Tag Archives: Hoboken Mayor Bhalla

Advisory: Update from HOBOKEN Mayor Bhalla on COVID-19 (5/18)

Hoboken New Relief fund

Source Nixel

Impact of COVID-19 in Hoboken

On Saturday, there were an additional three new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hoboken, with none reported on Friday or Sunday, for a total of 545 known, confirmed cases. There was sadly one additional fatality reported as a male in his early 90s from April, only recently provided to the City as the individual was in a nursing home. Our hearts are with his family and loved ones.

Honest conversation about social distancing

I’m incredibly thankful for our community and the way we came together over the past two months. Because of all the proactive actions we took from the very beginning of the pandemic, and the substantial efforts everyone took to social distance and remain in self-isolation, our infection and mortality rates are lower than the region and other comparable municipalities. This is no small feat, and one we should all be very proud of.

While our numbers are low, we should all remain vigilant. Most people and residents were wearing face coverings and remaining socially distant this weekend, however I did unfortunately observe a number of people congregate in public spaces and not wearing face coverings around others. Hoboken, we must continue to take this virus seriously, as it has not disappeared despite the nice weather and positive data trends. If anything, now is the time to “double down” on social distancing practices so we can do our best to avoid a resurgence of this virus. 

As difficult as it may be, I respectfully urge residents in the strongest terms to not congregate in public places, limit trips outside the home when possible, wear face coverings when outside, and observe social distancing. While the risk of transmission outdoors is less than compared to indoors, medical professionals still state that the best way to remain safe is to remain six feet away from others that are not in your household. This is especially critical as you may not realize you have COVID-19, and ignoring social distancing and not wearing face masks could mean you are inadvertently spreading it to your friends and neighbors. 

As we enter a gradual re-opening in Hoboken, it’s not a question of if cases will rise, but by how much, and if we can mitigate this increase. I know we can do it, but it’s up to each of us to make the right decisions on a daily basis in the weeks and months to come to help make it happen. I want schools to open back up in the fall (as do my kids), but I also know that the decisions we make know will have an impact on decisions like this one in the fall. Please continue to take the virus seriously.

As a City, we will continue to provide additional methods to provide more room to social distance, including our business recovery plan to expand outdoor operations, open up additional fields and public spaces (more on this to come soon), and continue to promote safe and responsible open streets.

Door-to-door testing and senior meal delivery

Hoboken continues to prioritize the safety of our seniors, and I’m glad to share that by the end of Tuesday, we will have provided over 400 door-to-door COVID-19 testing to seniors and delivered over 68,00 meals in senior buildings. Protecting our seniors is no small task, and I’m very grateful to Dr. Javed Islam from Prompt MD, Director Pellegrini and Sg. Montanez and the hundreds of volunteers who have come together to lend a hand to our most vulnerable population.

Curbside/outdoor pickup permitted for retail stores

Retail stores were permitted by Governor Murphy to re-open for curbside/outdoor pickup today, which is a positive step for our struggling small business owners. As a reminder, retail stores must have in-store operations closed to customers. Attached are some guidelines for stores and customers to help maximize social distancing and minimize person-to-person interactions.

Large social gatherings are prohibited

As a reminder, large social gatherings are prohibited according to the State’s Executive Order. On Friday night, the Hoboken Police Department broke up a large gathering of individuals. If you observe a large house party, please call the Hoboken Police Department at 201-420-2100.

Office of Constituent Services

At a time where many residents are struggling, I want you to know that the Hoboken Office of Constituent Services, led by Caroline Caulfield and Migdalia Pagan Milano continue to serve as a front-line resource for a variety of resident needs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Caroline and Migdalia have assisted over 1,000 residents with various issues, including connecting 35 families to critical grocery deliveries from the Hoboken Food Pantry, interacting with federal and state agencies to assist 50 residents and small business owners with the Paycheck Protection Program, and assisting over two dozen residents with unemployment claims with the State.

Should you need assistance related to any COVID-19 or City issue, please do not hesitate to contact Caroline at ccaulfield@hobokennj.gov or at 201-420-2000, ext. 1311.

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Update from Mayor Bhalla on COVID-19 (5/14), open streets pilot to continue on Adams Street this weekend

Hoboken New Relief fund

Source Nixel
Impact of COVID-19 in Hoboken

The Hoboken Health Department reported no new cases or fatalities due to COVID-19 yesterday in Hoboken. Hoboken’s total cases as of this morning are 540 known, confirmed COVID-19 cases and 26 fatalities.

Open Street on Adams Street this weekend

I’m glad to share that we are continuing our “open streets” pilot this weekend on Adams Street between 3rd and 9th Streets. Last weekend’s successful open streets pilot on Jefferson Street demonstrated that open streets serve as a great way to get fresh air, safely social distance, and help alleviate crowds in public parks. Residents can utilize this space this weekend for walking, biking and jogging.

Adams Street between 3rd and 9th Streets will be restricted to vehicular traffic between 8 am and 8 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Traffic Control Officers will be on hand to assist residents gaining access to garages and to move vehicles. Congregating is prohibited, and face masks should be worn at all times.

I’ve received a few additional comments about requests to close Sinatra Drive to vehicular traffic. As mentioned previously, while I support this during normal times, unfortunately we could see additional people from outside Hoboken coming to our waterfront as the weather gets nicer. We want to ensure that closing Sinatra Drive does not have the unintended consequence of making our waterfront even more of a destination for non-residents, which is not ideal during COVID-19.

Open Streets Survey

Over 2,280 people filled out the City’s open street survey this week. 88% of total respondents want “open streets” to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide additional space for social distancing. 74% want open streets to continue when COVID-19 is no longer a factor, while 84% want Washington Street to operate as an open street, even if it meant a temporary loss in parking.
When asked for their primary reason for using the open street, 75% said for recreation and 17% said it was on their way to another destination. Users reported walking and biking as their most common activities.

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