Below is an update from Mayor Bhalla for Hoboken residents regarding COVID-19:
Despite these difficult times, I’m inspired by everyday acts of kindness and love for our community from so many residents. I want to start off my daily communication by highlighting a local mom and artist, Sarah Reever, who created a coloring sheet for children here in Hoboken, to color and post in windows across the City. Her idea is to create a positive message for our kids, and demonstrate to them and the entire community, that we’ll get through this together. By continuing to self-isolate and social distance, we will all remain #HobokenStrong. Thank you to Sarah for this uplifting gesture for Hoboken.
Four new cases of COVID-19
Hoboken has four new COVID-19 cases: a female in her late 20s, a male in his early 30s, a male in his early 40s, and a male in his mid 60s. As in previous cases, the Hoboken Health Department conducts an investigation to ensure those in contact with those individuals go into self-quarantine. Hoboken has a total of 25 positive cases of COVID-19.
Please fill out the online census!
A friendly reminder – please participate in the census with the code you received in the mail. It takes 5 minutes and is easy to do while self-isolated at home. Reaching a population threshold through the census will be critical in helping us secure funding that Hoboken will need after the COVID-19 crisis is over. If you threw out the mail with your census code, you can still participate by visiting http://my2020census.gov and filling out the census questionnaire.
New York Waterway suspension of ferry
I was informed by New York Waterway today that due to the dramatic drop in ridership, they cannot sustain their operations and are suspending their trans-Hudson service beginning at 10:00 pm tonight. By taking this action, New York Waterway hopes to return to full service after the COVID-19 crisis is over. Only essential workers should be traveling to New York City, and should plan for alternate methods of transportation.
New websites for job seekers and employers
If you are out of work due to COVID-19, Governor Murphy and the State have launched a new and very helpful website to help connect workers to jobs. If you’re looking for work, visit https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov as there are a number of companies looking for workers. If you’re an employer in a critical field hiring with immediate needs, visit https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/intake.
Trader Joe’s and Walgreens
I’m thankful to Trader Joe’s and Walgreens for creating designated shopping hours for seniors, which I know will be well utilized. Between 9 am and 10 am on a daily basis (updated from City’s Nixle email), seniors will be given preference to enter the store ahead of other customers, and will have a designated line outside of the store. During this hour, the store won’t be closed to all other customers, but rather seniors will be given preference to enter the store. Trader Joe’s is instituting a 50-person occupancy limit as well, with only half of the registers remaining open in order to create social distancing. Walgreens has also created an hour specifically for seniors (55 and older) between 8 am and 9 am every Tuesday, beginning tomorrow.
Hoboken Police Department
Many residents may have seen recent reports that other communities have had police officers test positive for COVID-19. Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante and HPD began planning several weeks ago and implemented directives to minimize unnecessary personal interactions of officers with the public and within the workplace. Despite this proactive planning, officers are still responding to hundreds of calls per day, and their job puts them in situations where at times, it is impossible to follow social distancing practices.
To be transparent with the public, HPD has four officers currently quarantined out of an abundance of caution. All four officers are doing well and showing no symptoms, and are approaching the end of the 14-day quarantine period. One officer is on loan to a higher agency outside of Hudson County and had a possible exposure to a co-worker there. Two officers had possible exposure at an incident in another Hudson County city, and a fourth officer had a possible exposure due to a daycare center in another Hudson County city. All four could be back to work this weekend.
Virtual town hall
We rescheduled our virtual town hall regarding small businesses and employees to Tuesday at 4:00 pm. We’ll be joined by Maria Nieves, President of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce as well as Stuart Koperweis, to help answer commonly asked questions from the small business community. Tune in live on facebook tomorrow at http://www.facebook.com/RaviBhallaHoboken.
All rules, regulations, closures in effect
As a reminder, all previous rules, regulations and closures announced last week remain in effect for this week.
Unfortunately, the annual Little League Parade scheduled for April 4, and the Spring Arts and Music Festival scheduled for May 3 are postponed until further notice.
Governor Murphy’s executive order from the weekend identifies construction as essential work to continue in municipalities. As a result, temporary no parking signs will continue to be placed and enforced at construction projects (and across the city). The Hoboken Parking Utility will attempt to contact those permit holders that may be parked in areas where temporary no parking signs are posted. To view the location of temporary no parking signs in Hoboken, visit https://hpuvp.hobokennj.gov/parking.
If you’re going through tough times, know that there are people and professionals who can help. Here are some resources:
Mental Health: 1-866-202-4357
Family Helpline: 1-800-843-5437
Suicide Prevention: 1-855-654-7635
Domestic Violence 1-800-572-7233
As always, thank you Hoboken for your continued cooperation and support.
Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla