Tag Archives: Hoboken Mayor Bhalla

Update from Mayor Bhalla on COVID-19: small business grant opens Monday 9am additional testing on Monday & Tuesday (8/9)

Source: Nixle

Small business grants available Monday, 9:00 am

We encourage all small business owners to apply for new small business grants of up to $10,000 for rental payments provided through the State of New Jersey and made available by Governor Phil Murphy. Thankfully, Hoboken is one of 64 cities selected in New Jersey where businesses can apply. The grants are available as of this Monday, August 10 at 9:00 am on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be provided as long as funds remain. If you are a small business and want to apply, please be sure to do so without delay on Monday morning.

Learn more with some helpful FAQs (also attached), and apply for the funding at www.njra.us.

Additionally, the deadline for small businesses for applying for Hoboken’s CARES Act funding we established with Hudson County is this upcoming Friday, August 14. Hoboken small businesses are eligible for up to $20,000 in a one-time payment to assist in retaining and paying employees. For more information on this grant and to apply (application period currently open), please visit www.hobokennj.gov/smallbusinessgrants.

Impact of COVID-19 in Hoboken

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

August 7: 5
August 8: 5
August 9: 3

Hoboken now has a known, confirmed total of 680 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Fatalities remain unchanged at 29.

Two of the weekend’s cases were from those who got tested weeks ago but only recently learned of the results due to a delay in laboratory testing results. None of the residents testing positive are hospitalized, and none were from any known clusters or patterns within Hoboken. We have, however seen trends throughout the past several weeks of those testing positive after attending social gatherings. We continue to encourage residents to avoid any large gatherings especially indoors, social distance at all possible times, and wear a face mask (including children 2 years of age and up) – especially where social distancing can be difficult.

Testing with Prompt MD this Monday and Tuesday still available

As shared on Friday, we are opening up a pop-up COVID-19 testing site at the 7th and Jackson gymnasium (605 Jackson Street) this Monday and Tuesday between 9 and 4 pm, thanks to our partnership with Prompt MD. Testing times are still available – you can sign up for a required appointment at www.hobokennj.gov/promptmd. Prompt MD has indicated they will be able to provide test results within 2-3 days after the completed test. We will be providing more information this week on signing up for a test for the following Monday and Tuesday at this site as well, which will help us alleviate the high demand at the Riverside site under the Viaduct.

For more information, please visit: https://www.hobokennj.gov/news/mayor-bhalla-prompt-md-announce-additional-covid-19-testing-options

Grant program for small landlords and tenants.

On Friday, Governor Murphy announced a grant program for small property owners who have had decreases in revenue due to COVID-19. Property owners who receive this grant funding must provide it back to tenants by forgiving back rent and late fees due to COVID-19.

According to the Governor, qualified applicants must meet the following:

Hoboken Mayor Bhalla Establishes Policing Policy TASK FORCE

Mayor Ravi S Bhalla of Hoboken has established a task force To fulfill the recent “Obama Pledge” asking mayors to commit to action on the police use of force policies,  in the Hoboken Police Department. Mayor Bhalla signed an Executive Order creating the parameters of the task force, with the support of Police Chief Ferrante, which consists of nine civilian members and community advocates, and two members of the Hoboken Police Force. The task force, a central component of President Barack Obama’s “Commit to action” pledge, will review use of force policies and other relevant practices in the police department, seek community feedback, and report findings publicly within 90 days.  

Mayor Bhalla and Chief Ferrante also noted that the City of Hoboken’s “use of force” order already in place has established Hoboken as one of the few cities in the tri-state region to meet all eight of the “8 can’t wait” pledge. The eight policies, which include banning chokeholds, requiring de-escalation, requiring warnings before shooting, exhausting all alternatives before shooting, duty to intervene, banning of shooting at moving vehicles, requiring use of force continuum, and the requirement of comprehensive reporting, are already in place and have previously been met by the Hoboken Police Department prior to Friday’s demonstration.

“It’s an encouraging sign that Mayors and police departments all across the country are committing to reviewing use of force policies, with the understanding that approaches such as community policing and de-escalation keeps both our police officers and community safe,” said Mayor Bhalla. “The Hoboken Police Department has set the standard for modern policing with no excessive force incidents in six years, and also with its continued community engagement in all areas of our City. I’m proud of Chief Ferrante and the members of our police department for working with this task force and finding even more ways to improve policing to serve and protect our residents.”

“I am proud of the reforms we have undertaken in the Hoboken Police Department since I became Chief in 2014, which were all done to create a professional law enforcement agency, that as my mission statement points to, is one that is community sensitive to our crime victims, our residents, our government officials, our community leaders and groups, the media, and our own officers,” said Police Chief Ken Ferrante. “We continue to strive to network with all groups that live or visit our great City. While our department has the impeccable record of not having paid out a penny in civil liability of any type in the past 8 years, I support the formulation of this task force because we are always open to finding ways to become better!”

The task force consists of the following criteria and members:

3 City Councilmembers: Vanessa Falco, Emily Jabbour and the Chair of the Public Safety sub-committee
2 Hoboken Police Officers: Lieutenants Johnathan Butler and Steven Aguiar
3 Hoboken residents: Agan Singh, Mariah Tarawally and Christy Hoffman
1 NAACP and Hoboken Housing Authority Board member: Jason Smith
1 retired police officer: Edgardo Cruz
1 Hoboken schools representative: Chris Munoz

The Hoboken Police has already distinguished itself as one of the few departments in the region that has not had a single civil suit or criminal complaint against any of its police officers for excessive force over the past six years.

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HOBOKEN Mayor Bhalla urges residents who attended Friday’s peaceful demonstration to get COVID-19 test

Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla and the City of Hoboken ask all residents who attended Friday’s peaceful demonstration for racial justice to make an appointment for a COVID-19 test. Health experts, along with Governor Murphy, have also asked any participant in a demonstration to get a test, out of an abundance of caution, to protect the health and safety of local communities. Residents can schedule a test with their primary care physician or utilize Riverside Medical’s testing facility which is open to all residents by appointment.

To make an appointment for a COVID-19 test through the City’s partnership with Riverside Medical, which is open to all residents, please call the Community Emergency Response Team hotline at 201-420-5621 Monday through Friday, from 9 am until 5 pm. Symptoms of COVID-19 are not needed to receive a test.

“Friday’s demonstration was a powerful statement in the struggle for racial equality,” said Mayor Bhalla. “At the same time, to keep our community safe, I ask any resident who attended the event to please schedule a COVID-19 test given the practical difficulties of social distancing at the demonstration.”

On the advice of health experts, the City recommends residents who attended the demonstration, self-isolate whenever possible and avoid any contact with vulnerable populations, including the elderly, until receiving the results of a COVID-19 test.

If a resident does not have health insurance, the City will pay for the cost of a test with Riverside Medical. Riverside and the City have also made testing available to any employee of any Hoboken business in advance of a gradual re-opening. The results of a COVID-19 test at the Riverside site are provided within 15 minutes, on site.

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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 [email protected] or at 201-420-2000, ext. 1311.

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.