HOBOKEN, NJ — The city of Hoboken adjusted its total coronavirus fatality number to 31 on Thursday (it was previously reported as 29), and announced that testing will be offered at two sites rather than just one this coming week.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla explained, “Sadly, we were informed of two previous fatalities related to COVID-19 that were only recently reported to the Health Department, a female in her late 60s who passed away in April, and another female in her mid 60s who passed away in May. I send my deepest condolences to their families and loved ones. Hoboken’s fatalities now total 31.”

Hoboken Health Department reported Thursday that 693 Hoboken residents had tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic. A week earlier, the number was 687.

The breakdown of new, reported cases is:

Aug. 14: 2 new cases

Aug. 15: 0 new cases

Last Sunday: 1 new case

Monday: 1

Tuesday: 1

Wednesday: 1

Testing update

The city said that this week, it will offer testing both through a partnership with Riverside Medical under the 14th Street Viaduct on weekdays, and with Prompt MD at a pop-up site at 605 Jackson St. this Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For the former, call 201-420-5621 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday for an appointment. For the latter, go to http://www.hobokennj.gov/promptmd.

Results may take three days, the city said, as there is a national shortage of rapid tests.

The city said that 650 people were tested at both sites on Monday and Tuesday of this past week.

The city noted in a followup email over the weekend, “Residents are asked to keep in mind that 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. Residents are asked to quarantine until after receiving the test result.”

Social distancing task force

The mayor said that weeks ago, the city formed a social distancing task force made up of various departments in City Hall including Class II police officers, Office of Emergency Management, Zoning Office, Fire Department, and more.

“The task force continues to work with businesses to facilitate compliance with social distancing, and hand out face masks in public places, including our waterfront,” a release said. “Although the City Council did not adopt an ordinance authorizing a potential fine for those who are not wearing face masks (when social distancing is not possible, and as a last resort), the task force will continue to provide education and distribute face masks on our waterfront and other locations.
READ MORE: Hoboken Council Votes Down $250 Facemask Fine

Hoboken, a city of 53,000 people in one square mile, was one of the first towns to close facilities in March amid the pandemic.

Hoboken and national coronavirus statistics and trends

The city had gone a week in June with only one new case, then experienced an uptick in new cases in July — as did many New Jersey cities — after facilities started reopening and people traveled to states with higher numbers. The governor has also blamed large parties for high transmission rates.

On Saturday, Gov. Phil Murphy said the number of coronavirus cases statewide had risen to 189,236, with 14,114 confirmed deaths, including 3 new deaths and 427 new cases confirmed since the day before.

The daily death rate in New Jersey has been declining since back on April 30, when it reached a peak of 460 residents in 24 hours.

Many other states reached record daily death rates in July (see the daily totals in each state here). They have pulled back on their reopenings, including Texas, which closed bars after seeing record numbers of hospitalizations and deaths.

Last weekend, 35 states remained above the positive testing rate recommended by the World Health Organization to safely reopen. WHO recommends states remain at 5 percent or lower for at least 14 days. Read more.

New Jersey updated its list on Tuesday to 35 states that residents must quarantine upon returning from. Read more.

As of a week ago Thursday, 165,000 Americans had died of coronavirus, and more than 5 million have tested positive.

See below for other recent Hoboken coronavirus and reopening updates:

SCHOOLS

  • The Hoboken public schools are slated to reopen Monday, Sept. 14 remotely, and then Sept. 21 on-site for those who requested it.

  • The district has 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 will be restrictions, such as kids wearing masks and maintaining a 6-foot distance.

  • The governor’s school reopening guidance was published on June 26.

  • The state has said that all districts must offer a remote learning option.

BUSINESS

  • Here is the August schedule of Hoboken “summer streets” that are restricted to vehicles, to encourage walking, bicycling, and outdoor dining.

  • Hoboken recently received almost $1.9 million in funding for small businesses, to be distributed in $20,000 grants. Read more here.

  • Hoboken businesses received government PPP loans to help with payroll, rent, and more during the pandemic. Read the list here.

  • 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.

  • Two of the city’s weekly farmers’ markets reopened in June. READ MORE.

  • The city and Patch both have directories of businesses that are open and closed. Check them out and add your listing. READ MORE.

  • The city will be closing off certain blocks for businesses to expand and draw foot traffic. READ MORE.

  • Here’s what you need to know about applying for unemployment and other benefits during coronavirus. MORE.

  • Read more about unemployment, small business, and other coronavirus regulations and benefits in New Jersey here.

LIBRARY

  • Residents can return library books and other materials by placing them in the library book/media dropbox in front of the library (500 Park Ave.) from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The library has begun no-contact “curbside pickup” service. Library patrons will be able to reserve the materials online, place their orders via email to [email protected], or call (201) 4202346, ext. 5102. For additional details, visit hobokenlibrary.org.

PARKS

GYMS

  • Bhalla said recently, “According to Governor Murphy, the following activities are permitted at indoor gyms starting July 2, as provided by his office: ‘individualized indoor instruction by appointment only where an instructor is offering training to an individual, and the individual’s immediate family members, household members, caretakers, or romantic partners. If a gym or fitness center is offering multiple simultaneous instructions at the same facility, these instructions must take place in separate rooms or, if they take place in the same room, must be separated by a floor-to-ceiling barrier that complies with all fire code requirements.’ “

NURSING HOMES

  • New Jersey residents have become alarmed at the high number of residents who have passed away in nursing homes, rehabs, and similar facilities, and have charged that the facilities are undercounting the numbers and not adequately protecting residents and staff. The state has faced questions for weeks from the press about how they will address the problems. They announced plans last month to increase testing at some long term care facilities and to bring in the National Guard to help make changes.

  • The state has begun releasing death toll statistics 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.

  • Other states have also been dealing with nursing home deaths more recently, including a recent outbreak in a Texas nursing home.

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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This article originally appeared on the Hoboken Patch

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