Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla is pointing to statistics that he feels indicate the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been relatively effective.
“While the news these days can seem to be overwhelming with COVID-19 coverage, I’m glad to share an overview that demonstrates good news and progress for Hoboken,” said Bhalla. “While Hudson County’s rate of COVID-19 is 1.5% of the total population and New Jersey’s is .88%, Hoboken’s is .70%.”
Hoboken was among the first in the country to close down bars and restaurants as the virus began to spread on our shores. The move prompted Ashish Jha, M.D., MPH, Professor of Global Health at Harvard University, Dean for Global Strategy at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, to say, “I think Hoboken probably is the model we all need to move towards now,” during an interview on CNN last month.
(CNN’s Inside Politics – video via Douglas Taurel)
“We need to and must continue this aggressive approach for at least the near future if we want to not just flatten the curve, but lower the curve,” says Bhalla. “Unfortunately, this virus isn’t something we can win over in a quick battle in a matter of a few days or a few weeks. My ask to residents is to double down on self-isolation and social distancing, knowing that it’s not just working, but it’s keeping our seniors and other vulnerable populations alive. Our statistics prove it, and we need to keep it up.”
Nationwide, Americans are showing signs of impatience with the shutdowns, protesting on the steps of government buildings. Here in Hoboken, ongoing social media threads have certain residents demanding streets and parks be opened for recreation and/or pedestrian and bicycle use.
City of Hoboken putting out lazy call to exercise indoors because they resist what cities around the world are doing in closing streets to cars so people have *more* space to exercise outdoors safely. SMH https://t.co/t5j9vQJja8
— Bicycle Progressive (@BicycleProgress) April 15, 2020
“I know some residents have asked that we consider re-opening parks, open up streets, and make other changes that would partially relax our strategy to combat COVID-19. I completely understand, as these regulations have been very difficult for all residents who are accustomed to our open spaces and outdoor activities,” says Bhalla. “My respectful answer is to point to the encouraging news that infections are currently the lowest in Hudson County and below the average in New Jersey. It’s clear, from the correlation between our aggressive efforts and rate of infections, that what we’re doing is working, and that now is not the time to roll back any of those efforts.”
Overall, Hoboken has 372 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 106 residents having fully recovered. Meanwhile, 19 Hoboken residents have died from the virus to date.