Hoboken Coronavirus Testing Site Closes Temporarily; Updates

HOBOKEN, NJ — Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in an update on Tuesday night that the city’s uptown coronavirus testing center will close from Wednesday through Sunday, but alternatives are being offered in nearby towns during that time.

“Dr. Brahmbhatt informed me that he is unavailable for the next three days, which will result in the Riverside testing site at 14th and Jefferson Street to be closed until Monday,” Bhalla said. “We wish Dr. Brahmbhatt and his staff a restful and well-deserved time off.”

Testing demand has remained high in this mile-square city of 53,000 people, particularly with the mayor recently saying that cases are rising again.

Over the past two days, the city’s volunteer emergency response team has fielded 400 calls for testing, Bhalla said.

In addition, Bhalla and Gov. Phil Murphy have said that New Jerseyans returning from 19 states with coronavirus spikes should get tested and self-quarantine when they come back into New Jersey. Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma were added to an original list Tuesday. The other states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

For the alternative sites where Hoboken residents can get tested, click here.

Bhalla also noted, regarding testing:

  • People receiving a bill from Riverside Medical for the uptown test don’t have to pay.

  • Local business employees and residents getting frequently tested should keep their use of the site to twice a month, unless one has symptoms.

In the update, Bhalla said the Hoboken Health Department reported two new cases Tuesday, for a total of 619 known, confirmed cases. Fatalities in town remain unchanged at 29.

After saying on Saturday that the Hoboken Heath Department reported 13 new coronavirus cases Thursday and Friday, the most since mid-May, Mayor Ravi Bhalla had sent out what he said was an “urgent appeal” on Monday.

“I’ve been in touch with Governor Murphy’s staff who have indicated to me that if rates of infections begin to rise, not only could certain re-openings be put on hold, but our state may again resort to stay-at-home orders to curb a further spread,” Bhalla said.

To get a rapid, 15-minute test through the city’s partnership with Riverside Medical, call the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) at 201-420-5621 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

As of Saturday, the death toll in America from coronavirus was over 128,000, with 50,000 new cases in one day, a record.

Even among those who recover from the virus, some have had a long battle and suffered lung damage.

In Hoboken, the death toll has remained at 29 since mid-May. The mayor was one of the first in the region to begin shutting down certain facilities to slow the spread of the virus.

The virus has taken the lives of more than 13,000 New Jersey residents in three months. At New Jersey’s peak, 460 residents died of the virus within 24 hours on April 30, or one death every three minutes.

Here are other recent Hoboken coronavirus updates, and resources:

SCHOOLS

  • The Hoboken public schools are slated to reopen Tuesday, Sept. 8, but whether it will be in person will be determined by the state. The state is presently considering in-person schooling, virtual schooling, and a “blended option” involving both. There will be restrictions, such as kids wearing masks and maintaining a 6-foot distance. Superintendent Christine Johnson gave information about the local planning process on Monday evening.

  • The summer camp run by the Hoboken schools has been canceled. Limited recreational options have been scheduled. The mayor made reference to them here.

  • Day cares were able to reopen June 15, with certain rules in place, and recreational camps can reopen in July. READ MORE.

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 will begin 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 last week, “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.’ “

TESTING

  • Any resident can get a 15-minute rapid coronavirus test at the Riverside site in uptown Hoboken by appointment by calling 201-420-5621 Monday through Friday. If you don’t have health insurance, the city will pay the cost.

  • There are other medical offices in Hoboken with coronavirus and antibody tests; if in doubt about what to do, call your physician, then check with your insurance. Many insurances are waiving fees and copays for these tests.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

  • More than 50 of the city’s restaurants opened two weeks ago for outdoor dining. READ MORE.

  • Kings supermarkets updated residents on their sanitizing procedures and on an employee who tested positive last month. 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 it 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.

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 nursing homes 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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This article originally appeared on the Hoboken Patch

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