications to fund eligible programs sponsored by public agencies or not-for-profit organizations, for low to moderate-income populations is tomorrow at 4:00 pm. For more information on the application process, visit https://www.hobokennj.gov/resources/community-development-block-grant-program
Small business COVID-19 online forum with Senator Menendez
Tomorrow at 5:30 pm, Senator Robert Menendez will host an online forum to provide additional information and resources to small businesses regarding the federal COVID-19 stimulus package, also known as the CARES Act.
To RSVP, visit: https://menendez.senate.gov/small-biz-covid-teleforu
Watch online: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/237905163
In less than two weeks, we organized and maxed out participation in three blood drives for a total of over 300 donors! It’s an incredible testament to the community’s will to help those in need. We plan to continue to offer as many drives as we can to replenish the blood shortage both locally and nationally. Thank you to Hoboken resident John Ferramosca and Councilwoman Jabbour for spearheading this incredible effort, along with our Hoboken Health Office.
There are still a few slots available for the blood drive on Friday, April 17. Sign up here: https://donor.cbsblood.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/52434
Thank you Hoboken, and as always the best way to stay safe, is to stay indoors.
Ravi S. Bhalla
According to the NJDOH, the statewide COVID-19 count as of Wednesday, April 8th is 47,437 cases and 1,504 fatalities, an increase of 3,088 cases and 275 fatalities from Tuesday.
COVID-19 Cases by County
Data is provisional and subject to revision.
1,362 Positives Pending Further Information
4 Deaths Pending Further Information
7,874 Positive Test Results
5,598 Positive Test Results
5,437 Positive Test Results
4,831 Positive Test Results
4,372 Positive Test Results
4,156 Positive Test Results
3,038 Positive Test Results
2,856 Positive Test Results
2,468 Positive Test Results
1,189 Positive Test Results
992 Positive Test Results
838 Positive Test Results
801 Positive Test Results
357 Positive Test Results
340 Positive Test Results
289 Positive Test Results
255 Positive Test Results
168 Positive Test Results
Cape May County:
100 Positive Test Results
80 Positive Test Results
36 Positive Test Results