(ABOVE: Craig Wallace Dale photo)
COMMUNICATION FROM MAYOR BHALLA TO RESIDENTS REGARING COVID-19 UPDATES IN HOBOKEN
Below is a message from Mayor Bhalla to the Hoboken public:
I want to first reiterate my thanks to Hoboken residents for your understanding during these past few weeks. As a City, we are taking every precaution to keep Hoboken residents safe and healthy to the greatest extent possible. While our day to day lives have changed for the near future, the fighting spirit of our community, and the kindness and empathy I’ve seen demonstrated on a daily basis is what makes our community special. Together, we’ll get through these challenging times.
Fifth positive case of COVID-19 in Hoboken
We unfortunately have another positive confirmed case of COVID-19, a male in his late 20s. The individual has self-isolated at home, but is expected to make a full recovery. As in previous cases, the Hoboken Health Department is conducting an ongoing investigation to help develop a timeline and is contacting individuals that may have come into contact with him, who will be asked to self-quarantine. We keep him, and the other four individuals confirmed to have COVID-19, in our thoughts and wish them a speedy recovery.
Advocating for federal assistance for our small businesses and employees
Undoubtedly, our businesses and employees are going through major hardship, and that is not lost upon me. They make up the backbone of our City, and they need our help. On the local level, a simple way you can help – buy a gift card online. This is a something tangible that you can do now while advancing our policy of social distancing, and use after this crisis. On a federal level, I today strongly urged bi-partisan federal action through an additional relief bill to help our small businesses and employees, in a letter to Senator Booker, Senator Menendez, and Congressman Sires. All three are strong advocates for New Jersey, and I know they’ll do everything possible to provide relief through a third legislative package.
Updates to Hoboken rules and regulations from this weekend due to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with Governor Murphy’s directive today:
To provide you with some of the most up to date information, earlier today, Governor Phil Murphy issued a directive that included several new regulations, and some that mirrored our policies and procedures Hoboken has previously adopted. Here is what you need to know:
All non-essential businesses are now ordered to be closed at 8:00 pm: Governor Murphy’s directive, issued only hours ago, calls for every type of non-essential business to close at 8:00 pm. The only types of businesses permitted to stay open after 8:00 pm are essential businesses, including groceries, pharmacies, medical facilities, banks, bodegas, and supermarkets. This is a new regulation, and according to the Governor’s office, goes into effect tonight.
All bars and restaurants are now take-out and delivery only: Governor Murphy is now implementing this policy state-wide, that we issued on Saturday. As previously announced, all bars and restaurants are now not permitted to serve food within a restaurant and must provide take-out or delivery service, only. One important clarification issued by the Governor is that restaurants are permitted to now sell take-out alcohol with food, if they choose to do so. If alcohol is sold, it must be sealed in its original packaging.
All gyms, health clubs, day cares, movie theatres, playgrounds, recreation centers and ballfields closed: These regulations previously issued by Hoboken last week remain in effect.
City Hall as phone call or email only: This regulation we issued on Friday remains in effect.
10 pm curfew still in effect: The curfew we instituted over the weekend, which begins tonight (Monday) remains in effect. Governor Murphy’s communication to my office this afternoon indicated that the state is suggesting an 8:00 pm – 5:00 am travel restriction beginning tonight. The actual curfew will begin at 10:00 pm through 5 am in Hoboken, with the exception of work or emergencies. This is not to punish anyone who for example may be walking their dog, but simply to discourage large gatherings in the evening hours. We ask residents to abide by this regulation to the greatest extent possible.
Understandably, there have been a number of questions and concerns from residents regarding various City directives, and several other topics related to COVID-19. I’ve received a number of them myself, and I’m trying to personally respond to all of them to the best that I can. I encourage residents to utilize the two COVID-19 hotlines that are being answered by our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), from 9 am to 8 pm on a daily basis.
The hotline for general COVID-19 issues pertaining to Hoboken: 201-420-5620
The hotline for seniors needing assistance: 201-420-5626
While there will certainly be more communications in the days and weeks ahead, I want to once again thank all residents for doing everything they can to practice social distancing. I’m extremely thankful for all of our first responders, medical professionals, Health Department, our business owners, City Council President Giattino for serving as a liaison to the Council, CERT volunteers and schools, all cleaning staff in every part of the City, and more as we continue to keep our residents safe.
Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla