Today is March 24 and it’s been a week since I gave the first comprehensive update on Jersey City’s plan to fight COVID-19. In the last week, we have focused limited resources on traditional media, social media, the City’s reverse text message system, and the City’s website to update residents. I wanted to take a moment to address our community.
We all certainly realize that in this short period of time, all of our lives have completely changed. We are facing an unprecedented emergency in our nation, and everyone in our community is feeling the stress of the unknown.
The next few days, weeks, and perhaps months, may not be easy. I want you to just remember one thing: Jersey City has always helped each other and pulled together as a community in tough times and we will get through this together. We handled the December 10th shooting at the Kosher Supermarket as one community and we will handle this too.
Our community is already rising to the challenge and I am so thankful that we are all working together. I continue to hear positive stories of young volunteers bringing groceries to those who are vulnerable, or that all of the animals of Liberty Humane Society have been fostered, or even the messages of hope I have seen chalked on sidewalks.
We have been aggressive in the last week in closing parks, implementing a curfew and taking many other measures earlier than most other communities in the country. I know this situation is extremely hard for everyone and we don’t take any of the restrictions we have put in place lightly.
As of this message and including data from this weekend, Jersey City’s total number of COVID-19 patients is now 85 and we expect this number to increase significantly as we have more testing sites set up in Hudson County. We as a community have control over the spread. So, what can you do?
- DO keep your social distance. The steps that we are taking on local and state levels will help save lives. Help us stop the spread by following the new rules and restrictions in place. Our trips from home should be for essential business only.
- DO continue to visit the website we’ve set up to answer any questions you might have about Jersey City’s fight against COVID-19. If you have not signed up for the Swift911 emergency alert system, please sign up now.
- DO wash your hands often and follow the CDC’s guidelines. When you go outside, come inside, pick up groceries, whatever you are doing, please continue to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- DO ask your vulnerable neighbors – by phone or 6 feet away – if you can bring groceries to their doorsteps via no contact delivery. DO NOT panic buy or hoard grocery items. The key to coping with chaos is staying calm. By the way, our corner stores and local markets are stocked with products and by shopping there, you’d be supporting small businesses and our local economy.
- And on that note, DO support our small businesses – buy gift cards to local stores and order delivery from your favorite local restaurants to help ease their economic burden. If you are a local restaurant, please input your information if you are still open so the community can continue to support you during this time.
As for some meaningful updates on City government:
- Parking regulations are suspended until further notice. That means street cleaning, residential zone parking, and meter rules will not be enforced. We have also opened up public school lots for public parking.
- We will not tolerate price gouging. We are working closely with Chief Prosecutor Jake Hudnut to stop this and you can report issues to 201-547-4900/5477 or email@example.com.
- We are inline with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order, with the exception of day cares and parks in Jersey City which will continue to remain closed.
- Our police and public safety departments are fully staffed, despite some hardship.
Thank you to all the first responders that are helping out every day. Thank you to all of the residents of Jersey City as you have been nothing short of amazing during this extremely difficult time.
This – the health and wellbeing of Jersey City residents – is my biggest priority. I will remain as transparent as possible and continue to share as much information as I can. Stay safe, be kind to one another and keep practicing good social distancing. We will get through this