Hoboken Up to Seven Cases of Coronavirus; Announces Designated Hours at Grocery Stores, Updates Policies
Hoboken now has seven confirmed cases of Coronavirus. As the situation continues to evolve, ongoing shifts in policy are being updated.
Update from Mayor @RaviBhalla on COVID-19 related information on two additional COVID-19 cases, designated hours for seniors and others at Kings, ShopRite and ACME, ban on non-essential canvassing, HOP & recycling, visits to medical facilities, facebook live town hall, & parking pic.twitter.com/pGjYRBzO1p
— City of Hoboken (@CityofHoboken) March 18, 2020
Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Councilwoman Emily Jabbour will be hosting a Facebook Live Q&A at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18.
***Update from Mayor Bhalla on COVID-19 related information***
Thank you to all of Hoboken for your understanding as we implement our directive of self-isolation. I completely understand that this can be difficult at times, but we must take aggressive action now, to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in Hoboken and literally save lives.
Residents should actively practice self-isolation at home except for essential needs, and observe the new directives mandated yesterday, including limiting gatherings to five people or less at all times. I directly ask that this be observed when talking a walk to City parks, where we are observing groups of people that are not practicing social distancing (six feet or more between people), especially with children. This is dangerous and is putting our community at risk. I am urgently asking that this be followed diligently without exception.
Here are some timely updates on COVID-19 related matters:
Two additional positive COVID-19 cases
Unfortunately, we have two more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hoboken: a male in his early 30s, and a female in her early 20s. The Hoboken Health Department has been in touch with both individuals to conduct an investigation and inform anyone who may have been in contact with them, to self-quarantine. As I’ve mentioned before, due to confidentiality regulations we cannot provide additional information. However, both individuals are expected to fully recover. We now have a total of seven positive COVID-19 cases in Hoboken.
Designated hours for seniors and other resident populations at Kings and Shoprite
We’ve been in touch with the store managers at Kings, ShopRite and Acme, and I’m glad to share that they are hosting dedicated time at our supermarkets for our most vulnerable populations, including seniors, pregnant women, and people with disabilities. The two Hoboken Kings locations (333 River Street, 1212 Shipyard Lane) are hosting these designated hours from 7-8 am (in effect as of today), and ShopRite from 7-8 am beginning Friday. Acme will be hosting these designated hours from 7-9 am starting tomorrow (Thursday). Although there may be a lack of certain products, the supermarkets are receiving shipments and restocking shelves on a regular basis. I thank the staff and managers at Kings, ShopRite and Acme for making this available, and ask residents to please be respectful of the designated hours.
Ban on non-essential door to door canvassing or solicitation
Thank you to residents who contacted my office about reported door to door canvassing and commercial solicitation from various groups. Given the self-isolation policy, we are now prohibiting any door to door canvassing or solicitation for any reason except to distribute emergency services or information.
HOP and recycling/garbage
Given the mandated closure of businesses at 8 pm by the Governor and a city-wide curfew at 10:00 pm, we are allowing for additional flexibility with garbage and recycling permitted to be put out at 4:00 pm city-wide. We are also shutting down HOP service except the senior shuttle, which will also be used to help provide additional travel and delivery of goods for seniors.
Visits to medical facilities
Several of our medical facilities are receiving a high volume of patients both from those that may have COVID-19, as well as for other medical needs including regular checkups or routine visits. This is at times creating a high volume at these medical facilities. To ensure large clusters of people aren’t occurring in medical offices, I ask that only those with critical needs and those believing they may have COVID-19 travel to their medical facilities and book an appointment ahead of time whenever possible. If you can put off your routine visits, it will help our social distancing efforts.
Facebook live town hall
Thank you to the many residents who have directly messaged me with questions about our response to COVID-19. I am doing my best to answer as many as possible, and want to extend an invitation to residents to join a Facebook live town hall with Councilwoman Emily Jabbour at 4:00 pm today. It will be hosted on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RaviBhallaHoboken.
Please continue to utilize the two Hoboken COVID-19 hotlines specifically designated for questions from residents.
The hotline for general COVID-19 issues pertaining to Hoboken: 201-420-5620
The hotline for seniors needing assistance: 201-420-5626
Thank you again to our CERT volunteers for taking the time each day to help us answer these phones.
Donations to Hoboken Shelter
The Hoboken Shelter (300 Bloomfield Street, phone number 201-656-5069) is in need of and accepting pre-packaged cold sandwiches from food establishments, which they will be providing to the homeless. Please keep the less fortunate in mind during this time.
As we’ve reported, we suspended street sweeping to eliminate the need for those who have already parked their cars, to move them. To be clear, our Office of Emergency Management has recommended regulations including prohibition of parking at crosswalks, along with meters to remain in effect because it provides for the turnover of parking spots that are available for critical needs including residents that need to travel by car to doctor offices, supermarkets, health care facilities, and more. To suspend meters would turn Hoboken streets in commercial districts into a parking lot, especially with street sweeping suspended, with no parking for those who need spots available for critical needs. Additionally, suspending meters for a long period of time with limited parking spots would likely result in cars beginning to park illegally at corners and other locations, which would hinder emergency vehicles from making wide turns and delay emergency responses.
While meter regulations remain in effect, the New Jersey Supreme Court announced new rules yesterday in response to COVID-19, allowing individuals who receive a parking ticket and believe it was issued in error or there are extenuating circumstances do not need a Court appearance and can instead plead by mail. To plead by mail, you can download the form by clicking here and mailing it back to the Municipal Court (Hoboken City Hall, 94 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030).
Clarification on yesterday’s announcement
To clarify some information we put out yesterday, public transportation and travel by motor vehicle is permitted for essential needs, purchasing of food, care for a family member or friend, to get health care, or employment (when working remotely is not possible).
Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this challenging time.
Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla