The Hoboken Health Department reported the following new COVID-19 cases:

July 24: 2
July 25: 2
July 26: 0
July 27: 2

Hoboken total is now at 652 known, confirmed COVID-19 cases after an adjustment last week, with fatalities remaining at 29. As of Friday, 428 of the 652 residents have fully recovered from COVID-19.

New grants of up to $10,000 for small businesses

We received some positive news from Governor Murphy’s office regarding additional grants for small businesses. Hoboken is one of 64 municipalities in New Jersey where business owners can apply for grants of up to $10,000 specifically for lease costs. Starting August 10, applications will be open for the grants at http://www.njra.us.

As a reminder, small businesses of up to 25 employees can also apply for grants up to $20,000 through $1.9 million in funding we secured through the CARES Act for Hoboken. Applications are now open at hobokennj.gov/smallbusinessgrants through August 14.

Common areas in residential buildings

One question that I’ve received a few times over the past several weeks is whether or not residents should wear face masks when in common areas of public buildings, such as in laundry rooms and elevators. The Hoboken Health Department advises that face masks should be worn at all times in common areas, especially when social distancing is not possible. We encourage landlords and building managers to post signs to this effect in these areas.

Scheduling tests with Riverside

As a reminder, to schedule a test with Riverside Medical, please call at least one week in advance from the date you know you need a test (for example if heading on vacation or seeing relatives), and call the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) hotline at 201-420-5621 (Monday – Friday, 9 am until 1 pm). Please do not call Riverside directly if you are not currently a Riverside patient, as all non-Riverside patients should be processed through CERT.

However, if you are a Riverside patient, you should call Riverside to process your COVID-19 test through them.

Additional staff for social distancing and face mask education

As mentioned last week, we’ve repurposed City staff members to continue with face mask distribution, education, and social distancing enforcement. To send a confidential email for certain businesses or situations where face masks are not being worn, please send an email to [email protected]. To send a confidential email for when businesses are not social distancing tables and chairs, please email [email protected].

As always, I thank the vast majority of business owners for complying with social distancing regulations. The idea behind the submission of confidential emails is to not punish business owners who are attempting to do the right thing, but rather to ensure Hoboken residents can have a safe, enjoyable experience when patronizing our local businesses. On the other hand, there have been some businesses, including restaurants and gyms that have violated social distancing and face mask rules and received written warnings, with future violations resulting in a closure from the Office of Emergency Management.

Please, wear a face mask

I know I sound like a broken record, but wearing face masks save lives. Please wear one when you’re outside. It’s hot and it can be uncomfortable to wear one, but it’s less uncomfortable than being hospitalized with complications from COVID-19. We continue to see reports of some young people and even children with lasting, severe health effects, even if they were perfectly healthy. The virus doesn’t discriminate based on age. Please take the necessary precautions when you’re outdoors and wear a face mask.

Our youngest students making a difference

Each year, 8th grade students from All Saints travel overseas as a school and raise funds to help pay for it. While their trip was postponed this year due to COVID-19, the 8th graders decided to donate the $10,000 they raised for it to the Hoboken Relief Fund, to help small businesses and individuals in need.

Likewise, 8th grade student Joseph Petruzzeli is raising funds for the Jubilee Center’s future programming by selling rare sneakers and donating a percentage of the proceeds. Joseph’s business, called “Elite Kickz” is hosting a pop-up shop at 1200 Washington Street through Thursday (12 pm – 7 pm).

It’s wonderful to see our students making a difference in our community, and I congratulate Joseph and All Saints students for their generosity and thinking of others during these difficult times.