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Hoboken Cancels Winter Recreation Programs Amid Coronavirus

HOBOKEN, NJ — The city of Hoboken said Sunday that they have decided to “indefinitely postpone” all city-run recreation programs for the winter amid coronavirus.



a sign on the side of a building: Christmas wreaths for sale near Our Lady of Grace Church in Hoboken on Saturday.


© Caren Lissner/Patch
Christmas wreaths for sale near Our Lady of Grace Church in Hoboken on Saturday.

“As we continue through the next stage of the second wave, and with cases surging in New Jersey, we have made the difficult decision to indefinitely postpone all city-run recreation programs for the winter, including all indoor sports and flag-football,” wrote Mayor Ravi Bhalla in an update on Sunday. “We have seen some recent COVID-19 cases coming from recreation leagues, and given the expected increase in cases, we feel it would be irresponsible from a health perspective to continue with indoor sports where social distancing is not practical.”

The mayor also announced new testing options citywide, including for the coming week.

“I encourage any resident who gathered over Thanksgiving or the weekend with multiple families outside the household, traveled or received visitors who traveled from outside the tri-state area, or attended a large gathering of any kind, to get tested this week,” he said. “Since the virus has been proven to spread among those who are asymptomatic and the increased chances of transmission in group and indoor settings, I encourage those residents also avoid contact with others and quarantine whenever possible until after receiving test results.”

The Hoboken Health Department recommends a COVID-19 test at least 5-7 days after the latest potential exposure.

On Sunday, ABC News reported that “Some Hoboken bars [were] packed” on Saturday night. They said that in many, social distancing was in effect and “masks were everywhere,” but added, “some Hoboken bars were looking a little too pre-covid” with people sitting close together and windows “fogged up.”

Testing this week:

  • A new testing partner, ivee, is hosting COVID-19 testing this Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Multi-Service Center, 124 Grand S. Testing is open by appointment to both Hoboken residents and Hoboken business employees. PCR testing is offered, with results anticipated within 48-72 hours. Sign up: https://calendly.com/iveecovid/ivee-x-hoboken-covid-19-testing-clone-1
  • Dr. Islam and the Prompt MD staff are providing testing on Monday, 8 a.m. to 3, Thursday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 605 Jackson St. PCR testing is offered, with results anticipated within 48-72 hours. http://www.hobokennj.gov/promptmd
  • Dr. Raj Brahmbhatt and the Riverside Medical Group staff are continuing to provide COVID-19 testing six days a week, at the new location uptown, by appointment to Hoboken residents only. Rapid testing is offered, with results provided within 15 minutes. See our story and details here and see general testing information below.
  • State of New Jersey: The State Department of Health, in partnership with the City of Hoboken and Hoboken Housing Authority, is providing testing for residents at 221 Jackson St. (community room) on Friday, between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Testing is open to all residents and business employees. No appointment is needed, and testing is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. PCR testing is offered, with results anticipated within 48-72 hours.

Here is more information on Hoboken coronavirus testing, statistics, schools, and more:

ONGOING CORONAVIRUS TESTING IN HOBOKEN

  • Prompt MD has added additional testing. Proof of residency or employment at a Hoboken business is required at the time of testing. Results are anticipated within 24-48 hours of testing. http://www.hobokennj.gov/promptmd.
  • Riverside Medical is also continuing testing for Hoboken residents. Appointments can be scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis by visiting http://www.hobokennj.gov/riverside. If a resident has signed up for a test with Riverside but can no longer make it, please call 201-863-3346 to cancel the appointment. The testing center has moved to 16th Street; read more here.
  • A covid-19 test is recommended at least 5-7 days after a potential exposure, and that many who have contracted the virus do not have symptoms. Receiving a COVID-19 test prior to the 5-7 days after a potential exposure may yield inaccurate results.
  • If returning from a state on New Jersey’s quarantine list or have had a high-risk exposure, which includes contact of over 10 minutes to someone who has tested positive, living in the same household as someone with COVID-19 or attending a large indoor gathering without face masks, residents should self-quarantine for the full 14 days, even with a negative test result, the city says.

