(ABOVE: Image via Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center)
As Coronavirus begins to impact our region, the City of Hoboken is taking steps to combat the spread and raise awareness of issues involved with the disease.
Given the reported vulnerability of seniors in cases connected to the COVID-19 virus, Hoboken will suspend all senior activities at the multi-service center, including City-sponsored trips.
“Our Department of Health and Human Services will be on hand to provide guidance and assistance on Tuesday as we inform our seniors of this of this decision, to protect their health and safety,” says Mayor Bhalla. “The multi-service center, especially the gathering location for seniors, will continue to have enhanced sanitizing procedures implemented.”
In response to reports of possible price gouging, the Mayor says, “Given the State of Emergency declared by the Governor, excessive price increases (above 10% of normal cost) are now strictly prohibited. If you believe a business has unfairly raised prices given COVID-19, or if you were the target of a scheme, I encourage you to immediate file a complaint online at www.njconsumeraffairs.gov or call 973-504-6240, as recommended by the State of New Jersey.”
— Barry Grossman (@barryjgrossman) March 7, 2020
Keeping in step with general efforts to curb the spread of the disease, Bhalla asks people to be vigilant regarding their own health, and try to minimize risk by working from home if possible.
“If you feel sick, please be sure to stay home,” says Bhalla. “If you are in Hoboken and believe you were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should contact your healthcare provider. You may also contact the Hoboken Health Department at 201-420-2000 ext. 5211.”
As of press time, there are no presumed cases of COVID-19 in Hoboken. However, cases have been reported in New York, nearby West New York, and the Executive Director for the Port Authority has tested positive. The City will continue to monitor the situation and make a determination on scheduled public meetings later this week.
“To stay safe, please continue to take regular precautionary measures including washing your hands, covering a cough or sneeze, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth,” says Bhalla.
In terms of preparation, it is recommended that people gather essentials such as non-perishable foods, medicine, and cleaning supplies—enough for two weeks, should there be any possible need to stay home for that period of time. These advisories have sparked a wave of panic-buying, based on the potential for a disruption to supply chains. While excessive stockpiling might not be necessary, it’s a good idea to have essential items on hand.
“Please try to lend a hand to your senior neighbors and share this information with them, or who may need a reminder of appropriate precautions,” says Bhalla. “We’re all one community and together, we’ll do everything we can to stay safe.”
For the most up to date information, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at http://www.nj.gov/health or the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov, or call the NJ Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-222-1222.