HOBOKEN SCHOOLS

  • The schools remain remote for at least one week after Thanksgiving break. Read more here.
  • Hoboken’s Wallace Primary School recently closed temporarily after two student cases were confirmed.
  • Mayor Bhalla wrote three weeks ago, “Our Health Department has confirmed that our schools are taking every possible safety measure to keep our children safe, and that there is little evidence that the schools themselves are the reason for covid-19 spread, as opposed to behavior outside the school.”
  • Recently, one of the city’s charter schools, Elysian Charter, closed temporarily because a student tested positive for the virus.
  • The Hoboken public schools started the 2020-2021 school year Monday, Sept. 14 remotely, and reopened on-site Sept. 21 for those who requested it.
  • The district offered a reopening plan giving parents a choice of either full-time on-site learning (until 3 p.m.) or full-time distance learning. In the buildings, there are restrictions, such as kids wearing masks and maintaining a 6-foot distance.

LOCAL BUSINESS

  • As of Friday, Nov. 20, people must give contact information to bars, restaurants, gyms, and certain other businesses when they stay inside, for contract tracing purposes. READ MORE.
  • More than 50 of the city’s restaurants opened the week of June 15 for outdoor dining. READ MORE.
  • Some of those have added “streateries” for outdoor dining. READ MORE.
  • The city of Hoboken is making it easier for restaurants to continue to offer outdoor dining through the winter months.
  • Two of the city’s weekly farmers’ markets reopened in June. READ MORE.
  • The city has been closing off certain blocks for businesses to expand and draw foot traffic. READ MORE.
  • Restaurants in New Jersey can allow indoor dining at 25 percent capacity, and keep serving indoors until 10 p.m. Read more about Hoboken indoor dining here.

HOBOKEN LIBRARY

NATIONAL STATISTICS

LOCAL AND STATE NUMBERS

  • A total of 31 Hoboken residents have passed away from coronavirus.
  • Hoboken was one of the first cities in the region to begin closing facilities when the virus began spreading in the U.S.
  • In June, after months of closures and isolation, the city went a week with only one case, and in August, there were only six cases in one week. But cases began rising in autumn with more gatherings.
  • Statewide, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are rising. A week ago Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy said the state had reached 14,900 deaths of residents due to the virus. Murphy said there were 2,505 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in New Jersey as of Friday, with 452 in intensive care and 233 on ventilators.
  • A week ago Thursday, the state said that 34 people had passed away due to the virus in the last 24 hours.
  • That death rate was lower than in late April, when it reached 460 residents in 24 hours on April 30, or one fatality every three minutes. Doctors have said that a number of factors are contributing to the drop in the New Jersey daily death rate since spring, including people getting test results (and thus treatment) sooner, more protective equipment available in hospitals, and doctors becoming better able to treat the virus. However, the virus still can have long-term effects.

HOW TO GET HELP WITH HEAT, RENT, AND MORE

  • During the State of Emergency in New Jersey, no tenant is permitted to be evicted from their home or apartment for the inability to pay rent. Talk to your local mayor’s office if you are experiencing difficulties.
  • The CARES act has made money available to help with rent in each city. More information is here.
  • New Jersey residents can get help with heating and energy bills. Information is here.
  • Various other avenues of relief and benefits have also been made available, including family leave for 12 weeks if you can’t work due to your child’s school or camp being closed, and changes to unemployment rules to help those who were at a job for a short time, or freelancing.
  • Programs are being added constantly, so don’t think you can’t get help. Reach out to your local mayor’s office to find out what kind of funds may be available to help you get through this time.

LONG-TERM CARE

  • Recently, there were 159 long term care facilities with active outbreaks, the state Department of Health said this month. The state also announced that deaths at the facilities had more than doubled since May 1. The state has stopped updating the numbers at facilities without current outbreaks.
  • New Jersey residents were already alarmed at the high number of residents who have passed away in nursing homes, rehabs, and similar facilities. The state announced plans in May to increase testing at some long term care facilities and to bring in the National Guard temporarily to help make changes.
  • The state released death toll statistics late in spring for long-term care facilities like rehabs and nursing homes. See the list here.
  • You can report problems with long term care facilities here, or if you suspect coronavirus related misconduct, here.
  • Some New Jersey long-term care facilities reopened for limited visits, with precautions, in July.

Here are statewide coronavirus resources:

  • NJ COVID-19 Information Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/
  • General COVID-19 questions: 2-1-1
  • NJ COVID-19 hotline: (800) 222-1222

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